At a dinner in New York, Mark Twain said, “A verb has a hard time enough of it in this world when it’s all together. It’s downright inhuman to split it up.” To what was he referring?

Probably, like me, you thought it was the split infinitive. Some writers are happy to boldly split the infinitive, where others refuse to go. But actually Twain was talking about German. He claimed that one part of the verb is put down here, one part over yonder, and German is just shoveled in between!

On today’s deal, North-South bid to six clubs. After West led the heart queen, declarer won with dummy’s king and played a club to his ace. When West discarded a heart, South thought, “Nein, we did not miss sieben Treff.” How did declarer continue?

South cashed the spade king and diamond ace, ruffed a diamond on the board and took the spade ace, discarding a diamond from his hand. Now came the spade queen, which East ruffed with the club seven. Declarer overruffed with the nine, cashed the heart ace and ruffed a heart on the board. East ruffed the next top spade with the club eight, and South overruffed with the queen. South trumped a diamond with dummy’s club king, his 11th trick.

East was left with the club jack-four; South had the diamond