Page 0035

Bridge with a Twist by Simon Cochemé

Replies to Simon

Readers reply to Simon Cochemé’s April ‘Ask Simon’ article

HENRY COSGRAVE’S question (‘Ask Reese’s autobiography Bridge at the Top, that the name is used by poker players.

Simon’, April 2013) about the origins of the published in 1977. Reese writes about an Poker has names for many of the cards,

phrase ‘Little Old Lady’ and the abbre- overcall of one spade made by Adam and for some combinations too (for

viation ‘LOL’ generated a knowledgeable ‘Plum’ Meredith with a suit of 9-4-2. Reese example, A-Q is ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’).

response. Thanks to all of you who wrote in. goes on to say: Your homework is to name the cards that

are known as ‘black Maria’ (an easy one to

Barry Rigal (New York) told me about Plum’s overcall of 1´ was typical in two start with), ‘one-eyed king’, ‘Lancelot’,

what is probably the origin of the phrase respects: most of his psychic bids were ‘king without a moustache’, ‘puppy foot’,

in a non-bridge sense. Harold Ross, made around the spade suit, and he ‘Grace’s card’, ‘the curse of Mexico’ and

founding editor of The New Yorker, always liked to establish a psychological ‘one-eyed jacks’. (Answers on page 54.)

described the magazine (founded in 1925) advantage early in a match. I remember On a purely personal note, the letter I

as being ‘not for the little old lady in how amused we all were at Eastbourne liked best came from Mary Hamilton

Dubuque’. one year when an LOL (bridge parlance (Oxford). I needed a fictitious author for

David Hannon (Hucclecote, Gloucester) for ‘little old lady’) bluffed him out of a one of my jokes in ‘Ask Simon’ and I used

found an interview of 1933 Vanderbilt win- game. ‘She had an enormous bag of the name of an ancestor, Stephen Martin-

ner Lee Hazen, where he uses the expression knitting,’ he said. ‘How could I think she Leake. Just maybe, I thought, someone will

‘old ladies’. The interview was first pub- was going to psyche?’ recognise it and contact the EBU. My 500-1

lished in Colliers Magazine in 1946. shot came off: Mary wrote in saying that

Frank Ellis (Aldbrough, East Yorkshire) I tracked down a reference to the phrase she had been born Mary Martin-Leake,

told me that Maurice Harrison-Gray used and abbreviation in articles in The Bridge and Stephen was her great-great-great-

both the phrase and the abbreviation in his World written by Dan Howe in the mid- great-grandfather. Thanks to the EBU I

Country Life column in May 1956. sixties. His little old ladies had an ‘aura of have found a distant cousin!

Ian Dalziel (Troon) directed me to a lavender and old lace’ and proceeded to An earlier article of mine, on the names of

book called The Bridge Player’s Bedside get the better of their expert opponents. It conventions and plays, elicited an email

Companion, compiled by Albert A. Ostrow seems from these examples that Little from David Bird (Chandler’s Ford). When

and published in 1956. It contains the Old Lady is not necessarily a term of your right-hand opponent opens the

following story: disparagement! bidding and you hold a long running

Lastly, two references for those of you minor, you can bid three of opener’s suit to

Two little old ladies came to the table of a with a musical bent: Hoagy Carmichael ask partner if he has a stop there. This

well-known expert pair at a big wrote and sang a song called ‘Little Old conventional bid doesn’t actually have a

tournament in New York. Lady’ in 1936, and Jan and Dean recorded name, but David suggests that Michael

On the first hand, the ladies stopped at a surf song called ‘Little Old Lady from Askgaard, a current member of the Danish

a mere contract of one club and went one Pasadena’ in 1964 (it was covered by the Open team, might like to give his name to it.

down. Beach Boys later in the same year). Let us end where we began, with Barry

‘Where do you ladies come from?’ said Rigal. Barry told me about the situation

one of their opponents with an amused On the subject of cards with names, Ned where a player cashes an unsupported

smile. Paul (Twickenham) wrote and told me ace and the opposition then make the

‘Texas’, was the reply. that the four of clubs is called ‘the devil’s king. It is known as an Elvis Coup – the

‘You mean to say you came all the way bedposts’. A quick bit of research confirmed King Lives! r

from Texas to play a hand in one club

and go off one?’

‘If we’d stayed in Texas,’ was the ever so CROCKFORDS FINALS

gentle retort, ‘we wouldn’t have bought Paul Hackett, Tom Hanlon, Peter Lester and Hugh McGann won this year’s

the hand for only one club. And if we Crockfords Cup after a tie-break from Nick Irens, Espen Erichsen, Tom

had, we’d have gone down two.’ Townsend, Zia Mahmood and David Bakhshi. The Plate was won by David

Dickson, David Ould, Ken Ford and Ian Swanson.

Ian also spotted an LOL story in Terence

www.ebu.co.uk June 2013 English Bridge 35

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0006
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070

powered by PageTiger