The answer to the competition set last newsletter is NORTH. We received correct answers from several people, including Ken Riley, Ann Curtin, Eryl Howard, Alistair Flutter and Kit Orde-Powlett. Rather foolishly, we stated that the winner would be the first entry we received. However, given the slightly haphazard distribution of the newsletter this was hardly fair, as many people receive the newsletter much later than others. So no prize will be awarded this time; please don't sue.
The following analysis of the problem was submitted by Ken Riley:
1. E and W are void in the same two suits. Hence they must hold all 26 of the other two suits between them.
2. Thus N and S hold all of the other two suits; one is clubs and the other red (as EW must hold spades.)
3. No-one has a pair of aces, so each holds one. Since North's ace is red, South must have A. South therefore holds AQJ and must hold in addition a K or a QJ to total 10 points.
4. It cannot be a king as this would require N to hold AQJ in a red suit and the other king - but he has no J.
5. So South holds AQJ plus QJ of a red suit. If the suit were , then Q and J would be in the same hand (disallowed.)
6. So the red suit is . South holds AQJ QJ, North K AK.