By Fred Piscop
A consultant to fixing cryptic crossword clues along with examples of puzzles on which to training.
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Extra info for Cryptic Crosswords & How to Solve Them
You need an opening bid or close to it when you overcall with a four-card suit. You need a good suit when you overcall with a four-card suit. Your hand does not offer a better alternative, such as a takeout double. The concept of overcalling on a four-card suit was ﬁrst seen in print when Overcalls came out in 1980. It is still a widely ignored bidding trick and if you use it properly you will still be way ahead of the majority of players, who have a stubborn streak or who have not read about it.
Having said that, I admit that if I had the ♠KJ98 I might try 1♠ if I felt I needed a good result. When you gain experience with four-card overcalls you will see how effective they can be. Knowing this, you may be tempted to overcall more often than you should. Resist that temptation. You can pass hands like this one, reserving your four-card overcalls for hands that qualify. This is an acceptably marginal 1♠ bid. Your suit is pretty good and you have a full opening bid. Not vulnerable I would overcall at matchpoints and at IMPs.
If you have been able to accept my ideas to this point, then you should have no trouble judging when to bid or not bid according to vulnerability changes. Regardless of anything else, it is more expensive to go down vulnerable than not vulnerable. Therefore, you need a better hand for your vulnerable overcalls than for your non-vulnerable overcalls. A look at a few examples should sufﬁce. VULNERABLE OVERCALLS AT THE ONE-LEVEL With everyone vulnerable, the auction proceeds as indicated: This is a reasonable vulnerable 1♠ call.
Cryptic Crosswords & How to Solve Them by Fred Piscop