Bridge: Aug. 30, 2022

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 03:00

It was the end of the month, and when Unlucky Louie approached me in the club lounge, I knew what was up.

“I need a loan,” Louie said.

“Again?” I sighed. “Can’t you meet expenses?”

“It’s easy to meet expenses,” Louie growled. “They’re everywhere.”

Louie could pay his bills if he cut his losses in our penny game. Against his 3NT, West led a club: six, eight, jack. Louie had eight tricks. He couldn’t let East get in for a club return, so Louie led a spade to dummy and returned the ten of hearts, planning to take two finesses. Alas, East played the queen and won the next heart, and down Louie went.


Louie should try to set up dummy’s diamonds. He might lead a diamond to the ace at Trick Two and let the ten ride next. (To cash the king first wouldn’t work; West could unblock his queen.) Or Louie might lead a spade to dummy and let the ten of diamonds ride.

If the play suggested that East had a sure diamond trick, Louie could try the double-finesse in hearts.


You hold: S 9 6 2 H K Q 6 5 2 D J 4 2 C 9 8. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: I wouldn’t be eager to do anything more with a hand so weak. Opener’s non-jump change of suit is not forcing; your partner has fewer than 19 points and may have 11 or 12. Pass. One spade may be as good a contract as any, and a further bid by you might induce him to get too high.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S Q J 4

H 10 9 7

D A 10 9 8 6

C 7 6


S 7 5 3

H 8 3

D Q 7

C A Q 10 5 3 2


S 9 6 2

H K Q 6 5 2

D J 4 2

C 9 8


S A K 10 8

H A J 4

D K 5 3

C K J 4

South West North East
1C Pass 1D Pass
2NT Pass 3NT All Pass
Opening lead — C 5

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Local News

Word Game: Aug. 30, 2022

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 03:00

TODAY’S WORD — EMBODIES (EMBODIES: em-BOD-eez: Personifies.)

Average mark 20 words

Time limit 30 minutes

Can you find 25 or more words in EMBODIES? The list will be published tomorrow.

YESTERDAY’S WORD — NOMINEES nene neon nine noes noise none nose omen mien mine miso monies seem seen seine semi sine some sone

To purchase the Word Game book, visit Order it now for just $5 while supplies last!


1. Words must be of four or more letters.

2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of “s,” such as “bats” or “dies,” are not allowed.

3. Additional words made by adding a “d” or an “s” may not be used. For example, if “bake” is used, “baked” or “bakes” are not allowed, but “bake” and “baking” are admissible.

4. Proper nouns, slang words, or vulgar or sexually explicit words are not allowed.

Contact Word Game creator Kathleen Saxe at

Categories: Local News

Inside the Adolescent Mental Health Crisis

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 03:00
Young people in the United States are facing a new set of risks. Why has the situation caught so many people off guard?
Categories: Local News

How injuries, vested veterans and practice squad spots could drive the Ravens’ roster moves

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:43

Thirteen days before Pernell McPhee had the Ravens’ first sack of the 2021 season and Anthony Levine Sr. led the team in Week 1 special teams snaps, neither was on the roster.

McPhee, the veteran outside linebacker, and Levine, the longtime special teams leader, were among the 16 Ravens cut ahead of the NFL’s deadline for 53-man rosters last year. If their releases registered as surprises around Baltimore, their returns in the following days did not. The plan was always to have them available for the season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Those roster gymnastics are worth remembering as the Ravens prepare for the NFL’s final wave of cuts, with general manager Eric DeCosta set to pare a 78-man team down to 53. But the Ravens roster that’s finalized by 4 p.m. Tuesday will not be the same roster the Ravens enter the regular season with.

“We have a plan already, and we’ve started putting it into effect,” coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “There’s a lot of considerations: position value, special teams value, also practice squad value, strategy. Eric and his guys have to look at strategy in terms of who might get claimed or not get claimed, or where we are with health at certain positions. Those are all considerations that have to be made. So we’ll probably take our time through until tomorrow to wrap it all up. Then, probably, honestly, the next couple of days after that, there will be some things happening.”

Injuries will animate most of the Ravens’ roster decisions this week. Under NFL rules, DeCosta must wait until Wednesday to place players such as tight end Charlie Kolar (sports hernia) and rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo (Achilles tendon) on short-term injured reserve, sidelining them for at least four games. Defensive tackle Travis Jones, who suffered a minor knee injury in the preseason, is another IR candidate.

That means the Ravens will have to find roster replacements in short order. But they might not have to look far.

Among the players who could be released Tuesday are running back Mike Davis, defensive lineman Brent Urban, inside linebacker Josh Bynes, outside linebacker Steven Means and safety Tony Jefferson. All could contribute early in the season, if not start for the Ravens in Week 1. Just as importantly, all are “vested” veterans, too.

Vested veterans are players with at least four years of accrued NFL service time. Until the league’s trade deadline passes in early November, vested veterans who are released immediately reach free agency — bypassing waivers, where an interested team could claim them. A release Tuesday doesn’t necessarily signal a goodbye; it could mean, “See you when you re-sign in a day or two.”

“I know here and everywhere else they’re going to have the best guys that can play and be on their team,” Jefferson said after Saturday’s win over the Washington Commanders. “So I can’t really worry about that part too much. As long as I was able to go out there and showcase my abilities and show what I can do, the cards will fall where they fall. Obviously, I want to be a Raven, but I understand the technicalities that go with everything and all that.”

The Ravens’ reunions with McPhee and Levine last year demonstrate two potential paths back. McPhee was re-signed to the 53-man roster, along with veteran tight end Eric Tomlinson, two days after the Ravens released him and one day after wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Miles Boykin were moved to IR. McPhee played 36 defensive snaps against Las Vegas and appeared in 10 games last season.

Levine, meanwhile, was added to the 16-man practice squad one day after his release, activated for the season opener and promoted to the 53-man roster before Week 2 along with defensive lineman Justin Ellis, a fellow vested veteran. Levine played in all 17 games and led the team in special teams snaps.

Some practice squad moves have financial considerations; vested veterans who open the season on a team’s Week 1 roster have their base salary fully guaranteed. Players signed after Week 1, however, are entitled to only 25% of their base salary if released after a short tenure. The Ravens have just $8.6 million in salary cap space, according to the players’ union, among the smaller pools in the NFL.

“Guys want to be here,” Harbaugh said. “So if you can work [out] some of the things … you try to do that.”

Week 1


Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 13, 9

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM


Categories: Local News

Ask Amy: I resent this competition with the other grandmother

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:30

Dear Amy: My daughter and son-in-law recently welcomed our first grandchild. Both the other grandma and I have shared part-time babysitting to help the parents with their work schedules.

We have also helped on weekends when they have social obligations, etc.

Recently, it feels as if we are being pitted against the other grandparents as to how much we are doing for them and vice versa.

This makes me uncomfortable, like I’m being pushed into a corner.

I raised my children with very little help, as we frequently moved for my husband’s job. The in-law family has roots in the area and many extended family members.

It suddenly feels like we “don’t love them” as much as the other side of the family does.

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My husband is still working, and I am caring for an adult child with special needs. We are not getting any younger and I don’t want to participate in this kind of dynamic.

What else can I say and do to assert myself in a kind way?

I would do anything for my grandchild and feel we are extremely generous with our time and gifts.

We are definitely the second choice when it comes to holidays, birthdays and special occasions. It feels like a no-win, and the resentment only grows.

Already Weary

Dear Weary: To clarify, you aren’t asking to do less — or more — in terms of child care. You would like to be treated differently by the adults.

I suggest that you initiate a calm and open-ended conversation with your daughter, telling her that you adore your grandchild but detect a sense of dissatisfaction from her. Ask her where this comes from, and tell her how this dynamic — and the way she frames things — makes you feel.

The way you describe your experience, your daughter comes off as somewhat entitled (and fortunate to have so much help). But while you may have been a hard-working stay-at-home mother with very little child-rearing help, she seems to have a job outside the home.

Even though most parenting experiences are actually universal, she won’t see your situations as being analogous. New parents never do.

You very wisely say that you don’t want to participate in a dynamic of competition with the other set of grandparents.

Do not ask for “equal time” or even equal attention with the other grandparents and rooted extended family who all live nearby. Do not let your daughter manipulate you (this isn’t good for either of you).

Do ask your daughter to be aware of her tone and of your feelings.

Dear Amy: My family just received another “form” thank-you from a newly married couple whose wedding we attended.

We gave a very generous gift of several hundred dollars and enjoyed celebrating with them.

However, the envelope was marked to my husband only and not even with the effort of a “Mr.” – just his name.

A different bride-to-be also thanked me for a shower gift in a group Instagram post.

Amy, what gives? I get that things are different for this new generation, but is a personalized thank you too much to ask?

Exasperated Gift Giver

Dear Exasperated: These “form” thank you notes supply printed language and leave gaps for the grateful sender to fill in particulars: “Dear _______, Thank you so much for the ________. We ____ you so much. Sincerely/Love _____”

Or there are no blanks to fill in at all, just vaguely worded slips of greeting card gratitude, using fancy fonts to fill the space where actual gratitude should reside.

Some of these forms carry the personality of a utility bill; receiving them can seem like a gentle, fancy-fonted diss. (I would rather be tagged in a group Instagram thank-you post than receive one of these.)

That having been said, you do not get to criticize someone for leaving “Mr.” off of your husband’s name (and yes, your name should have been included).

Is it better to be thanked in this way, versus not being thanked at all?


Dear Amy: “Woman on the Fence” was matched online with a guy she had met in person previously. Your suggestion was cute, but why not just tell her to go for it and tell the guy she is interested in seeing him?


Dear Disappointed: I take your point, but the two had met in a professional capacity; my idea to reach out warmly was to open the door — and give him the option to walk through it.

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You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.


Categories: Local News

Portugal’s health chief quits amid hospital staff shortages

Seattle Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:07

Portugal's health minister has quit, saying she feels “no longer able to remain in office” after broad criticism over her handling of recent staffing problems at public hospitals.
Categories: Local News

Exploring Spain’s Arab Influence

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Exploring the country’s Arab influence is an impossibly romantic journey, involving palaces with intricate geometric designs, castles and grand mosques reconfigured by Christians into cathedrals.
Categories: Local News

Lockdowns in China, and North Korea, Deal Double Blow to Bridge City

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Shenyang, in China’s northeast, was a hub for North Korean workers and a launchpad for visits to Pyongyang. Covid restrictions have battered its economy.
Categories: Local News

This Remote Mine Could Foretell the Future of America’s Electric Car Industry

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Hiding a thousand feet below the earth’s surface in this patch of northern Minnesota wetlands are ancient mineral deposits that some view as critical to fueling America’s clean energy future.
Categories: Local News

For Singapore’s Gay Men, Repeal of Sex Ban Brings Hope After Years of Pain

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The government confirmed that it would get rid of the colonial-era law, but said it would also move to protect the definition of marriage from being challenged in court.
Categories: Local News

How German Companies Are Staring Down Putin’s Threat to Cut Off Gas

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Industrial producers across Germany are coming up with unique ways to cut their dependence on natural gas as Russia’s war in Ukraine keeps prices high.
Categories: Local News

Lisa LaFlamme Ouster Sets Off Outcry in Canada

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The chief executive of a Canadian news network pushed back against allegations that sex, age or gray hair were factors in the abrupt dismissal of the veteran journalist, Lisa LaFlamme.
Categories: Local News

Introducing ‘The Run-Up,’ a Politics Podcast from The New York Times

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The midterm elections are usually a referendum on the party in power. This year, they’re about so much more.
Categories: Local News

Does CBD Help With Insomnia?

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The research is sparse, experts say, but there are some hints about how it could soothe you to sleep.
Categories: Local News

Why I Changed My Mind on Student Debt Forgiveness

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Our current system of student loans and college funding is at odds with what we hope to achieve by encouraging people to go to college.
Categories: Local News

What Bill Barr Did to Clear Trump Is Still a Danger

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The ability to investigate future high-level wrongdoing in the executive branch is at stake.
Categories: Local News

Ted Cruz Would Like to Put Some Words in Your Mouth

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The idea that student loan relief is a handout to a small minority of affluent college graduates is simply a myth.
Categories: Local News

What It’s Like to Have Face Blindness

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
When you can’t rely on facial recognition, you look beyond the obvious.
Categories: Local News

A Grammy-Nominated Singer Performs and Explores Music’s Deep Power Over Us

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Allison Russell discusses — and demonstrates — the craft of songwriting, and how to find ‘survivor’s joy’ and kinship through music.
Categories: Local News

Harriette Cole: I accidentally blew up his phone with provocative photos, and I’m mortified

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00

DEAR HARRIETTE: I tried sending a somewhat provocative photo to a guy I like, but I was in a place with bad reception, and my phone says the picture never went through.

That made me sad after I had drummed up the courage to share this picture of me and then he didn’t get it. Anyway, I tried again to send it, but it didn’t go through.

I heard from him later, and he thanked me for sending the photo but told me that he had received it about three times.

I was mortified. I know it’s a technological thing, but I don’t want this guy to think I am a stalker. I was just trying to stir up a bit of interest.

I’m not sure if I turned him off or not. What can I do now?

Bad Click

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DEAR BAD CLICK: If at all possible, wait to talk about this in person rather than sending more texts.

Either way, tell him you are glad he liked the shot and that you are sorry that technology wasn’t your friend. Tell him that you were in a location with bad Wi-Fi. In an effort to ensure that he received the photo, you attempted to send it more than once, until your phone indicated that it had been delivered.

Apologize for blowing up his phone. That was not your intention! Leave it at that.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been spending time with some new friends who are kind and generous. Whenever we go out, they pay for meals, which is nice because we are not rich and they are.

They never make us feel any kind of way about it, either.

What we do to show our appreciation is different. We will cook delicious meals and specialty dishes to share with them. We sometimes bring over unusual desserts that we cook or that we discovered in our travels.

It feels like a comfortable relationship even though we aren’t on the same income level.

I just wonder if they will tire of us because we can’t spend the kind of money on things that they do. So far, it has been OK, but it does feel a bit awkward to be unable to afford some of the things that we do. Should I say something?


DEAR AWKWARD: Stop fretting. It sounds like you and your friends have established a natural, comfortable rhythm. Enjoy it in the moment. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

It’s nice when people who are different from each other, especially economically, can create a genuine friendship. Being able to spend time together where it is comfortable for everyone is lovely. Stop worrying about what may happen sometime in the future.

Honestly, relationships grow based on the ways people tend to each other. As long as you all are kind, respectful and honest about who you are and what you bring to the table, you should be fine. If the day comes when they ask you to do something you cannot afford, tell the truth and trust that they will understand.

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Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Categories: Local News