NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY OR NICE
Congratulations on your editorial ("Lady Luck and the Law," Oct. 31). It takes realism and a large measure of courage to stand up and be counted on such an issue.
What a paradoxical country we live in! Legal to pay admission to a privately owned race track which can only exist by sanction of a state government—and, once in, gamble away. But naughty, naughty to bet on a fight, a baseball, basketball or football game. Heavens to Betsy! Maybe some day we'll treat wagering here as sensibly as they treat it in England.
NORMAN W. SCHAEFER
For too long our laws have limited gambling to dogs, horses and the stock market. Those who prefer lotteries, poker or bingo should be permitted to indulge their whims reasonably under strict regulation.
I was shocked by your advocation of legalized gambling. Is it not common knowledge that lice breed more lice, that horses breed more horses and that gambling breeds more gambling? How can you believe that legalized gambling will forever remain honest and restrained?
SAMUEL B. JOHNSON
AARDVARK GO HOME
Until we read Integration in the Basset World (Oct. 31), we were about ready to trade in our basset Seaney's Fang for an aardvark.
After sneaking out of three Denver dog shows, feeling that Fang was a complete failure, we now find that she is ideal as a field hound. What brought it all on was reading in your magazine that the winner of the field trial you reported was Shellbark's Michie. Our dog is of the same line.
I thank you, my wife thanks you and Fang thanks you.
In regard to the article about the wealth of sophomores in football this year (A Season for Sophomores, Oct. 31), you mentioned Bobby Dodd Jr. of Florida. Not taking anything away from Bobby, he is a fine passer, but you neglected to mention anything about Larry Libertore, the "Little Lightning" who has started every game this year. He is the sparkplug of the team and is capable of anything, including running 66 yards against LSU on the first play of the game. You also neglected to mention a great pass receiver, also a sophomore, Bruce Starling.
BILLY LOVES BONNIE
Being a charter subscriber and an ardent supporter of the Bonnie Prudden plan of exercises for the newborn (May 2, et seq.), may I present Billy, age 6 months, who has faithfully followed the prescribed program each day?
What happened? With Bonnie's exercises and proper diet to go with them, this happened. Take a close look for yourself. He really performs his exercises each day and loves doing them!
MRS. DONN JOYCE
Bay Village, Ohio
A fair dinkum job of reporting! (Hippomaniacs Take Over, Oct. 31).
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Had my copy of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED not been delayed, I would have jetted straight to Australia for this year's running of the Melbourne Cup. You got me all stirred up!
And may I ask who won?
EVAN L. ELLIS
•See page 33.—ED.
BY THE BOARD
Maybe there are reasons, other than the obvious commercial ones, why in the new 10-club baseball leagues ("Expand Baseball, Don't Dilute It," EDITORIALS, Nov. 7) each team will play a schedule of 18 games against each of the other clubs, or 162 games in all. But it seems to me there is an awfully good argument not to do so.
If, instead, a team played each of the other 9 in the league 17 times, there would be a 153-game season—only one game less than has been played all these years. One game is not too significant from the standpoint of records and statistics. Almost any ballplayer is likely to miss one game a season for any of a variety of reasons.
But baseball relies for a very considerable portion of its appeal on records and statistics. If Foxx or Greenberg had had the benefit of a 162-game season in their best years, Babe Ruth's home run record would have gone by the board a long time ago. And if the present plan goes through, someone like Mantle or Mays will be able to produce more than 60 home runs just by virtue of having something more than 30 more times at bat.
New York City
CATESBY AND THE CODE
How did you get it? I have read and read again the excellent and remarkable article about Mark Catesby by Robert Cantwell (A Legend Comes to Life, Oct. 31). I do not know how such an article fits into a sports magazine, but if you slipped by this insertion I trust that you slip similarly again and soon!
Thank you for such informative and interesting reading.
HOWARD C. WESSELS
Huntington Woods, Mich.
Your article is tantalizingly vague as to how the secret diary of William Byrd came to be decoded, after having kept its (apparently) innocuous secrets for a couple of hundred years. What happened?
New York City
•Byrd based his cipher on the method of one William Mason, a famous stenographer of the time, whose dots, wiggles and curves looked like Arabic writing or a badly bent wire fence. One notebook, covering the years 1709-1712, wound up in the Huntington Library of California. This contained some legal notes from Sir Edward Coke's Reports. By overlaying his shorthand symbols with the English phrases for which they stood, Mrs. Marion Tinling of the library staff found it was possible to build up a shorthand alphabet. At almost the same time two experts in cryptography discovered from another Byrd notebook the source of his shorthand system. Three of his deciphered notebooks have now been published as The Secret Diary of William Byrd 1709-1712, Another Secret Diary 1739-1741 and The London Diary 1717-1721.—ED.
FOUR FOR NONE
I have just read Charles Goren's column (A New Quiz, Oct. 31). In regard to example No. 10 (see hand below), I would like to be advised of responses to the Gerber four-club bid. My impression is that it coincides with the Blackwood convention as far as mentioning aces is concerned. Under those circumstances, how can a bid of four diamonds over a four-club bid indicate four aces?
MRS. HAROLD FITTING
In the answer Goren states: "An immediate response of four clubs to an opening bid of one, two, or three no trump must be construed as the Gerber convention asking for aces." What happens if partner has two or three aces? How does he show them?
M. E. WANGENHEIM
As South you hold:
[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
South's bid: four clubs
•According to Card Editor Goren, "a response of four diamonds to the four-club asking bid of the Gerber convention can mean either no aces or four aces. A bid of four hearts indicates one ace; four spades, two aces; four no trump, three aces. In this hand there would be no question that a response of four diamonds meant four aces since partner opened with two no trump, a strong bid."—ED.