pran, on 2012-March-05, 07:25, said:
While Dummy may not call attention to any irregularity during the play he must certainly be allowed to ask for a clarification on which card declarer calls if neccessary (for instance if he didn't clearly hear or understood the call).
As I said in the other thread, if declarer has been careless in making his designation, it is for declarer to suffer the consequences of that carelessness, not for dummy to attempt to rescue him from it - that is participating in the play. Dummy must therefore be careful to avoid drawing attention to an irregularity or participating in the play.
If dummy did not hear it, certainly he may say "I didn't hear that".
If dummy heard it, but did not understand it, certainly he may say "I did not understand that".
These are neutral comments that draw attention only to dummy's own procedural difficulty, and not explicitly to any irregularity that may have occured. I am happy to add them to the catalogue of neutral things that dummy may say if he does not know how to act.
But dummy may not in general ask declarer to "clarify that", as L46 only empowers declarer to amend his designation in certain specific cases which are beyond dummy's powers to rule on. If declarer has made a designation, he may not change it. Law 46 tells us how to interpret incomplete designations, and only in the specific conditions there is declarer permitted to "clarify" it, situations mentioned explicitly in 46B3(b) and 46B4. If what declarer said was ambiguous, L46 tells us waht to do, and for dummy to say something like "clarify that" is participating, and potentially even instructing declarer to do something illegal.
Dummy may have to box cute in some cases to be ethical. In the other thread, declarer called "heart" because he saw only one heart - the small heart was concealed from him behind a pile of boards in the table centre, and he saw only the larger heart. In that particular case, if dummy realises that declarer can't see the small heart, then moving the small heart when declarer says "heart" might be rescuing declarer from his carelessness, because it draws his attention to the card he didn't see. The most ethical thing here would be for dummy to say "I don't understand" rather than play the small heart, which should normally be what he does on hearing "heart", with no intention of saying any more.
I agree, the opponents should draw attention. But their failure to do so does not permit dummy directly to draw attention to an irregularity. He should only point out that he doesn't understand, or doesn't know the correct procedure in this situation, or such like comment on his own difficulties, rather than anyone else's.