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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Who Solved Puzzle Thinks She Takes the Cake

DEAR ABBY: A lady friend and I were recently in a gift shop where we found a wooden puzzle -- the kind you have to take apart and put back together. We both tried the display model with no luck.

In another section, they were selling slices of a delicious-looking raspberry cheesecake. I told my friend, "I'll buy you the entire cheesecake if you can solve that puzzle."

She took the display model to the counter with the unopened puzzles, found one with an instruction sheet inside the clear plastic bag, and began to unroll the instruction sheet inside the bag until she could read the solution. Then she "solved" the puzzle and demanded her cheesecake.

I was upset. Not only had she cheated, what she did was unethical. The implied rule was that she had to solve the puzzle by herself, not with the help of the instruction sheet. I bought her one slice of cheesecake (a big slice), but now she's demanding the rest -- with interest.

We've asked friends, and I was shocked to find that some sided with my lady friend. So now we've come to you -- do I owe her the rest of the cheesecake or not? -- HUNK-A-CHEESECAKE

DEAR HUNK: I'd say you owe her half a cheesecake because she solved the puzzle (but not quite legitimately), and she owes you half a cheesecake because she tricked you.

The next time you order, try a new flavor -- razz-berry!

DEAR ABBY: A former co-worker recently announced that she is getting married in the fall. This woman is in her mid-40s and this is her third marriage. Although she is not a close friend, I called her to congratulate her on the upcoming nuptials.

Imagine my shock when she asked me to host a bridal shower for her!

Abby, I do not want to give this woman a bridal shower, and I feel it was extremely tacky of her to ask me to do so. My co-workers agree. How can this be handled tactfully? -- APPALLED IN COLORADO

DEAR APPALLED: Thank her politely and tell her that you regret that you are unable to host a bridal shower for her. Do not offer a reason -- simply decline.

DEAR ABBY: I have always been curious about something and am wondering if you can provide the answer. What is done with the illegal drugs (heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.) that are confiscated during an arrest? Are they destroyed? If so, how? -- CONCERNED CITIZEN

DEAR CONCERNED CITIZEN: Good question. I spoke to an official with the Los Angeles Police Department, who told me that the drugs are kept in the police station's property division until the particular case goes to trial. After the trial, the police destroy the drugs by burning them.

WALTER WINCHELL'S DEFINITION OF AN OPTIMIST: A man who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery.

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