November 30th, 2010

baby puzzler

Super

smallclanger has learnt a new card game at Granny's, which he calls "Battle". It's rather simple: the pack is divided equally between two players who hold their stacks face down. Each player plays one card face up, and whoever played the card of higher rank takes the two cards and adds them to the bottom of their stack. If the cards have equal rank this is called a battle and the players play a further card each; whoever plays the higher card takes all four cards plus an additional two paid by the loser. (If those are equal it becomes a double battle and when the next pair of cards is played the loser must pay four. And, in theory at least, so on.) This carries on until one player has managed to collect all the cards off the other.

He has played this game with me twice, and both times got bored and gave up before there was any sign of a conclusion. Which raises the question: is there any guarantee this won't go on forever? Click for boring combinatoricsCollapse )

And now for something completely different. Earlier this month YouGov sent me a poll (on I forget what subject) which randomly and irrelevantly ended on the following question, so now I'm doing the same.

Poll #1651430 Heroes

Which, if any, of the following super powers would you MOST like to have?

Invisibility
0(0.0%)
Super strength
0(0.0%)
Being able to fly
5(22.7%)
X-ray vision
0(0.0%)
Super speed
0(0.0%)
Time-travel
6(27.3%)
Invincibility
0(0.0%)
Super hearing
0(0.0%)
Mind reading
0(0.0%)
Teleportation
8(36.4%)
Other
3(13.6%)
Not applicable, I would not want to have a super power
0(0.0%)
Dont know
0(0.0%)