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Subject: The worst-ever puzzle book: rss

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Mike K
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My wife and I traveled to Peddler's Village (located in picturesque Central Bucks County, just 60 minutes from Philadelphia). In one of their two toy stores, I stumbled across this gem:

"Solitaire Tic-Tac-Toe"

(Wait, it gets better.)

Gameplay is simple: you make a move, and turn to the appropriate page to see the book's move; from there, you make your next move and again turn to the appropriate page. (Fans of these 'Pick-a-Path' books will know how this works.)

Sound crazy enough? Well, the book claims that there is only ONE path through the book that will result in a win for the reader. The book also warns you to watch out for traps (i.e., double-way wins); I lost it upon reading that line.

Now here's the *best* part: by reading from the end and working backwards, I learned what the 'right' path was. Turns out, you have to make a move that would allow a normal player to beat you. (Specifically, you have to *not* block a win by the book to get to the won position.)


A couple questions:

(1) Is there any bigger waste of paper-and-ink around?

(2) Is anyone planning on making a Pick-a-Path Eurogame book? (You're first in PR. To Settle, turn to p. 4; to Build, turn to p. 7, ...)
 
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Barry Figgins
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Buh-wha?????
 
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Todd McCorkle
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That's hysterical!

I doubt I would ever do a choose your own adventure book/game. I wouldn't mind seeing some 'eurogame puzzle' books though. I'm thinking of something akin to mate in X moves for chess or maybe something like those bridge play columns.

I know gamesjournal.com would have the occasional puzzle like what I'm thinking, and I'm sure there are other sites. A book full of them would be pretty neat.
 
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David Bush
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For some people, that book might be just their speed. How else could John Tesh be so successful?

When I was a kid, around 1965, long before PCs or even Pong, I got a computer that played tic tac toe and some other games. There was a collection of metal cards with different labels such as "human moves first- not in central cell" etc. Each card also had several diagrams on it which showed various initial game positions. There were nine light bulbs underneath a translucent surface. When you make a move, it covers up the light bulb so you can't see if it gets lit. The idea was, after each player makes a move, you insert the appropriate metal card (which meshed with a gear which you turn) until the game position appears in a window. Then you slowly turn the knob until you see one of the nine spaces light up. Then you make your move, turn the knob etc. It played almost perfectly. I think there was one position this scheme could not cover. It used four D batteries, and ate them like candy. (This was also before alkalines.)
 
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Tony Chen
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lol
 
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George Kinney
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Wow. Sadly, your description makes me want a copy for the absurdness factor alone. Sad, because it means they would actually make a sale.

Personally, tic-tac-toe has always invoked a desire in me to build a copy of the tinker-toy tic-tac-toe solving computer featured in OMNI magazine many years ago.

 
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Jon Dockter
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I really hope it was a gag gift because it's sad to think of how many trees died in vain to make it.
 
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Darryl Boone
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Reading your recent posts has been like dipping my bottom over and over into a bath of the silkiest oils and creams.
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twixter wrote:
When I was a kid, around 1965, long before PCs or even Pong, I got a computer that played tic tac toe and some other games.


...And for those early '80s kids: Merlin!
http://www.ohgizmo.com/2005/12/23/rear-view-mirror-the-class... (bottom)

Truly, the measure of a civilization's technological advancement is how high-tech you can make Tic-Tac-Toe.
 
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On Monday mornings, I'm dedicated to the proposition that All Men are created jerks.
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As a child I played tic-tac-toe against a chicken in NYC's Chinatown. I kid you not. The chicken always won (of course he played first...)

The humorist Calvin Trillin later wrote an essay about that very same chicken.
 
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Alexander E. Stevens
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CameronL wrote:
As a child I played tic-tac-toe against a chicken in NYC's Chinatown. I kid you not. The chicken always won (of course he played first...)

The humorist Calvin Trillin later wrote an essay about that very same chicken.


Always won? But but but... Tic-tac-toe is a forced draw o_O not a forced win.
 
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Mike K
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Coyotek4 wrote:
Now here's the *best* part: by reading from the end and working backwards, I learned what the 'right' path was.


So you had to cheat to beat it?

If you want to call it that, yes.

Since the game should *always* end in a tie, I was curious as to how you even could win. That the 'solution' involves stupidity only reinforces the stupidity.
 
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Gil Hova
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::Writes a solitaire puzzle book for Pickomino::
 
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Melissa
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You know, this would probably work for Heckmeck and Diamant ... once, anyway.
 
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Aaron Tubb
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A solitaire book could be written for Monopoly, too!

The book won't trade with you, and your dice rolls have all been predetermined. It would work. It wouldn't be fun, but it would work.
 
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