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Ask Marilyn: Why Do We Have a Desire to Solve Puzzles?
Pat Lock in St. Louis, Missouri writes:
Marilyn: We play a card game in which each player is dealt three cards. In turn, each player plays one card, then draws a new card. With many players, more decks are used, and they’re shuffled together. The dispute is whether the game is fair if the shuffled decks are divided into two piles so that players may draw from the one closest to them instead of reaching across the table. Some people contend that all players must draw from a single pile. Others say that as long as players may draw from either stack, the game is fair. Who’s right?
Having two stacks (or three, for that matter) is fine. The game would be fair even if players could draw cards only from the pile closest to them. (This assumes no pile is allowed to run out of cards too soon, etc.)
Am I prescient, or what? I have a hunch that many readers aren’t going to believe me!
Paula Sutera in Sutera, California writes:
Why do we have this desire to solve puzzles such as crosswords, sudoku, and Numbrix?
We all love to get something right, and in a world where everything is argued, everyone thinks differently, and change is the only certainty, it reaffirms your brainpower when you work your way through a puzzle to a resoundingly correct answer. Not everyone can do this, you know! Plus, after the mental exercise, you feel a little smarter. And who knows? Maybe you are.
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