Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Spider Stalemate

Some time ago, I posted a question about what happens in Spider solitaire when you run out of cards in the piles across the top, and the game won't let you deal any new cards because each column or slot must have at least one card in it. Some of the commenters did not understand what I was asking, but Chris (one of my brighter intro students) did. Furthermore, he sent me this graphic to show that, indeed, the game does essentially lock up or stalemate:

Those of you who are familiar with the game will see that in this play, Chris used the single-suit version and played nearly all of the cards from the piles across the top, leaving him with only nine cards plus an empty slot. The box in the middle says, "You are not allowed to deal a new row while there are any empty slots." But he doesn't have enough cards left in the piles to fill all the slots.

I'd call that a stalemate, not a loss.

Thanks, Chris!
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