# Playing with Undo – Post Mortem

As the Tokyo Olympics draws to a close, so does our foray into the world of playing Spider Solitaire with undo privileges.

To be honest, I am not really a fan of playing with undo (with one important exception, which I assume the assiduous reader of this blog knows by now). It reduces the game to an exercise in long-term calculation and almost every hand is winnable. In some sense it plays a lot like Freecell, and it is well known Freecell is almost always winnable. Schistocerca Americana agrees that Four-Suit sans Z-key is indeed the Cadillac of Solitaire Games.

The hand was originally intended as an exercise in obtaining cheevos, but it soon became clear we would struggle from the beginning just to win the hand. After conceding a humiliating defeat, I changed this hand into an exercise in playing with undo. I was hoping this hand would provide a challenge – precisely because I lost badly without undo privileges.

With undo, the hand was probably not too hard, given we got an empty column before having to deal any cards from the stock. There were no special tricks required other than careful book-keeping with Excel Cheatsheet and keeping an eye for opportunities to remove complete suits.

Going back to the game state below: suppose we somehow managed to reach this position without undo (and hence no knowledge of unseen cards). If we tried to turn over all cards in column 8 we would get quite the scare – it’s still a win, but it would be pushing way beyond our comfort zone given we have four suits removed and three empty columns. For this reason alone, I would estimate this hand to be extremely hard sans undo. It’s obviously winnable but one would probably need to play a number of sub-optimal moves and get lucky.

I should also thank SA for his wonderfully silly digressions and forays into binge-playing Microsoft Spider Solitaire in the name of Scientific Research. However, I am not sure why he believes 10/15 equals 40 per cent – but to be fair I’ve seen worse brain farts on Cracking the Cryptic. In any case SA definitely has what it takes to become one of the top players sans Undo. If there ever were a massive Zynga Spider Solitaire tournament and Zynga were a reputable game company then SA has got it made 😊

As of next week, the U-bomb is back to being a rude word again and will be censored via rot13.

## One thought on “Playing with Undo – Post Mortem”

1. Master Chi-Yuen I want to thank both you and Esteemed Scholar Bart for allowing my silliness to permeate throughout my posts. Honorable Master, I hope I haven’t driven away most of your lurkers. I heard once that “There is not a single shred of evidence that proves life is serious” and have since tried to live down to that idea.

Ahhh yes, Short Notation Confusion reigns supreme. 10/15=40%

But math is not the sole cradle of confusion. I remember when I first heard from some of my Human Latino friends that I had distant cousins of the Sphenarium clan who lived in Southern Mexico who were good Grasshoppers. We locust wannabes as a whole are correctly considered a pest so I though I could learn how to be a good ‘hopper from my brethren. I crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico and immediately found out that my birthday had disappeared !!!!!! Suddenly there was no such thing as 11/14/46 ????? I began to doubt my existence. Then I discovered 14/11/46 was the notation used by the locals to carbon date me. But that was nothing compared to the shock I received when I got down to the state of Chiapas and the word “good” took an Anthropo-Entomophagy twist and I learned a new word, Chapulines. U-turn required, head north at warp speed.

But I digress.

My reference was for 10 wins and 15 losses in 25 games =40%, not 10 wins in 15 games.

But perhaps Master Chi-Yuen was merely baiting me and understood all along. If so I congratulate him on a successful phishing trip for I am indeed a trophy size catch at 115 kg.

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