Bart wanted to Mulligan. Schistocerca wanted to play. With the vote 1-1, I decided to flip a coin as a tie-breaker: Heads we mulligan, tails we play. If the coin somehow balances on its side, then I get to choose.
Heads it is – we take the Mulligan.
Before we count minimum guaranteed turnovers, in-suit builds or move any cards, I would like you to meet the players.
There are a number of strong players in this group but some of the others are a bit rot13(fuvg) – and that’s being generous. Fortunately, the readers (Bart, Schistocerca Americana, and anyone else who joins in mid-game) play the role of captain. Barring trivial decisions, these players can only make suggestions and it’s up to the captain(s) to evaluate these suggestions and choose the optimal line of play – or suggest their own 😊
“Two of Spades onto the Three of Clubs” squeals Yellow.
“YELLOW IS SUS!” shouts Dark Green.
“I was joking,” replies Yellow. “Of course, we all know that if I rot13(shpx) up the first move then I would get ejected faster than you can say At First Blush Our Brilliant But Incredibly Nasty Sudoku Elicits Rude Word From Simon! (7)”
Confused looks from half the team (who have obviously never heard of Cracking The Cryptic).
“We have four guaranteed turnovers,” says Pink. “Dark Purple, you’re the mathematician. Is that better or worse than average?”
“The expected number of turnovers is 3.97,” says Dark Purple. “Therefore 4 is above average. But you can also crunch the numbers and say the median number of turnovers should be between 4 and 5, therefore 4 is worse than average”.
“But we digress,” replies Black. “The difference is small. I would be more swayed by other factors, such as number of in-suit builds, number of Aces and Kings … and don’t forget to calculate outs i.e. probability of getting a good card and increasing our minimum guaranteed tur-.”
“Obviously we start with <hi>” says Blue.
Everyone agrees except Yellow and Pink. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for the team to teach Yellow/Pink the standard notation for moves with columns represented by letters a-j reading from left to right.
Blue gets the honor of making the first move. He shifts the Ace of Spades onto the Deuce of the same suit, revealing the …
“I hope it’s not a King,” says Dark Green.
“<sarcasm> always the cheery one </sarcasm>” says Red.