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Game of Deja Vu...

Each of the letters A, D, E, I, N, O, P, R, S is written of a separate card. Place the nine cards face up on a table so that each card is visible to both players. Beside the cards is a list of three-letter words: ASP, AID, SIN, RIO, ARE, PIE, END, POD. To play the game, two players take turns selecting a card without replacement. The winner is the first player to form a word from the list. If both players play optimally, what is the outcome of the game?

 

Source: Mathematics Magazine, February 2001, Problem Q907.


Hint: Try to arrange the eight words into a 3 x 3 grid of letters....then carefully reread the rules and play the game with a "deja vu" mind-set.

 


Solution Commentary: The 3x3 arrangement of letters should be:

A R E
S I N
P O D
Now, think, where have I seen this before: