Scam School Meets Grey Matters

Published on Thursday, June 03, 2010 in , , , , , ,

Scam School has taught some great variations of Nim in the past: Nim (with matches), Advanced Nim (with coins), and 31 (with cards). What happens when Grey Matters meets Scam School? Naturally, we get rid of the objects, and make Nim a completely mental game!

To be fair, I didn't create this. The earliest reference I can find to Calendar Nim is this 1981 classroom guide, which includes a computer program that plays the game. I'm sure the game goes back much further than this, but I'm unable to find any references before that (If you have any such references, please leave a note about them in the comments!).

Back in March, I e-mailed Brian Brushwood with this scam, and he's made it the focus of this week's episode, along with a 1-100 version submitted by Lee Blackburn (Lee, if you'd like me to add a link to your site/blog/twitter/etc, send me the link!). Here is the episode itself:

Calendar Nim was also written up in the May 1999 issue of MAGIC Magazine as Y2 Kon in Bob Farmer's Flim-Flam column. Shortly after that, Mark Farrar created a simple online Javascript version of the game. The computer will always win in this version, so it's a good way to feel the frustration of being the mark.

BONUS SCAM: Not mentioned in the video is the fact that you can also do Calendar Nim backwards, starting on December 31st, and trying to be the first to land on January 1st. The same rules are in place: You can change the month or the date, but not both, and you can't use any fake dates. This version was also written up by Bob Farmer, in the June 1999 issue of MAGIC Magazine.

Strangely, this is actually easier than the forward version. The key dates are as follows: Dec. 12th, Nov. 11th, Oct. 10th, Sep. 9th, Aug. 8th, July 7th, June 6th, May 5th, April 4th, March 3rd, Feb. 2nd, and Jan. 1st. Notice that the key dates are simply the month numbers themselves (December is the 12th month, so the 12th is your key date for December, and so on).

Mark Farrar also created an online version of the backwards game, as well. Again, the computer is going to win this version, so prepare to lose this one, as well.

The 1-100 version of the scam also appears in The Chrysalis of a Polymath, as in the mental “giveaway” chapter, which has other great feats you can perform for, and teach to, other people.

Spread The Love, Share Our Article

Related Posts

Post Details

No Response to "Scam School Meets Grey Matters"