I was rather overwhelmed by the response to last month's Set puzzle. We had about five times the response that we've had to any other Puzzling Situation. I'm not entirely sure whether this is because people enjoyed it more than the others, found it easier (or harder) or simply more accessible. I'll certainly be running another one in the future (if nothing else they're easy to construct) and I'd like to be able to add a twist or two to make it a little more interesting. If anyone has any ideas I'd be glad to hear them. For now, Dave Eggleston has submitted a set of rules he devised that use a deck of Set cards for you to try out.

I play Poker perhaps three or four times a year. It's a great way for old high school buddies to get together for a few hours to drink and chat while pretending to be card sharks. We're decidedly bad players but roughly of the same skill so it's all good fun. Stakes are low, normally the big winner comes out $30 ahead. I have a set of plastic Bicycle chips that we use but I've always been a sucker for cool bits so I decided that I'd look into purchasing a set of nice clay chips. They're rather expensive I soon found out, especially since I wanted ones with multi-colored edges. (They look so much more cool when stacked.) Well, I had a bunch of "extra" money sitting in my Paypal account and thought, "it's only credits" and made the purchase. The total came to just under $200 (I had to get a snazzy briefcase to carry them in as well) and despite the expense, I'm pleased with my purchase.

There's no way I'd say that they were "worth" the money. Sure, they're nice but they don't really work any better than the $10 set of plastic ones I bought at a thrift shop. Still, I just love the way they feel when you toss them in the pot, a lovely sound they make too!

This got me thinking about whether any of "these games of ours" would benefit equally from a super deluxe treatment? I've seen some impressive 3-D versions of Settlers of Catan that gamers have made and several people have mentioned that they're extremely happy having spent hundreds on Crokinole boards. Will the Franklin Mint ever produce a gold & silver version of a German game?

-Greg Aleknevicus

It must be the most popular movie that nobody professes to like but the real question is whether or not a decent game can be made from The Phantom Menace?


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