I cleverly take one peach.
July 19, 2003 6:57 AM   Subscribe

1: dear fruit master, you never got my first letter! i'll tell you what it said- i hate the stupid, idiotic game of fruit! the new one and the old one! they both stink! if i lose again i'm going to smash in the computer screen! i will win i will not lose again! or in three words- I WILL BE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Signed, LAURENE 2: Dear Fruit Master, I lost your game after I tried about 200 times!!!! This game is really hard, and I thought you improved it. My child is highly upset and we will never go on the internet again!!!!! signed,a very angry parent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(:(:(:(:(:(:(
posted by iconomy (28 comments total)
 
Sorry about the crappy formatting - I couldn't get a break (literally) in preview - the sentences kept cramming themselves into one paragraph even though I had them set up as two.
posted by iconomy at 7:00 AM on July 19, 2003


i'm not sure how you get there from the game page, but they also have an explanation of the algorithm.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:14 AM on July 19, 2003


My favorite line from the letters section:

"I know how to start spelling banananas, but I don't know how to stop."
posted by fletchmuy at 7:20 AM on July 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


i liked the one where someone had taken notes on how the computer played til they could beat it; i hope the one from the "english major" was a wind-up.

the whole "it's not fair to lose" thing is pretty freaky, though.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:35 AM on July 19, 2003


brain. hurts.
posted by anathema at 7:38 AM on July 19, 2003


There *is* a way to win, isn't there...?

Oh...and "purple's a fruit."
posted by davidmsc at 7:43 AM on July 19, 2003


is my lack of peach-thieving cleverness correlated with my chess deficiency?
posted by win_k at 7:53 AM on July 19, 2003


Way to win? Not with the furnished link, it turns out. Not that I know, I just read the FAQ. If you go first, you lose.

You haven't really played the Game of Nim until you've played it on a DIGI-COMP I from 1964.
posted by tss at 8:00 AM on July 19, 2003


I'll be back. I am going to the market now to buy some fruit so I can practice and devise a strategy....heh heh, just you wait, fruitmaster.
As they say in Congress, "why you little fruitcake...I oughta $#&@*%#!"
posted by madamjujujive at 9:23 AM on July 19, 2003


you can cure chess deficiency by eating pawns once a week. try a little thousand island dressing.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:09 AM on July 19, 2003


"Express the number of objects in each nim heap as a binary number, with the only digits being 0 and 1.
Fill out the smaller binary numbers with '0's on the left, if necessary, so that all the numbers have the same number of digits.
Sum the binary numbers, but do not carry
Replace each digit in the sum with the remainder that results when the digit is divided by 2.
This yields the nim sum.
To win at nim, always make a move, when possible, that leaves a configuration with a nim sum of 0. If you cannot do this, your opponent has the advantage, and you have to depend on his or her committing an error in order to win.
Note that if the configuration you are given has a nim sum not equal to 0, there always is a move that creates a new configuration with a nim sum of 0. However, there are usually also moves that will yield configurations that give nim sums not equal to 0, and you need to avoid making these.
Also note that if you are given a configuration that has a nim sum of 0, there is no move that will create a configuration that also has a nim sum of 0."


Easy solution.
posted by knapah at 11:42 AM on July 19, 2003


Also note that if you are given a configuration that has a nim sum of 0, there is no move that will create a configuration that also has a nim sum of 0.

That's the key to deciding whether to go first or defer to the Fruitmaster. Applied combinatorics makes the Fruitmaster very angry.
posted by eddydamascene at 1:37 PM on July 19, 2003


exactly...
posted by knapah at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2003


Can't play the Game of Fruit. Have to wait for the Game of Meat. I'm on Atkins.

Although, when they first mentioned the 'nim sum', I thought I might get some dim sum.

I could make a joke about the Fruitmaster being featured on a certain show on Bravo, but I won't.
rimshot! no, sorry, nim shot!
posted by wendell at 3:00 PM on July 19, 2003


Another explanation of knaph's text (with examples).

(This is good)
posted by trharlan at 8:50 PM on July 19, 2003


arrrhghgghghhg !
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:57 AM on July 20, 2003


arrrhghgghghhg !

There, there, sarge. Just subtract fruit such that a bitwise xor of the binary value of the number of fruit in each group always gives a zero result, and never, ever make a mistake, or the Fruitmaster will win. Easy as 1, 10, 11.
posted by eddydamascene at 11:03 AM on July 20, 2003


Can you explain that in English, eddydamascene?

Stupid game, anyway.
posted by dg at 5:34 AM on July 21, 2003


Hehe. Spoken like someone who could not best the Fruit Master.
posted by iconomy at 8:30 AM on July 21, 2003


Damn you, iconomy. After seeing the hysterics this got letter-writers into, I decided I'd just play along - USING THE TRICK OF LETTING THE COMPUTER GO FIRST - until I won once.

An hour later, I finally made the fruitmaster angry.

I'm glad I did it without looking at the hack - it was vastly entertaining to see how all the binary combinations I had to learn by trial and error and save them in my brain as "if you have a 1-2-3 order, or two rows with the same number, you'll lose... so don't let that happen" were expressed as algorithm.
posted by soyjoy at 9:42 AM on July 21, 2003


You actually won, soyjoy? So you've SEEN the fruit master? I understand that you get to see a picture of the fruit master when you win? What does he look like?

I'm really jealous. And impressed that you did it without help!

you'll lose... so don't let that happen

The game of fruit is something like the game of chess in that you have to think several moves ahead, right? I can't get my brain to work like that, which is why I will never see the fruit master unless someone else does a screen capture, or I figure out how to hack into the cgi bin ;)
posted by iconomy at 9:51 AM on July 21, 2003


Here is the angry fruitmaster.

And let's just pretend that when I saw your message I nipped over and played through the game once, rather than another couple dozen times, to reproduce my earlier (haphazard) success, OK?

P.S. Damn you.
posted by soyjoy at 12:04 PM on July 21, 2003


You're the kick-assiest, soyjoy!

Damned twice in one thread - I must be doing something right ;)
posted by iconomy at 12:28 PM on July 21, 2003


Oh and I love his chin.
posted by iconomy at 12:29 PM on July 21, 2003


Spoken like someone who could not best the Fruit Master.
*sobs*
posted by dg at 3:06 PM on July 21, 2003


Can you explain that in English, eddydamascene?

Step 1. Convert the number of fruit in each pile to a binary number {1,2,3,4,5,6,7}={001,010,011,100,101,110,111}.
7 oranges = 111
4 peaches = 100
1 banana_ = 001
Step 2. Count the number of 1s in each column, and write down 0 if it is even, 1 if it is odd (called a bitwise XOR).
Answer: 010
Step 3. If the answer is zero, make the Fruitmaster go. Whatever move he makes, he won't be able to make it zero. If the answer is not zero, you have to make it zero to prevent the Fruitmaster from getting the advantage.
Step 4. Reduce the number of fruit in one of the rows so that the bitwise XOR would give a result of 000.
Eg. Taking away two oranges gives 5, or 101. The bitwise XOR of 101, 100, and 001 is 000.
Step 5. Wait your turn. Repeat step 4.

posted by eddydamascene at 3:42 PM on July 21, 2003


*head explodes*
posted by dg at 4:33 PM on July 21, 2003


Alternate method:
Step 1. Let the fruit master go first.
Step 2. Remove fruit.
Step 3. Repeat.

posted by eddydamascene at 5:42 PM on July 21, 2003


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