13 Nov 2001
65 (Rank: 274)
500 (500 available)
23 Nov 2017
ABOYNE (vb.) To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him.- Douglas Adams
And here's another quote I like:
I knew one about eight years ago whose success at guessing in the game of even and odd attracted universal admiration. This game is simple, and is played with marbles. One player holds in his hand a number of these toys, and demands of another whether that number is even or odd. If the guess is right, the guesser wins one; if wrong, he loses one. The boy to whom I allude won all the marbles of the school. Of course he had some principle of guessing; and that lay in mere observation and admeasurement of his opponents. For example, an arrant simpleton is his opponent, and, holding up his closed hand, asks, "Are they even or odd?" Our schoolboy replies, odd, and loses; but upon the second trial he wins, for he then says to himself, the simpleton had them even upon the first trial, and his amount of cunning is just sufficient to make him have them odd upon the second; I will therefore guess odd; - he guesses odd, and wins.
Now with a simpleton a degree above the first, he would have reasoned thus: This fellow finds that in the first instance I guess odd, and in the second, he will pronpose to himself upon the first impulse, a simple variation from even to odd, as did the first simpleton; but then a second thought will suggest that this is too simple a variation, and finally he will decide upon putting it even as before. I will therefore guess evenl - he guesses even and wins. Now this mode of reasoning by the schoolboy, whom his fellows termed lucky - what, in its last analysis is it?
The Purloined Letter, Edgar Allan Poe (who was disowned over his gambling debts)