Enigma 1309: Fill, cut and fit
15 July 2014
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From New Scientist #2467, 2nd October 2004
Amber and Ben have a new game which they play on this board.
Starting with Amber and going alternately, they each write their initial in an empty square until the board is full. They each then make a paper copy of the board; Amber cuts hers into three vertical strips and Ben cuts his into two horizontal strips. The board is then wiped clean. Starting with Amber and going alternately, they each place one of their own strips onto the board; each strip must retain its orientation and be placed so as to fit neatly over the two or three squares of the board.
They must not overlap their own strips but when they overlap a strip already placed by the other child then the letters in the overlapping squares must agree. If both children place all their strips then the game is a draw; otherwise a child wins when the other child cannot place a strip.
If both children play as well as possible, who wins or is it a draw?