The other day, I presented some students with the following game:
Last cookie is a game for two players. In this game, a number of cookies are divided between two cookie jars, and each jar has at least one cookie. Each player can take cookie in one of two ways:
- By taking any number they like from just one jar or
- By taking the same amount from both jar.
The winner is the person who takes the last cookie(s).
Some of you may recognize this as Wythoff’s game; on the NRICH website, which has a great online version of the game, it’s called Last Biscuit (I modified the name for a Canadian audience). If you aren’t familiar with the problem, I highly encourage you to give it a go – very easy to understand and play, but the optimal strategy is not particularly obvious.
I assigned this game as homeplay (get it?? because it’s a game… terrible, I know). Then, the other day, we picked it up again after about a week of rumination.