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Why Tom Brady’s Controversial Approach To Fitness Is Changing The Game – Men’s Health

Every summer for the past seven years, the quarterback of the New England Patriots has come to this remote island for a beach boot camp. Its an intense part of his regimen, which has him training two to three hours daily to strengthen his arm, pack on more upper-body muscle to absorb hits, and sharpen his footwork and acceleration so that he can elude pass rushers.

As Bonner unzips an egg carton-like duffel bag with six game balls nestled inside, Brady uses a golf laser rangefinder to check the yardage. Its slightly off. Guerrero walks down the sideline, putting down cones every ten yards as measured by Brady. The QB slips into his shoulder pads, dons a silver helmet, and warms up using a white hand towel instead of a ball. He unfurls that smooth throwing motion that has tortured opposition players and thrilled New England fans for 19 years, culminating with a flick of the wrist that snaps the towel. Bonner and I put on receiver gloves and spread out ten yards downfield.

Bonners advice: Just put your hands up and the ball will hit them. Brady starts off throwing short bullets, and Bonners tip is dead-on: the balls slice through the hot air and slam into my hands. Brady goes through the gears, throwing 20-yarders and then 30-yarders. Then we drop to 60 yards. This is a maximum-effort drill for distance. Brady is throwing down the sideline, launching six passes as far and as straight as possible. Our job is to catch the balls and put themdown right where they would land. Guerrero and Brady tinker with his drop, bounce, step, torque and release. When a pass wobbles off course, Brady shouts to the palm trees, Thats an interception. When I drop a perfect spiral, he screams at me, Thats the game winner!

RELATED: This Is Exactly What Tom Brady Eats In A Day

ERIC RAY DAVIDSON

After the six passes, he jogs down, inspects the cluster and sips water from his Klean Kanteen. Most of the balls are within five or ten yards of one another around the 60-yard cone. He tells me his arm is as strong as it was when he entered the league, and I believe him. Catching these bombs is chewing up my forearms; theyre etched with lace marks and will end up being bruised for days. Later, Brady tells me that during games, only about 10 per cent of his passes do what he wants them to do. There are times when I release the ball and I know its perfect. I throw it with the exact pace and arc that I wanted, and to the exact location, he says. But when I throw it and it doesnt do that, in my mind [Im thinking,] Im fucking shit what did I do wrong? I fucking overstrode. Too little torque.

Guerrero notes that Brady will rarely throw 60-yard passes in a game. Last season, his longest pass was 49.9 yards by comparison, 23-year-old Bills QB Josh Allen completed the leagues longest in 2018, at 63.9 yards yet the point of todays drill isnt to lengthen Bradys throwing range but to improve his accuracy and velocity for shorter throws. He closes out the session zipping 30-yard passes todifferent corners of the end zone. His arm is looser now, the balls flying out faster. Brady notes the flawless passes with a There it is. He has thrown close to 80 balls this morning, and he doesnt want to stop. Im a little tortured, he says. At football, I want it to be so right.

Among Brady watchers, theres a belief that hes currently crafting a second Hall of Fameworthy career. The first one lasted from 2001 to 2015, with four Super Bowl wins. Part two spans the past three years and includes two more league championships. In between there were injuries, scandals, a suspension and a lawsuit, but the fact remains that Brady, the 199th draft pick of 2000, is now entering his 20th season in the NFL with a brand-new Super Bowl ring his sixth. No quarterback has ever played so well for so long, and his singleminded focus on winning, his never-say-die attitude, has become almost as famous as he and his very famous wife are. (Indeed, on the Facebook Watch docuseries Tom vs. Time, Gisele Bndchen lamented that even she has to share him with his first love: football.) Thats why trying to talk to Brady about things other than football politics, say, or the ideal gas law is usually a waste of everyones time, especially his. He would be the first to tell you that there is no more or less to his reality right now than the sport of football and his family. And the people Brady matters to at all dont really care about whom he votes for or the Game of Thrones dynamics of Pats Nation. They care about how he does it defying time and physics, defying thenatural laws of football and man to play like a kid half his age.

In anticipation of the day when he cant play like he used to, Brady is laying the groundwork for a new chapter of his life rooted in helping the rest of the world do what they love better and for longer. He founded his company in 2013, naming it TB12, and after some early success with a training facility outside Boston and a best-selling book, The TB12 Method, hes now developing it intoa full-blown lifestyle and fitness brand. This summer he opened a flagship gym in Boston, with plans to expand to New York City and Los Angeles next year (and after that to Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, London and Toronto). Hes also gotten into commerce and content there are TB12-branded newsletters, workout videos, brain games, exercise equipment and protein supplements and snacks. His companys stated goal is simple: To redefine strength, health and wellness for an entire generation of men.

Thats a big lift. And to do it, hes got to win over the people whod rather chew glass than watch the Patriots win, and the people who call BS on his and Guerreros approach to training, and the people who look at him and his career and his family and think that maybe some guys shouldnt have all the luck. Make that a huge lift, but anyone whos betting against the 199th draft pick of 2000 and the owner of six Super Bowl rings clearly hasnt been paying attention.

Post-workout, we go to the beachfront house where Brady is staying with Guerrero, Bonner and Jack, the 12-year-old son he shares with his ex, actress Bridget Moynahan. (Bndchen is in Costa Rica with their two children, nine-year-old Benjamin and seven-year-old Vivian.) Brady can be extremely deliberate when he speaks, often pausing before answering questions because he knows better than most how words can take on whole new meanings in the context-free vortex that is social media. As he grazes on chips and guac and sips water (with TB12 electrolytes, of course), he tells me about the moment he realised that hed spent most of his life thinking about physical fitness and strength training all wrong.

You gotta understand, he says of his early years in the NFL, I was like every other American kid. I believed if you want to get good, you gotta go squat and bench, and its all I ever did. But then he started to feel pain in his right elbow. It was 2006 Brady was already a three-time Super Bowl champion, but his QB rating that season was only 87.9, almost ten points below his career average of 97.7 and he was suffering severe tendinitis because he threw so much and lifted so heavy. The cycle of throw-ice-repeat reached a crisis point he had to take days off from practice. My teammate Willie McGinest said to me, Dude, if you want to keep playing, you gotta go see Alex.

Guerreros background is in traditional Chinese medicine, but Brady was desperate after striking out with mainstream doctors. I had forearm muscles that were like rocks and biceps muscles that were like rocks. I had my biceps pulling this way and my forearm muscle tugging that way, and the tendon was just on fire, he says, tapping his elbow. Guerrero felt the inflamed tendon, Brady says, and said that what were going to do through pliability although we didnt even call it pliability then, because we had to come up with a word for it is effectively lengthen the forearm muscle and lengthen the biceps and triceps through deep-force work. Alex did it one time and I was like, What? The last ten years of my life Ive been in pain, and now, after hes worked on my forearms, biceps and triceps, theres no more pain in my elbow? It clicked for me right away.

Guerrero then treated Bradys shoulder pain (from too much throwing) and groin problem (from too much squatting), and Brady was hooked. A helmet to his knee caused an ACL injury in 2008, and he did all his rehab with Guerrero. At that point, I said, Alex is going to do everything. Alex is going to take care of me. Today, each of Bradys daily sessions with Guerrero begins on a massage table, with deep-force treatment of 20 muscle groups, each for about 20 seconds. Guerrero strokes the muscle rhythmically, and then Brady starts flexing and relaxing the muscle at a faster and faster pace while doing a functional movement.

ERIC RAY DAVIDSON

Then the real 40-minute workout begins. The rub on Brady was always that he had a Division I upper body but the lower body of a scrub (so said his high school coach in a positive piece in The Washington Post) and plodding platypus feet (real nice, high school teammates). Thats why Guerrero focuses on speed, agility and core stability. Most days, Brady does a lot of high-resistance-banded movement drills (squats, push-ups, push presses) along with plenty of lunging, squatting and planking in different directions against the tension of the band. After the workout, its back to the treatment table, though this time there is less force; its to speed recovery by increasing blood flow and flushing lactic acid.

Guerrero believes that as athletes age, their understanding of the game improves but their bodies start to betray them. Ive always thought if wecan figure out a way to make Toms body keep up with his brain, hell be able to play a long time.

Im more of a thinker, obviously, than a physical specimen, says Brady. Its as close to a humblebrag as he will get, yet he does invest time and energy into training his brain to make smarter choices faster. He spends 15 minutes per day using TB12 BrainHQ (developed with Posit Science, a leader in online training for brain plasticity), drilling his brain speed and pattern recognition. That prep, plus film study, plus his well-known memory (he can accurately and vividly recall plays from decades ago), plus 19 years of experience, give Brady special powers at the line of scrimmage. Like Neo in The Matrix stay with me here he can seemingly slow down time in his mind and bend it to his will. He even talks in Neo-isms. There is a comfort in the known, as opposed to being uncomfortable with the unknown, he says. There are not many things that I unknow in football. You call the play. I see the defense; I know what to do. Say theres five guys going on routes. Wherever the defense guards are, Im going to throw it the opposite way. By the time I have the ball in my hands, I know what I want to do with it.

A few days before the trip to the Bahamas, I travelled to the TB12 Sports Therapy Centre at Patriot Place, the mall outside Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Brady and Guerrero opened this facility in 2013. Since then, the team has treated an estimated 3000 people, from a three-year-old who needed help learning to walk to a 95-year-old trying to recover mobility after a fall. The majority of clients fall into two categories: athletes under 20 looking for an edge and 40-somethings looking to maintain their peak, says TB12 CEO John Burns. Its a 560-square-metre space with a central patch of turf dotted with red foam rollers and vibrating spheres, a cluster of cardio machines, a basketball hoop and four treatment rooms on both sides. Theres no clanking of weights, because there are no weights. Instead, there are racks with different-coloured bands designating their resistance. This centre is the proof of concept that inspired the new 930-square-metre flagship TB12 Sports Performance and Recovery Centre in Boston.

What distinguishes TB12 from other gyms is the emphasis on hands-on deep-tissue work as part of every workout. My bodywork coach isfaster. Its a freaky, unfamiliar feeling, but its also invigorating. I feel fully charged. Then I stand and do a series of lower-body and core-stability drills that isolate the weaknesses on my left side. Done regularly over eight weeks, these drills would correct the imbalance and make me a more efficient runner, says Boucher. Its tough, and by the end Im drenched in sweat. Then its another rubdown, but more gentle. Although Im exhausted, I feel exhilarated.

Theres a lazy persons appeal in the structure of the workout. Like many guys, I often skip my warm-ups and cool-downs. With TB12, those elements are baked in. More broadly, TB12 is riding the rising tide of self care, a trend evidenced by the spread of mobility classes, the emergence of gyms like Lymbr and Stretch*d, andthe proliferation of expensive self massage devices such as Theragun and Hyperice Hypervolt. At the new TB12 flagship, clients will be able to do one-on-one sessions with coaches, all of whom train under Guerrero for three months. Plus, there will be group classes that teach self-treatment using foam rollers and your own hands.

ERIC RAY DAVIDSON

Despite his star pupils success, Guerrero has faced criticism from exercise researchers who complain about the lack of scientific evidence behind the TB12 approach. Specifically, experts note that muscle pliability is not a physiologically accurate term and that its unlikely that deep-tissue work lengthens and softens muscles. Guerreros response is to point to Tom Brady, and Brady, for his part, is happy to corroborate. I absolutely know 100 per cent that it works, and thereality is Im just a client who lives by the teachings. He also feels compelled to share his knowledge with others, especially his teammates. Say I see a guy who has a sore hamstring. Ill think, His hip flexors are too tight; his hamstring is too tight. But the guy might say, My hamstring must be weak; I must do more hamstring curls. It crushes me. I freak out. I need this teammate on the field!

Its not necessarily that Guerreros detractors are wrong. There isnt a ton of research to support his claims, but thats mostly because researchers are still figuring out how manual muscle therapy works, and they dont appreciate Guerrero (and, by extension, Brady) getting too far out in front of science. Inventing terminology like pliability and explaining it with pseudoscience drives researchers batshit crazy, saysPat Davidson, a respected exercise physiologist. What Guerrero is doing works. Theres no need to explain why. Davidson has a theory, though: deeptissue work may be effective because the stroking sensations give your brain more information about your body. As a result, your brain feels safer allowing your body to move and it sends greater motor-output signals to your muscles, enabling them to display a greater range of motion, velocity and force. Maybe. Maybe not. But it works okay for Brady.

Perhaps the closest analogy to his mission with the TB12 brand is Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop hey, world, heres a celebrity who is the ideal spokesperson for their own brand, because if it works for them, it can work for you! and just as Paltrow comes with certain baggage, so does Brady. Some people love to hate him, whether theyre jealous or think hes arrogant or both. I present my Goop theory to Brady and he scrunches his face at the comparison. He emphasises that you dont need to be like a cyborg to be healthy and fit; you just have to make more good decisions than bad ones. But I mention that trolls target Paltrow in part because she puts so much stock in the role of choice in health and happiness and wellness. Its easy for her to make good decisions shes Gwyneth Paltrow and that selfassurance can grate on people. No one has to be Tom Brady, he says. I justget to be Tom Brady. You get to be you. Everyone has a choice. But if you want to be good at sports, you have to work hard at it. If you want to be healthy, you have to work at it. But you cant say, I want to be healthy, then eat shitty food and do crappy workouts.

Contrary to popular belief, Brady claims hes not militant about his diet. I have a friend who freaks out if its not the most organic this or that, and Im like, That stress is going to harm you way more than eating that chip is. That said, Brady tends to eat the same healthy foods over and over: berryand-banana smoothies pre-workout; avocado and eggs for breakfast; salads with nuts and fish for lunch; hummus, guacamole or mixed nuts for snacks; and roasted vegetables and chicken for dinner. He rolls his eyes when I ask about his favourite cheat meal. If Im craving bacon, I have a piece. Same with pizza. You should never restrict what you really want. Were humans, here for one life.

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If Brady is mellowing out at all which is debatable its probably because there is nothing like having children to give someone a little perspective. He recalls how after the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 Super Bowl, he walked into the locker room and found his three kids in tears. I had to put my emotions aside so I could deal with their emotions, he recalls. I said, Guys,look, Daddy doesnt always win. That isnt the way life is. You try really hard thats the most important thing. If you gave it your best, you live with the outcome.

Whenever Brady talks about his family, which he does easily and without prompting, he comes to life, waving those long arms and breaking into laughter as he describes how each of his kids delights him. Jack is just like me he holds a lot in. Benny lets it all out. Vivi, she doesnt care. Theyre going to be their own selves, not who you want them to be. Elaborating on the topic, he says: Jack loves sports. He wants to try hard and he never wants to disappoint his dad. That was me. Id wake up early on weekends to do stuff with my dad. Thats why I didnt party a lot. If Dad wanted to golf, I wanted to be there with him. And if I ever missed those things, it would crush me.

When Benny came along, I thought he would be just like Jack. So I was like, Cmon, lets do this. And he was like, Nope. And I was like, What? No, do this! And Gisele kept saying to me, Would you effing understand that your son is different? It was hard for me. I was like, What do you mean? Hes a boy; he should just do all these things that I do. The reality is Benny just likes different things. And its great because now I just have to go do whathe wants to do. When we do that, we have the best time. Hes like, OMG, Dad, youre so funny. He loves joking, and I joke back.

Jack pops in, taking a break from playing Mortal Kombat, and asks a burning question. Dad, is Jumanji 2 almost finished? Brady, who knows Jumanji 2s star, Dwayne Johnson, and DMs him regularly, cracks up. Jack would rather hang out with DJ than me, clearly, as you can see, which I love.

Next up, Brady turns his attention to Bndchen. Gisele is not really into sports, he says. Shes like a kite flying in the sky, and Im kind of tethering her. Sometimes I have to hold on hard. Their backgrounds are in fact very different. Giseles life has been very nontraditional, says Brady. She left home at 14; she lived in Japan at 16 in an era with no cell phones. She lived in New York City at 17 without speaking English. In her mind, there are no boundaries. Why cant you do that? Why do you have to go to school? Why cant you just leave and live in adifferent country? In her reality, you can. Coming from mine, it was very different. This is what you do: you go to elementary school, go to high school, go to college. In her mind, why do you have to do any of those things? And you know what? Shes right. Im the one that had to go, Youre right! And thats helped me grow.

I cant help thinking he might have his kite metaphor backwards. While Brady is watching untold hours of game film and focusing on squeezing out yet another winning season, Bndchen is nurturing and protecting their brood and out earning him some years and showing up on game days to cheer him on. So Brady wants to buck mainstream science and create new training protocols. Why cant you do that? Brady wants to play until hes 45. Why cant you do that? Maybe Brady is the kite and Bndchen is the tether that allows him to soar.

After the morning throwing session, we take a golf buggy to thebeach. Guerrero paces out 30 yards, placing a cone every 10. Naturally, Brady remeasures. Then, back in shoulder pads and helmet and holding a ball in the midday sun (Practice like you play, he says), he starts sprint drills in the sugary sand. Guerrero holds a band around Bradys waist to add resistance and make him drive his feet with greater force so that he can accelerate faster. Jack joins in. Guerrero gives him a ten-yard head start for a 20-yard race. Copy Jack he has good form, Guerrero quips. Hes faster than Daddy already! Other times, Brady drops back while Guerrero rushes at him with boxing pads and jabs his torso before shouting, Go! Then Brady sprints. Im familiar with starting at the bottom and fighting my way to start, he explains. Ive kept that mentality. Ive never felt like, Man, I sure cant get any better. Off Brady sprints. The man with the golden arm and the platypus feet, grunting hard and kicking sand, still chasing perfection.

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Why Tom Brady's Controversial Approach To Fitness Is Changing The Game - Men's Health

DARQ takes its creepy nightmare world and puzzles to Switch – Nintendo Enthusiast

DARQ is a puzzle platformer with creepy visuals somewhat in the mold of Tim Burton that launched for PC back in August. Now, the game is heading to Nintendo Switch, according to a fast, off-hand tweet from developer Unfold Games.

DARQ released to a relatively positive reception, its only major drawback being how reportedly short it is. But while it lasts, it is a literally cerebral experience about main character Lloyd, who is trapped in an endless nightmare. Being in a dream allows him to engage in unorthodox activities, chiefly involving him walking on walls and the ceiling.

Here are all the features of DARQ:

Psychological horror set in a lucid dream, relying on slow build and creepy atmosphere rather than gore and violence. Unique artstyle and detailed environment to explore Sound design by Bjrn Jacobsen, known for his work on such games as Cyberpunk 2077 and Hitman. Puzzles that involve bending the laws of physics (walking on walls and ceilings) , manipulating the dream world (moving things, rotating rooms), collecting and using found objects, and avoiding enemies. Hidden secrets to find (optional, for hardcore players only)

Are you interested in getting DARQ with Unfold Games debut title on Nintendo Switch? Perhaps in the dark? It likely wont arrive in time for Halloween, but you have Resident Evil for that.

[Source/Via]

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DARQ takes its creepy nightmare world and puzzles to Switch - Nintendo Enthusiast

Apple Arcade: New games this week – Polygon

Apples added five more games to Apple Arcade, its new subscription service that launched last month. These five games, including Hidden Layer Games Inmost, are in addition to four other games that dropped on the platform over the weekend.

Published by Chucklefish, Inmost is a spooky-looking story-driven puzzle platformer with three playable characters within one dark, interconnecting story. Players will have to fight their way through an abandoned castle to escape the games pixel-art world. Inmost will launch on Nintendo Switch later in 2019, according to the developer.

A second puzzle platformer, Stela, launched today, too. From Halo Infinite co-developer SkyBox Labs, Stela is described as an atmospheric game about a young woman witnessing the finals days of a mysterious ancient world. Its expected out on Oct. 17 for Xbox One and in 2020 on Steam.

Stainless Games ShockRods, a kill or be killed vehicular arena shooter; Rogue Games Mind Symphony, a music-based shoot-em-up thatll make you feel better; and Efecto Studios Decoherence, an action-strategy robot game, were all released on Oct. 11 on Apple Arcade as well.

For $4.99 a month, Apple Arcade users have unlimited access to games on the service. Players interested in checking Apple Arcade can start playing with a free one-month trial but anyone who kicked off their trial at launch will have theirs ending soon.

Inmost, ShockRods, Mind Symphony, Decoherence, and Stela are all available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and MacOS Catalina.

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Apple Arcade: New games this week - Polygon

Can You Escape The Enemy Submarines? – FiveThirtyEight

Welcome to The Riddler. Every week, I offer up problems related to the things we hold dear around here: math, logic and probability. Two puzzles are presented each week: the Riddler Express for those of you who want something bite-size and the Riddler Classic for those of you in the slow-puzzle movement. Submit a correct answer for either, and you may get a shoutout in next weeks column. If you need a hint or have a favorite puzzle collecting dust in your attic, find me on Twitter.

This weeks Riddler Express was related to me by Sunil Singh, who heard it from Sam Vandervelde, who heard it from well, lets just say this puzzle has been circulating for a while and is ready for prime time!

An auditorium with 200 seats, numbered from 1 to 200, is filled to capacity. A speaker, who happens to be a mathematician, steps up to the podium overlooking the audience and pauses for a moment. You know, she says, Im thinking of a rather large whole number. Every seat number in this auditorium evenly divides my number, except for two of them and those two seats happen to be next to each other.

As youd expect, adjacent seats in the auditorium have consecutive numbers. Which two numbers was the speaker referring to?

Submit your answer

Last year, Riddler Nation tackled a puzzle from Mike Donner about wartime navigation. An enemy submarine determined to sink your ship was exactly halfway between you and your home port. Your ship had no further information about the submarines subsequent movement. The sub had to be directly underneath your ship to sink it, but the sub could track your moves with precision and respond efficiently. How much faster than the sub did your ship have to be to guarantee you could avoid the sub and get home?

It turned out your ship needed to be about 2.33 times faster than the sub. This is demonstrated by the animation below: The expanding pink circle is the region where the sub could be located after a given amount of time, and the blue curve represents your ships course around it.

This week, aware of your mathematical prowess, the enemy has deployed two submarines so that your ship, the submarines and the harbor you seek are evenly spaced along a straight line.

If both subs travel at the same speed, how much faster than the subs does your ship have to be to guarantee that you can avoid them and reach the harbor?

Extra Credit: Suppose there are N submarines evenly spaced between your ship and the harbor. How much faster than the subs must your ship be?

Submit your answer

Congratulations to Ryan Potts of Newnan, Georgia, winner of last weeks Riddler Express.

Last week, you had made it to the final question in Who Wants to Be a Riddler Millionaire? Out of the four choices, A, B, C and D, you were 70 percent sure the answer was B, and the remaining choices looked equally implausible. You decided to use your final lifeline, the 50:50, which left you with two possible answers, one of them correct. Lo and behold, B remained an option! How confident were you then that B was the correct answer?

Once again, there was a fair bit of disagreement across Riddler Nation. Just over half of the more than 800 respondents were 87.5 percent sure that B was the correct answer. Meanwhile, a fifth of respondents were still 70 percent sure that B was the correct answer. The next most popular answers were 90 percent, 80 percent and 84 percent. Despite this disagreement over the exact confidence, I am proud to say that almost all of Riddler Nation recognized that the answer was at least 70 percent. If B remains an option, it cant be less likely to be the correct answer. But how confident should you be still 70 percent, 87.5 percent or something else?

Many readers who said your confidence should remain at 70 percent cited the famous Monty Hall problem as part of their reasoning. In that problems game show, there are three doors and you pick the one you think the prize is behind. Next, the host reveals a door that does not hold a prize. (Importantly, this will never be the door that you initially picked.) You are then asked whether you would like to stick with your door or switch to the remaining unopened door. Your initial probability of picking the right door was 1/3, and no matter which door you picked, the host can always reveal another door that lacks the prize. The probability that your original pick is correct has not changed. If you switch to the remaining door, youll win the prize two-thirds of the time, so switching is your best bet.

But theres a key difference between the Monty Hall problem and last weeks Riddler Express: The answer you were leaning toward, choice B, could very well have been eliminated by the 50:50. In other words, the game shows decision of which two options would be removed was independent of your preference for B. Meanwhile, in the Monty Hall problem, the door you chose was never eliminated from contention. Its a subtle difference, but it has a profound effect on the answer.

Note that this puzzle may also differ slightly from the original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where, according to solver Rob Moran (who was a contestant on the show), the [two] answers remaining in this situation are not the correct answer and a randomly selected wrong answer. They are the correct answer and the most likely incorrect answer.

Solvers Liam Lloyd and Jason Ash both used Bayes Theorem to determine the answer. Thomas McGlynn, meanwhile, invoked a related approach, thinking about 100 parallel universes, where choice B was the correct answer in 70 of them. In these 70 universes, choice B would always remain after the 50:50 because it was the right answer. But what about the other 30 universes? Well, the correct choice would have to remain, while the three incorrect responses (including B) would each survive the 50:50 a third of the time, or in 10 universes each. So, of the 80 universes in which choice B remains after the 50:50, its the correct answer in 70 of them. That means the probability that B is correct is 70/80, or 87.5 percent.

The Monty Hall problem may be a classic, but sometimes it pays to stick with your gut.

Congratulations to Michael Branicky of Lawrence, Kansas, winner of last weeks Riddler Classic.

Last weeks puzzle asked how many people you needed in a room so that there were better-than-even odds that at least three of them had the same birthday.

This was a variation on the classic birthday problem, which asks how many people are needed so that at least two of them have the same birthday. One way to solve this is to first calculate the probability that they all have different birthdays. For example, suppose you had four people lets call them A, B, C and D in a room, lined up against a wall. The probability that Bs birthday is different from As is 364/365, since Bs birthday could be any of the 364 days that are not As birthday. By the same logic, the probability that Cs birthday is different from both As and Bs is 363/365, and the probability that Ds birthday is different from the other three birthdays is 362/365. To find the probability that all four people have different birthdays, we can multiply these probabilities together, giving us (365364363362)/365^4, or about 98.4 percent. That means the other 1.6 percent of the time, at least two of them will have the same birthday. Extending this reasoning to larger groups of people, it turns out that among 23 people, theres a 50.7 percent chance that at least two of them will have the same birthday.

Unfortunately, in going from at least two people with the same birthday to at least three, the math gets a lot thornier. But Riddler Nation was not so easily intimidated. Approaches ranged from generating functions, which have indeed been used to tackle problems like this, to detailed combinatorics. As puzzle submitter Joel Lewis observed and as Hector Pefo has written, one must carefully count all possible cases where there are pairs but not triples of people with the same birthday. In fact, theres a 51.1 percent chance that with 88 people in the room, at least three of them will have the same birthday. Its certainly more than the 23 people from the two-birthday problem but again, paradoxically, its a smaller number than you might expect.

Another way to solve this problem is with brute force and computer simulation. When 87 people were in the room, the chances of at least three people having the same birthday were awfully close to 50 percent, so many solvers had to run millions of simulations to figure out if that probability was just under or just over the mark. Meanwhile, Dogan Kazaklis computer came close to burning a hole through his desk as it cranked out the probability curves for different groups of people and how many had the same birthday:

And theres good news for those of you wondering how many people youd need in a room so you have better-than-even odds that at least four, five, six or more of them have the same birthday: Theres a sequence for that!

Well, arent you lucky? Theres a whole book full of the best puzzles from this column and some never-before-seen head-scratchers. Its called The Riddler, and its in stores now!

Email Zach Wissner-Gross at riddlercolumn@gmail.com.

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Can You Escape The Enemy Submarines? - FiveThirtyEight

2 St. Clair County women to appear on Wheel of Fortune – The Times Herald

Jennifer Hedrick of Algonac and Emily Leach of Ira Township will both be competing on "Wheel of Fortune" this week.(Photo: Carol Kaelson)

Two St. Clair County women will take a spin on Wheel of Fortune this week.

Jennifer Hedrick of Algonac can be seen on WDIV Local 4 at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 14, andEmily Leachof Ira Township can be seen on the show at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, according to a Wheel of Fortune press release.

Hedrick is originally from Shelby Charter Township and is a regional operations coordinator for a marketing agency. Sheenjoys boating, playing soccer and golf, and cheering on the Detroit Lions, according to the press release.

She is married with one child, who was born just a week after her audition to be a contestant and shehas been tuning in toAmericas Gamewith her familyall her life.

Leach is a realtor with one daughter. She is ahugeDetroit Lions fan who loves going on weekend adventures with her family, according to the press release.

Leachalso enjoys tuning in towatch Wheel of Fortune andbeing a contestant is a lifelong dream of hers because she has been watchingit since beforeshe canremember.

After adding be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune to her bucket list, Hedrick took the first step when she attended aWheelmobileevent in Detroit, which is also how Leach began her Wheel of Fortune journey.

The Wheelmobile heads to Detroit this weekend in search of future "Wheel of Fortune" contestants.(Photo: "Wheel of Fortune")

The Wheelmobileis the show'spromotional vehiclewhich gives viewers an up close and personal contestant-like experience. At every Wheelmobile event fans fill out and submit applications upon entry, according to the "Wheel of Fortune" website.

The most promising candidates are invited back to participate in final auditions for the show.

Hedrick and Leach are competing as part of the show's Great Northwest Week, with a set featuring landmarks from the Paramount Theatre in Portland to the Space Needle in Seattle.

The women will be spinning the wheel, calling out consonants and buying vowels to solve hangman-style puzzles and win once-in-a-lifetime vacations and cash prizes.

Hedrick hopes to use her winnings from the show to travel with her family while Leach is incredibly grateful for this amazing opportunity, according to the press release.

Wheel of Fortune is a popular American TV show that has shown over 7,000 episodes. Itairs on local stations, often paired with "Jeopardy!," and is still averagingnearly 10 million viewers, USA Today reported in May.

New to the show this season is the Triple Toss Up Round where three toss up puzzles are played in quick succession.A toss up puzzle is when a blank puzzle is revealed and slowly filled in and all three contestants compete to buzz in first and solve correctly.

Replacing the $3,000 Toss Up Round, the three rapid-fire puzzles of the same category will each be worth $2,000, making the total value of the round $6,000.

Also, to coincide with the 37th season of the show, the minimum cash prize in the bonus round has been raised to $37,000.

Contact BryceAirgoodat (810) 989-6202or bairgood@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter@bairgood123.

Two St. Clair County women will be competing in the popular TV show "Wheel of Fortune" this week.(Photo: Wheel of Fortune)

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2 St. Clair County women to appear on Wheel of Fortune - The Times Herald

College football best of Week 7 — scores, Top 25 games, analysis and highlights – ESPN Australia

Week 7 of the college football schedule arrives as temperatures are falling but the schedule is heating up, including South Carolina's upset of Georgia and the LSU's big win over Florida at Death Valley. The big moments, highlights, news and analysis from the day in college football.

Jump to: Top 25 games | Best of Week 7

No. 1 Alabama 47, No. 24 Texas A&M 28Tua Tagovailoa threw his first interception of the season, but the good news is that he threw four touchdown passes as the Crimson Tide cruised to another SEC victory. Special teams made a big impact with a dominant return game and a touchdown of its own; an important piece to the Tide's championship puzzle. If you want to pick nits -- and Nick Saban certainly likes to -- the Tide have allowed, 23, 31 and 28 points in their three SEC games. Some of those were mop-up time points, but it's something Saban will likely point out to his squad.

The Aggies showed valiant fight, but this team is just not yet at the level to compete with a team as loaded as Alabama. Kellen Mond performed admirably, but he needs help; until Texas A&M can put together something resembling a good running game, it'll be difficult for the Aggies against the SEC's elite. Fortunately for the Aggies, the schedule is much more manageable in the next four weeks; if they can find a way to go 4-0, it would go a long way toward showing that this team is making real progress. -- Sam Khan Jr.

No. 2 Clemson 45, Florida State 14What's wrong with Trevor Lawrence? The answer: nothing. For the past two weeks following a narrow one-point win at North Carolina, Clemson's been answering questions about its sluggish star QB, about its inconsistent offense, about falling from the top spot in the AP poll. The Tigers delivered an emphatic answer on Saturday, demolishing Florida State and reminding fans that, yes, this team is still more than capable of delivering a knockout blow. -- David M. Hale

South Carolina 20, No. 3 Georgia 17 Georgia has no one to blame but itself for Saturday's 20-17 loss to South Carolina in two overtimes. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, who was perfect before Saturday, missed two field goals, including a 42-yarder in the second OT. Quarterback Jake Fromm, who hadn't thrown an interception in the first five games, threw three (one off a receiver's hands and another that was a pick-six) and muffed a snap for a lost fumble. Georgia's offensive playcalling, especially in the final minute of regulation, was also perplexing. The stunning defeat to a 20-point underdog doesn't entirely knock UGA out of the CFP race, but it leaves it absolutely no margin for error the rest of the way. -- Mark Schlabach

No. 5 LSU 42, No. 7 Florida 28

If for some reason you thought the first five games were a mirage and LSU's offense would revert to its old conservative ways against a top-notch defense, think again. Going head-to-head with Florida's top-10 defense, the Tigers couldn't be contained. Joe Burrow and those receivers were -- and are -- too good. Though the defense needs some retooling, LSU's offense will keep the Tigers in any game, including No. 12 Auburn in two weeks and No. 1 Alabama on Nov. 9.

Give Kyle Trask and the Gators' offense credit. A group that wasn't known for putting up points went shot for shot with LSU for the better part of three quarters. Then reality hit, and now the focus has to be what exactly happened on defense. Injuries are one thing, but the secondary was a mess that needs to get sorted out soon with a trip to a suddenly resurgent South Carolina next, followed by the Georgia game, which probably will determine which team reaches the SEC title game. -- Alex Scarborough

No. 6 Oklahoma 34, No. 11 Texas 27The Sooners' defense is no longer a weakness, and could be the missing piece in the team's national title quest. Lincoln Riley's team won the Red River Showdown primarily with defense, consistently pressuring Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and overwhelming the Longhorns offensive line. First-year coordinator Alex Grinch has Oklahoma attacking with different players and from different angles, including linebacker Kenneth Murray who is playing at an All-America level. Oklahoma showed it can win without an A-level Jalen Hurts, who received plenty of help from top receiver CeeDee Lamb (171 yards, three touchdowns) and the defense. The Longhorns might get another shot at dethroning Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship, but they have a lot to improve. They showed fortitude in repeatedly battling back and capitalizing on Hurts' red zone struggles, but seasonlong tackling issues, protection problems and an inconsistent run game proved too much to overcome. Ehlinger is a special player but doesn't have the supporting cast at this point to make a serious CFP push. Texas needs a lot more depth in a lot of places, including both lines and in a secondary that will be tested throughout Big 12 play. -- Adam Rittenberg

No. 8 Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 0At the midway point of the season, the debate over who's the strongest team in college football is only going to heat up. Why not Wisconsin, which looks more dominant by the week and absolutely throttled Michigan State in a 38-0 beatdown on Saturday? And if defense truly wins championships, the Badgers are in great shape there. They've yet to give up more than 15 points in six games and already have four shutouts. Wisconsin visits Illinois next week and then travels to Ohio State on Oct. 26 in a game that will have major College Football Playoff implications. -- Chris Low

No. 9 Notre Dame 30, USC 27The Fighting Irish survived a closer-than-expected victory over rival USC on Saturday night, which might have been the nail in the coffin for Trojans coach Clay Helton. It was Notre Dame's 15th consecutive win at home, its longest streak since winning 19 in a row from 1987 to 1990. Tony Jones Jr. ran for 176 yards in 25 attempts -- his third straight game with 100 yards or more -- and the Irish ran for 308 and averaged 6.6 yards per attempt. If the Irish can survive an Oct. 26 trip to Michigan, they'll be heavy favorites in their final five games. But is there enough meat left on Notre Dame's schedule to impress the CFP selection committee? Georgia's stunning home loss to unranked South Carolina certainly didn't help the Irish. -- Schlabach

No. 10 Penn State 17, No. 17 Iowa 12

Nothing came easy for the Nittany Lions, but they earned a tough road win against a ranked opponent -- an important step toward building some playoff credibility while still revealing they have work to do. PSU hurt itself with eight penalties for 80 yards, and will need more from its offense if it's going to contend for the Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions have another chance to make a statement on Saturday against Michigan.

The Hawkeyes haven't quit, but they've also lost their two biggest games to this point, first against Michigan and now to Penn State. Iowa has played the role of CFP spoiler before, and it still can, as the Hawkeyes travel to Wisconsin on Nov. 9. There won't be an upset, though, if Iowa can't squeeze more out of its offense, which had two turnovers and was held to under 100 rushing yards. -- Heather Dinich

No. 13 Oregon 45, Colorado 3For the Ducks, their Friday rout of Colorado probably felt like it was a long time coming. They've been outstanding on defense all season, but considering the opponent, this was easily the team's most impressive, comprehensive performance of the season. It came at a good time, too, with a trip to Washington next week. The Ducks' official start to the second half of the season might be their toughest game left on the schedule. When they play as well on both sides of the ball as they did against Colorado, though, there might not be a team in the Pac-12 that can beat them. -- Kyle Bonagura

No. 14 Boise State 59, Hawaii 37And then there were two. Boise State and Appalachian State are the only remaining undefeated teams at the Group of 5 level, following Temple's upset of Memphis. The Broncos remain in pole position for a Cotton Bowl bid, but lost quarterback Hank Bachmeier in the first of Saturday's win against Hawaii. It's not yet clear how serious the injury is ahead of next week's trip to BYU. But if Bachmeier can't go, it appears the Broncos will be in capable hands: both backups, Chase Cord and Jaylon Henderson, were effective in relief. -- Bonagura

No. 15 Utah 52, Oregon State 7Even in the wake of their most complete performance of the season, the stench of the Utes' loss to USC still lingers. That's because when Utah plays to the level it did against Oregon State, it is the clear favorite in the Pac-12 South and resembles a team that could wind up firmly inside the national top 10. Instead, the Utes are in a four-team pack in the division. One of those teams, Arizona State, heads to Salt Lake City next week for a matchup between ranked teams. Mathematically, it's not a must-win game for either team, but it comes pretty close. -- Bonagura

No. 16 Michigan 42, Illinois 25The Wolverines were able to get the offense on track against Illinois in the first half, putting up 355 yards. The second half was a different story, though, as the offense stalled in the third quarter and the defense gave up 25 unanswered points. Turnovers continue to be a problem, with two lost fumbles, something that has hampered this team all season. Michigan needed a confidence booster, but the second half showed some flaws in this team that now has to get through Penn State on the road, followed by Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State to finish out this season. If Michigan is going to have a chance to win those games, it'll need the offense to carry its own weight and not rely on the defense to win games. -- Tom VanHaaren

No. 18 Arizona State 38, Washington State 34ASU is still trending up, thanks in large part to the poise of freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels, who helped orchestrate Saturday's comeback win. Though the Sun Devils have earned two impressive road wins, none looms larger than next Saturday's trip to Utah. If ASU is going to make a serious run at the Pac-12 South Division, it has to beat the Utes, and ESPN's FPI gives it just a 22.6% chance to win. -- Dinich

Louisville 62, No. 19 Wake Forest 59The Demon Deacons have been one of the most disciplined teams in college football, playing efficiently on offense while limiting turnovers and penalties to climb into the rankings for the first time in more than a decade. But that stay will be short-lived, as they played their worst game of the season against Louisville with a season-high in turnovers, multiple special-teams errors and breakdowns across the board in their first loss of the season. They were outcoached and outplayed, and as a way to try to regroup, they face a Florida State team that just got blown out at Clemson and desperately needs a win to get closer to bowl eligibility. Wake Forest had trouble containing Louisville's speed, which does not bode well in its matchup against the Seminoles. If there is anything the Demon Deacons can take away from the loss -- they were able to move the ball, especially on the ground. If they can get back to limiting their mistakes, they will give themselves a far better chance to win. -- Andrea Adelson

Miami 17, No. 20 Virginia 9The Cavaliers are going to look back on their loss Friday to Miami with many regrets. They played well enough defensively to win, and they outgained the Hurricanes, too. But their inability to capitalize with touchdowns in the red zone, and their continuing struggles on the offensive line and in the run game, leave serious questions about where Virginia goes moving forward. The Cavaliers scored their fewest points since a miserable 48-7 loss to Navy in the 2017 Military Bowl. Virginia might remain the favorite in the ACC Coastal Division, but without an effective ground attack beyond Bryce Perkins or even an average line performance, it's hard to envision the Cavaliers running the table to the conference title game. What's more, it appears preseason All-America cornerback Bryce Hall is out for the season after injuring his leg, a huge blow to one of the best defenses in the ACC. -- Adelson

No. 22 Baylor 33, Texas Tech 30 While most eyes in the Big 12 are affixed squarely on Oklahoma, there could be another team lurking. Baylor moved to 6-0 on Saturday with a thrilling 33-30 double-overtime victory against Texas Tech on the road, and looking down the Bears' schedule -- even though it gets more difficult -- it's not out of the realm to think they could be 9-0 when they face Oklahoma at home on Nov. 16. Baylor takes on Oklahoma State on the road next week, then West Virginia at home and TCU on the road before the Sooners visit McLane Stadium. It's remarkable how far the Baylor program has come under Matt Rhule after the Bears went 1-11 in his first season in Waco in 2017. -- Low

Temple 30, No. 23 Memphis 28Temple dominated the first quarter against Memphis about as well as any team could hope but led only 13-0. It felt like a red flag, but the Owls got just enough offense -- and a questionable late replay call -- to survive. Memphis' New Year's Six dreams aren't over, but the Tigers might have to now win out, and the schedule doesn't get easier. The AAC's depth helps their strength of schedule but offers more loss opportunities. -- Bill Connelly

No. 25 Cincinnati 38, Houston 23It took a bit, but the roll continued for the Bearcats, who have lit the world afire since losing to Ohio State. A pick-six iced an eventually comfortable win. If Luke Fickell's squad can handle a tricky Tulsa team next week, it'll likely head into mid-November with just the Columbus blemish. And they're looking so good that their New Year's Six bowl case could be pretty convincing even with the loss. -- Connelly

Sleight of handEven Jalen Hurts was impressed when he saw the replay of his behind-the-back maneuver to avoid a sack and complete a pass in Oklahoma's win over Texas.

Quick snapLegendary former Duke coach Steve Spurrier takes a moment to get his grandson to help him take a photo with him on the sideline.

As the Falcon fliesSouth Carolina-Georgia wasn't the only upset Saturday, although Bowling Green's win over Toledo probably won't make too many highlight reels. Nonetheless, the Falcons, 20.5-point underdogs, snapped a nine-game losing streak to their rivals to take back the I-75 trophy (the schools are less than 30 miles apart via the interstate).

Fine football diningThe glorious setting of the Texas-Oklahoma game in the middle of the State Fair of Texas means fans can partake of a whole different type of culinary experience than tailgating usually offers.

Let's check in on a couple of highlights from this year's fair offerings:

This year's Big Tex Choice Award winner for sweet foods, Big Red Chicken Bread is a play on chicken and waffles. It features a homemade donut topped with frosting flavored with Big Red (a Texas/Southern creme soda with a bubble gum-type taste), with a fried chicken wing resting in the middle.

New for 2019, the PB&J Bacon Pickle Dog is made of a large, crunchy dill pickle, rolled in batter and deep fried. It's served on a sweet Hawai'ian hot dog bun, drizzled with peanut butter and topped with bacon jam.

Horns Down watchHorns Down -- taunting Texas by turning its hand sign upside down -- has become a hot-button issue (as chronicled here) for some reason. Sooners coach Lincoln Riley has already said his players won't do it. Oklahoma's spirit squad has reportedly been told not to do it. But they're not the boss of Kyler Murray.

GameDay's Gene Wojciechowski takes a deeper look at the heat behind the issue and talks to Barry Switzer, Sam Ehlinger and more about the disrespectful gesture.

3:30

What began 64 years ago as a tribute to Texas has now become a battle of horns ups and downs between the Longhorns and their foes.

The legend of Death Valley

For College Football 150, Former Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer tells a story from his playing days, giving a little insight into what the current Gators will be up against on Saturday night when they visit LSU.

1:03

Former Florida QB Jesse Palmer recalls how the hostile environment of Death Valley at LSU contributed to his No. 1 Florida Gators losing on the road.

Bigger than lifeFifty-five years after he last played for Illinois, Dick Butkus, a member of the College Football and Pro Halls of Fame whose number 50 was retired by the Illini in 1986, was honored with a 12-foot-tall statue outside Memorial Stadium on Friday.

Butkus, the namesake of the Butkus Award given to the best linebackers in football, found it humbling, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"You wonder, why, man?" he said of getting a statue. "I did what I thought I was supposed to do. ... I had fun knocking the (expletive) out of people."

Samford and sons and dadsSamford offensive lineman George Grimwade surprised his stepfather by changing his last name to Musto -- his stepdad's name. Watch this incredibly sweet story and see the power of how much the last name on a jersey can mean.

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College football best of Week 7 -- scores, Top 25 games, analysis and highlights - ESPN Australia

4 Keywords To Keep An Eye Out For In The Premiere Of Leverage – soompi

Leverage is finally premiering tonight!

Leverage is a remake of the U.S. TNT television series of the same name and follows Lee Tae Joon (Lee Dong Gun), a former insurance investigator turned con man, who gets together with a team of con artists to target the wealthy and corrupt.

Hereare four keywords viewers should focus on to enjoy the drama even more:

Team Leverage consists of five members, including leader Lee Tae Joon, con artist Hwang Soo Kyung (Jeon Hye Bin), thief Go Na Byul (Kim Sae Ron), human weapon Roy Ryu (Kim Kwon), and tech genius Jung Ui Sung (Yeo Hoe Hyun). Each of them have their own stories, and their unique personalities will have the viewers immerse into the drama even more.

The fraudulent schemes in the drama will have everyone on the edge of their seats.Imperfect peoplewill team up to complete the fraudulent acts against seemingly perfect people, and viewers will be able to enjoy adventurous action as well as comical moments. The dramas plot of fraud-savvy characters catching the real criminals who slyly evade the law willprovide viewers with vicarious satisfaction and catharsis.

Director Nam Ki Hoon, Lee Dong Gun, Jeon Hye Bin, Kim Sae Ron, Kim Kwon, and Yeo Hoe Hyun have jointly claimed that the strength of Leverage is that it is delightfully refreshing. Team Leverage will play sophisticated, breathtaking brain games to capture the antagonist. The viewers can look forward to a delightfully refreshing comedy during this process.

During a press conferencefor the drama, Kim Sae Ronshared that Leverage provides lots of spectacular sights. Director Nam Ki Hoon added, It willbe fun to see the characters portrayal of complex emotions as well as their transformations.Above all, his slick production style will show a unique visual beauty that will fully bring out the charms ofa caper story.Expectations are high regarding the first broadcast of Leverage, which will draw viewers attention with its fast-paced scenes.

Leverage premieres on October 13 at 9:30 p.m. KST. Check out the character relationship chart here!

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4 Keywords To Keep An Eye Out For In The Premiere Of Leverage - soompi

How to Win Tic-Tac-Toe: The Strategies You Need to Master – msnNOW

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Tic tac toe is a classic game. It can be played virtually anywhere and on anything, from a bar napkin to a computer screen to a chic wooden set.

However, while the game may appear simple, that is deceptive. How to win tic tac toe requires strategic thinking and planning to win the game or force a draw. To do this, however, there are certain strategies you need to master. Another deceptive game? Rock, paper, scissorhere's how to win every time.

When you're the first one up, there is a simple strategy on how to win tic tac toe: put your 'X' in any corner. This move will pretty much send you to the winner's circle every time, so long as your opponent doesn't put their first 'O' in the center box. This can make it harder to win, but it can happen.

If you're the second to go, it may be harder to win the game. If your opponent takes the center space, counteract that by placing your letter in a corner. If your opponent takes a corner space, take the middle space. This will force a draw in both cases. Winning is almost impossible unless a major mistake is made by your opponent.

But, if your opponent starts on an edge that is not a corner, you can win. There is an exact science on how to win tic tac toe if this is the case: Put your first letter in the center. You can only claim victory if your opponent puts their letter on the other edge. If not, you will have to settle for a draw.

It's actually difficult to win at tic tac toe every time. While the board is small, there are many variables that depend on the opponent's placement. Playing the more advanced game of Scrabble? These 30 words can help you win every time.

Whether you're first up or the second one to go, how to win tic tac toe doesn't depend on your sequence. So, no, it doesn't matter if you're the "X" or the "O," but it does matter where you play your letters.

There is still a possibility of winning the game if the center box has been taken. One way is to simply wait for your opponent to make a mistake and capitalize on that. However, if possible, occupy two opposing corners. This can allow you to win if your opponent places their letter in another corner.

If you're not sure what the next move is, experts point out that symmetry is always the best bet, so when contemplating a move, look for the one that will make the board as symmetrical as possible. Not only will it make your board look nice, but it will also block your opponent from being able to run away with a victory.

While a straight-up win may feel more satisfying, being able to force a draw requires skill and strategy. If your opponent takes the middle square with an "X" or "O, " the next move to ensure a tie is to place your letter in any of the corners. This way, there is no move that will allow them to win.

Need some new mental exercises to keep your brain sharp? Try these 51 brain games.

Related video: Mattel Debuts First Official Braille Deck Of UNO Cards (Provided by CBS Baltimore)

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How to Win Tic-Tac-Toe: The Strategies You Need to Master - msnNOW

Apple Arcade: ‘Dear Reader’ Review – A Word Puzzle Game for Any and Everyone – Touch Arcade

Dear Reader is a game I expected to like. Believe it or not, thats a rarity for me. Im not huge on puzzle games and to be honest, I dont read all that much, either. I found the graphics in the preview both simple and sharp which led to me being interested. I figured that I may as well try it out, and boy am I glad I did.

The game starts out rather simplistic. In short, its about as easy as can be. Youll be introduced to a series of short paragraphs in which youll be selecting words to be switched around to make sense. But the game is bigger than that. Itll go through the entirety of books, poems, and short stories with choices from science to religion to childrens books and more. Youre not just doing puzzles, youre reading excerpts from a story. I found this a brilliant approach because it not only gives you entertainment from the game but also from the story itself.

The game is very relaxed, depending on your selected difficulty, which is perfect for any puzzler. The music in the background doesnt ever take your attention away from the story and the graphics make it feel just like youre reading a real book. The puzzles themselves can range anywhere from easy in which you simply look for spelling mistakes, to medium, for instance having to swap two words around to make sense, and the hardest of things like swapping entire phrases around or removing phrases entirely. There is a huge amount of variety in the game thanks to this system and in my 10 hours or so of playing, Ive only unlocked six of the twenty-four different WordPlay options available and am happy with each and every one.

There are also a good amount of ways to earn Ink, this games currency. You can play one of the harder difficulties, for starters. You can also earn more by completing sets of chapters, though itll earn you only 100 Ink. Theres the option of playing the daily challenges, and theres also just playing normally. Each chapter and book you complete will earn you more than enough Ink to buy another book.

As far as difficulty goes, youve got three options. Theres Relaxed, Page-Turner, and Speed Reader. I found myself gravitating towards Relaxed simply because I found the story much more enjoyable than the challenge of the other two modes. In relaxed, youll have no time pressure at the expense of not earning extra ink at the end of the section compared to the other two modes. Note: Youll still earn ink, just not an added bonus. Page-Turner will offer you a time limit for each page. Youll have to complete it in around 15 seconds per page to not lose any of your 10 ink drops for a +10 ink bonus. Lastly, Speed Reader will be the real challenge. Youll have only ten seconds per page until you start losing ink drops and will earn a hefty +25 ink bonus at the end.

Ink can be spent in the store for books or hints if you find yourself stuck on a chapter. Theres a good variety of books in there that seem to change every week so its doubtful that youll find yourself running out of material soon. Personally, I chose my next book to be 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Im certainly excited to try it out. In fact, I enjoyed completing Pride and Prejudice so much that Im actually planning on picking it up, myself. Thats another big plus in the game you end up enjoying the many snippets so much that youll actually want to buy the book and read it in full!

Daily Challenges offer many of the same puzzles but of a random book in the library. At the end of each one, youll also be tasked with guessing the correct book it is from for extra ink. Daily challenges are another way you might earn yourself some WordPlay options or even find yourself a book you may be interested in, so I definitely advise checking it out.

The final feature in this game Id like to tell you about are notes from the editor. After each chapter, youll receive a small note about what youve just read. These help to illuminate the story more and give us insight into the book that we otherwise would be without in this game. Some are simply rereadings of important parts while others are telling us about the situation as a whole or even celebrating some of the important moments with us. Its a nice little addition that definitely adds value, in my opinion.

Dear Reader hit every tick I had for it. It was always entertaining, the puzzles were fresh and varied, the content was interesting, the features are all helpful. Theres enough options in it for anyone from those that seek challenges to those that just want to read to be satisfied. The game itself took up little battery and can be played for five hours or five minutes. The best part? This is the perfect game to scoop up for your kids as theyll learn not only more about reading and spelling but also writing and story while having fun doing it.

We pride ourselves on delivering quality, long-form articles like this one instead of the SEO-driven click bait that is slowly taking over the internet. Unfortunately, articles like these rarely generate the traffic (and as a result, the ad revenue) of listicles, cheat guides, and other junk.

Please help us continue producing content like this by supporting TouchArcade on Patreon, doing your Amazon shopping by first visiting toucharcade.com/amazon, and/or making one-time contributions via PayPal.

NOTE: Dear Reader is available on mobile exclusively as part of Apple Arcade, a premium gaming subscription service from Apple. Without being a subscriber to Apple Arcade you cannot download and play this game. Apple Arcade is $4.99 per month and does come with a free one month trial, you can learn more about it on Apples official website or by visiting our dedicated Apple Arcade forum.

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Apple Arcade: 'Dear Reader' Review - A Word Puzzle Game for Any and Everyone - Touch Arcade

Why the Dodger blues? Blame greed, fickle fans and hindsight heroes – Los Angeles Times

Baseball can be cruel, and never more so than when a team that won 106 games over six months exits the first round of the playoffs to a second-place team.

By now, the Dodgers heartbreaking loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night has been dissected every which way. Judging by the reaction of our letter writers, apparently everyone knows you just dont let future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw pitch a second inning in relief (too bad no one thought to warn Manager Dave Roberts before he made such an obvious error).

Among the few dozen letters we received were ones that looked off the field for an explanation of Los Angeles October woes. The biggest target of our readers criticism was the Dodgers six-year-long TV blackout for most Southern California fans; a few even trained their sites on the L.A. Times sports punditry.

Roger Schwarz of Los Angeles wonders about God and greed:

Spiritual explanations for sports outcomes arent fashionable, but on Yom Kippur, the Dodgers ownership group got yet another improbable slap in the face. Rational, algorithm-driven explanations no longer suffice to explain this.

Maybe the Ultimate Decider is reminding the company of its greedy broadcast contract that led to what has become a long-term TV blackout of almost all regular season Dodger games for most people in Southern California.

Its time to look for an off-the-field solution.

Culver City resident Lew Aaronson makes a similar point:

My theory as to why the Dodgers were upset by the Nationals: God punished management for economically excluding participation of a certain group of fans by, among other things, charging $25 to park a car at Dodger Stadium and $16 for a beer.

Glendora resident Judy Thompson scolds the boo birds:

Shame on all Dodger fans who booed Kershaw as he walked off the mound after giving up two home runs.

Wouldnt it have been powerfully motivating instead if Dodger fans stood and softly clapped out of respect? It could have helped shine a ray of hope on these players for their final at-bats.

Many people blame Kershaw and Roberts for Wednesdays loss, and rightly so, but add to that all those Dodger fans who mismanaged their support for their team by booing one of their own.

Richard Herczog of Culver City criticizes an L.A. Times sports columnist:

It puzzles me that the Dodgers have not thought to hire Bill Plaschke as their resident hindsight hero.

Somehow he was able to know that pitcher Rich Hill was removed too early from a World Series game last year, and also that both Kershaw and reliever Joe Kelly were left in too long in this weeks playoff finale. So he puts it all on the manager Roberts, despite the anemic hitting after the second inning and despite the fact that Roberts relief staff was again so weak that he was forced to use starting pitchers in that role.

If the Dodgers had listened to Plaschke years ago, they would have traded away some future stars that helped them average more than 100 wins the past three years.

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Why the Dodger blues? Blame greed, fickle fans and hindsight heroes - Los Angeles Times


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