Puzzle Archive


Two friends, Alter and Nate, have a conversation:

Alter: Nate, let’s play a game. I’ll pick an integer between 1 and 10 (inclusive), then you’ll pick an integer between 1 and 10 (inclusive), and then I’ll go again, then you’ll go again, and so on and so forth. We’ll keep adding our numbers together to make a running total. And whoever makes the running total be greater than or equal to 100 loses. You go first.

Nate: That’s not fair! Whenever I pick a number X, you’ll just pick 11-X, and then I’ll always get stuck with 99 and I’ll make the total go greater than 100.

Alter: Ok fine. New rule then, no one can pick a number that would make the sum of that number and the previous number equal to 11. You still go first. Now can we play?

Nate: Um… sure.

Who wins, and what is their strategy?