Ray and Blanche sit down with their jug of champagne to play a game of Bubbly. Blanche, as she always does, goes first.
|Blanche surveys the opening state with a smile, and pops bubble S.|
|Now it’s Ray’s turn, and he chooses to pop bubble H. Since it’s impossible to pop H without popping both A and E (which surround H), A and E are popped as a consequence.|
|It is Blanche’s turn again, and her move is to pop bubble T.|
|“You’ve got me—I resign,” says Ray. “If I pop I, you win with N as the last possible move. And if I pop N, you win with I.”
“Don’t worry,” says Blanche. “You never had a chance! I was guaranteed to win, as long as I started with bubbles E, N, or S.”
“Congratulations!” says Ray. “Shall we play again?”
“I would, but it looks like we’re running low on champagne,” Blanche replies. “How about our new friend here sits in for me, and you two start while I get us a remedy for our champagne situation?”
What are your winning starting moves?