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Neil Rashbrook
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Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1172/

Earlier this year when I went to upgrade Fedora, `dnf` had problems resolving dependencies, which I took as my cue to upgrade VirtualBox to the latest-and-greatest version (normally you only get maintenance releases).

It turns out that one of the bug fixes is that VirtualBox can now grab the Super (Windows) key and send it to the guest OS.

Unfortunately I had grown accustomed to using Super+Tab to switch between host windows and Alt+Tab to switch between guest windows.

At the moment I'm experimenting with turning off the Alt+Tab shortcut in Linux and disabling keyboard grabbing in VirtualBox.
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Since completing Auld Lang Syne I have been working my way through the games fairly quickly until I reached Thirteen, which also heavily relies on luck, but eventually I turned up the following deal which was straightforward to complete, as the strategy of trying to match cards from the pyramid as soon as possible always works on this deal, even when there appears to be a choice:

Stock: ♣K♢8♡5♠T♢J♠8♣J♠5♣6♢4♣A♡9♡6♡Q♠3♠T♠7♡J♠A♣Q♢A♠Q♢3♡K
1st row: ♡3♣4♣2♡8♣T♣3♡7
2nd row: ♠4♢7♡2♡4♠K♠9
3rd row: ♢5♣7♣8♡A♢9
4th row: ♢6♠2♢Q♣9
5th row: ♢K♣5♠6
6th row: ♢2♠J
7th row: ♡T
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When I upgraded from Fedora 17 to Fedora 19 over a year ago AisleRiot Solitaire lost my place in its list of games, so I started from the default game and stared working through games as I completed them. Most of the games are quite easy to complete, until you get to Auld Lang Syne, which is mostly down to luck. However I have eventually come across the following deal, although even then it took me a number of tries to find the perfect play:

1st row: ♢7♡J♠5♢Q
2nd row: ♠2♣3♢4♠4
Played: ♠2♣3♠4 (at this point ♢4 loses)
3rd row: ♣2♡2♠3♢J
Played: ♣2♡2♠3♢4♠5
4th row: ♣4♡3♠6♣Q
Played: ♡3♣4♠6♢7
5th row: ♢8♢T♢5♠J
Played: ♢5♢8
6th row: ♣9♡8♣7♡T
Played: ♣9♡T♠J (at this point ♣Q loses)
7th row: ♠T♡6♢6♡9 (at this point ♡6 loses)
Played: ♢6♣7
8th row: ♢9♡4♣8♢2
Played: ♢2♣8(at this point ♡9 loses)♢9♠T
9th row: ♢3♠7♣K♣6
Played: ♢3
10th row: ♡Q♡K♠K♡5
Played: ♡5♣6 (at this point ♡Q loses)
(Not looking hopeful is it!)
11th row: ♣5♠Q♣T♠8
Played: ♠Q♡K♠7♡4♣5♡6(at this point ♡8 loses)♠8♠9♣T
12th row: ♢K♣J♡7
Played: ♡7♣J♡8♠9♢T♡J (2nd reserve now empty!)
Played: ♣Q♢J♢Q (4th reserve now empty!)
Played: ♢K (at this point ♠K loses)♡Q (1st reserve now empty!)
Played: ♠K♣K
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I think James Alexander Gordon was more enthusiastic with the away wins, although Crewe Alexander versus Gillingham wasn't bad.
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The "Thirteen" game from AisleRiot solitaire looks like it's just randomly solvable based on whether you have a lucky deal or not. Because you have a to reveal the 21 face-down cards in the pyramid it seems as if you need to match cards from the pyramid whenever possible, but the deal I just completed shows that this is not always the case. Using the naïve approach I was only able to clear 46 cards, but I found out after trying several redeals that near the beginning where I had a choice of three sevens to match a six with, the correct choice was actually the second card of the Waste, rather than either of the two in the pyramid. At least I was dealt the seven before the six; if the six had been dealt first I probably wouldn't have thought to try to match it with the following seven.
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Aisle Riot's Terrace group are generally reasonably easy; except in General Patience you play the cards in the same order as you build them up, so you often get to free up tableau spaces.

Because General Patience is so difficult it's also worth double-checking the reserve to ensure that it is at least probably possible. (Impossible reserves are also possible in the other variants but less likely and they are quicker to replay anyway.)

The foundations are built up by suit so you only have two choices of foundation to play each card from the reserve. This means you have to look for reverse sequences which make the deal difficult or impossible. For an extreme case, consider a sequence of six-five-four. If the base card is six then you get to play the six immediately, and then once you get to play the first four you can play the five, releasing the second four. If the base card is five this is still straightforward, you will eventually find the five in the stock which will allow you to play the six and then the other five, and then eventually the four. If the base card anything else then the deal is impossible because you cannot retrieve the six without playing a four and five, and you cannot retrieve the five without playing a second four, which unfortunately is the one that the five is covering...
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The "Odessa" game from AisleRiot solitaire often deals you impossible games. So far it hasn't dealt me a game with no legal moves, but it did deal me a game with one legal move.

It also deals hands that are logically impossible. In the hand I was just dealt, the ♣8 was dealt on top of the ♣T, while the ♣9 was dealt on top of the ♣8. Now the potential moves for the ♣8 and ♣9 are a) exposed ♣8 to ♣7 on foundation b) ♣8 to exposed ♣9 on a different pile c) exposed ♣9 to ♣8 on foundation d) ♣9 to exposed ♣T on a different pile. a) is impossible because exposing the ♣8 requires moving the ♣9. b) is impossible because the ♣9 is on the same pile. c) is impossible because it requires moving the ♣8 to the foundation. d) is impossible because it requires moving the ♣8. So the position is deadlocked.
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The "Hopscotch" game from AisleRiot solitaire is conceptually easy - the first pile must be built up in numerical order (J=11, Q=12, K=13), the second pile is even numbers then odd numbers, and so on for the third and fourth piles. Unfortunately the play is very limiting - if you can't immediately play from the stock to a foundation you can move it to one of the four tableau spaces first, but from there it can only be moved to a foundation. The four Kings are the last to be played, so the game's help advises to keep one tableau pile aside for them, but even so, my best plan was to have a second tableau pile as a dumping ground for unwanted cards and then the other two I tried to build down so that I could play off a number of cards when a card with the appropriate value turned up. Generally this plan worked poorly.

I was therefore delighted to stumble across this successful game. I was encouraged when all four Kings turned up after 18 cards. Not only did I only play Kings on the 4th tableau but I always moved tableau cards to the foundation that I had just dealt to (normally you may end up exposing tableau cards that belong on a different foundation).

Tip: Avoid playing a card on the tableau that covers a card of value 4 lower. In particular playing 9 on 5 is a bad idea, as you can only get rid of the 9 if a) the third foundation still has its original 3 and you are waiting for a 6 b) the second foundation has a 5 and you are waiting for a 7 c) the first foundation has a 5, 6 or 7.

Deal ♢6 to 3rd foundation
Deal ♢A to 1st tableau
Deal ♡K to 4th tableau
Deal ♠6 to 1st tableau
Deal ♣J to 2nd tableau
Deal ♢2♡3 to 1st foundation
Deal ♣6 to 1st tableau
Deal ♡8 to 4th foundation
Deal ♣K to 4th tableau
Deal ♡6 to 1st tableau
Deal ♢7 to 2nd tableau
Deal ♢K to 4th tableau
Deal ♠A to 3rd tableau
Deal ♡4, move ♡6 to 2nd foundation
Deal ♢T to 3rd tableau
Deal ♠3 to 2nd tableau
Deal ♠K to 4th tableau
Deal ♢Q, move ♠3♢7♣J to 4th foundation
Deal ♠5♡T♣T to 2nd tableau
Deal ♢5 to 1st tableau
Deal ♠8, move ♢T to 2nd foundation
Deal ♢8♣8 to 3rd tableau
Deal ♡Q to 2nd foundation
Deal ♠Q to 3rd tableau
Deal ♢J to 2nd tableau
Deal ♠9, move ♠Q to 3rd foundation
Deal ♢4, move ♢5♣6 to 1st foundation
Deal ♣5 to 1st tableau
Deal ♣7, move ♣8 to 1st foundation
Deal ♠2, move ♣5♢8♢J♠A to 3rd foundation
Deal ♡2, move ♠6♣T♢A to 4th foundation
Deal ♡9, move ♡T to 1st foundation
Deal ♡7 to 2nd tableau
Deal ♠T to 1st tableau
Deal ♣9 to 3rd tableau
Deal ♠4, move ♡7♠T♠K to 3rd foundation
Deal ♣Q to 1st tableau
Deal ♡J, move ♣Q♢K to 1st foundation
Deal ♢3 to 1st tableau
Deal ♡A, move ♢3♠5 to 2nd foundation
Deal ♡5, move ♣9♣K to 4th foundation
Deal ♠7♢9♠J, move ♡K to 2nd foundation
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The "Golf" game from AisleRiot solitaire was a tricky one. Consider this deal:

♠2♠K♡J♠Q♣T
♢5♣5♢8♠A♢2
♢7♠T♠6♡K♣K
♣6♢Q♡7♢T♣A
♠J♢K♡2♢4♣Q
♡8♣8♠9♢A♡3
♣9♢J♠5♡6♠7

The only way to remove a King from the tableau is to play or deal a Queen first, and two of my Queens were themselves beneath Kings, so it was important to unbury them, but also to retain chains of lower cards to run up to the King. (A similar problem exists with Aces and Deuces but you can at least play another Deuce after the Ace.)

However I was fortunate as I was able to play three Ten-Jack-Queen-King "combos", and indeed clear the tableau before the end of the stock:
♠8:♣9♡8♢7♣6♢5
♣3:♠2
♣J:♠T♠J♢Q♠K
♢6:♣5♠6♡7♣8♠9♢T♡J♠Q♢K
♣4
♢9
♡4
♡Q:♡K
♣7:♢8
♠3:♡2♠A♢2♢A
♡5:♢4♡3
♡9:♣T♢J♣Q♣K
♡T
♡A
♠4:♠5♡6♠7
♣2:♣A
(♢3 not dealt as I had won)

The important play here was not to play the ♢J too early.
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(Someone forgot to italicise "staff"...)
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