The Mount Desert Island Croquet Club Book of Puzzlers
‘What do I do now, with only 45 seconds to make up my mind?’ American Rules 6-wicket croquet has sometimes been called chess on the grass. In truth it does require chess-like strategic analysis as well as the kind of physical coordination skills required of billiards and golf players. Nerves of steel in critical situations help, too.”
“Poor Puccina, the Spinone Italiano on the cover of this book. She is the Mount Desert Island Croquet Club on-court mascot. Her predicament is the familiar predicament in which croquet players so often find themselves: ‘What do I do now, with only 45 seconds to make up my mind?’ American Rules 6-wicket croquet has sometimes been called chess on the grass. In truth it does require chess-like strategic analysis as well as the kind of physical coordination skills required of billiards and golf players. Nerves of steel in critical situations help, too.”
So begins the Mount Desert Island Croquet Club Book of Puzzlers. Thereafter follow 50 croquet situations, complete with four color diagrams, for the croquet player to test and further develop strategic knowledge of the game. There are 25 basic puzzlers and 25 advanced ones, with indexed guides to the strategic principles involved after each section. Members of the Mount Desert Island Croquet Club spent almost a year wrestling with these puzzlers and are now sharing them with the croquet world. If you buy this book and wrestle with these situations yourself, you will be able to recognize them when they come up on the court. Having worked out the answers in advance, you will not be stumped and will be able to astound your opponent(s) and amaze your friends by making the right moves with aplomb. Each puzzler in this book presents the entire situation on a single page, text and diagram. The answers are on the facing page. If you peek in to this book before deciding to buy it, make sure you fold it over and look at the even pages only, so that you will see the questions and not the answers. No cheating!!!! The answers themselves are written in a breezy and colorful style that is not only edifying but entertaining. Every serious croquet player, croquet instructor and croquet wannabee should have this book in his or her library. Every frivolous croquet player should probably have two copies. All croquet players have non-croquet playing friends who say: "Strategy, what strategy? You just hit the balls through the wickets, right?” Buy each of them a copy of this book for Christmas and see what they say then! If you are not a croquet player but happen to somehow have this book in your hands, open it up and try a few puzzlers. Maybe then you will be curious enough to want to learn more about the amazing world of American rules 6-wicket croquet, and this book tells where to go to do this. This is not the croquet you played in childhood.
About the puzzle master: The puzzle master/author of this book is Larry Stettner, founder and president (Imperial Wicket) of the Mount Desert Island Croquet Club. After many years on the croquet circuit he has somehow managed to acquire and maintain a 1.5 handicap. He has a long history of losing games because of not thinking of what to do until too late. He wrote this book in part so that this will not happen to you.
With great sadness we report that Larry, out friend, mentor and fierce opponent on the Croquet Court, passed away in May 2017. He lives on in our hearts and on the pages of this book.
PROFITS TO BENEFIT THE WOODLAWN CROQUET PROGRAM
Sample Puzzler #1
Prologue: It was about 20 minutes into the game on a sparkling bright spring day in Maine. It was black’s turn as it was sitting on the N boundary behind wicket two for wicket three. Red was for wicket three, set up 3 feet in front of the wicket and alive on everything. Yellow was for wicket four, in the SE corner behind wicket four and had no deadness. Black's partner blue was for wicket two and was sitting on the W boundary to the side of its wicket, dead only on partner. Black being dead on blue and knowing that blue was dead on it as well, decided to shoot at red. Black ﬁgured that if it missed it would be safely out of bounds. Lo and behold black hit red, just skinning it. Then black splits red, makes wicket three but goes a little past red after running the hoop and has no rush to wicket four.
The situation facing Black now is:
Blue is still on the W boundary to the side of wicket two, is for wicket two and is dead only on Black.
Red is about 10 feet S of wicket three on a line between wickets three and four, for wicket three and alive on all balls.
Black is about 12 feet S of wicket three. just in front of red, for wicket four and now alive on all balls.
Yellow still sits in the SE comer behind wicket four, for wicket four, and is three- ball live as well.
What should Black do?
Click here to Link to answer - but don't jump too quickly!
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Book of Puzzlers
c/o Don Parker
19 Pine Avenue
Hancock, ME 04604