Magnetic - Puzzles and Games

Helpful Hints from Tally Ho

The Storm

Nim 2 D

Queens on a Grid

Nim 3 D

Coins

Mancala

Music Puzzle

X-O-X

Map

Draughts (Checkers)

Numbers in a Tin

King Me
(Fitchneal)

Turtle Puzzle

Hexxed!

Gold Balls

Most Boxes

Colours Puzzle

Pinball

Cube Puzzle

Block-It

Anagrams

Cross Words

Dissected Square

Bowling

Sequences

Chess

Tessellation

Pawns

Key-Pad

Links

Dominoes

Paint Cans

After you solve three puzzles and master the games that accompany them, you will find the "Transporter" activated. Move your mouse to the upper-left corner to see your companion appear there. Click, and you are taken to a page that resembles this index. Any games you have mastered are framed, and any other games you have revealed but not mastered are shown without their frames. Any time you wish to repeat the "reward" music and accompanying movie, click on a frame.

 

The Storm

Nim 2 D

 

 

Two-Dimensional "Nim"

If you read the message from your companion, you know that there several (sixteen in all) mind-boggling games created by the companions, and hidden away, or locked behind various puzzles. There is no actual introductory puzzle required to access this first game; it was revealed by the storm. The first game you encounter in the game of Magnetic is based on the ancient game if Nim. As with several other games, the ultimate object is to be the last player to have a turn. In this case, it means being able to remove the last piece. (This is a variation on the traditional game, where the player forced to take the last piece loses.)

The rules are simple: When it is your turn, you may remove one, two, or three pieces. When it is the computer's turn, the same rule applies.

How the controlling device works: If you decide you want to go first, pull the lever toward yourself by clicking on the right edge of the wooden handle and dragging slightly to the right. If you want the computer go first instead, pull the lever toward the playing field by clicking on the left edge of the wooden handle and dragging left.

At your turn, decide how many pieces you should remove, and click on them. When you are satisfied with one or two, click on the handle to make the computer take its turn. If you remove three, the computer automatically takes its turn.

If you have trouble working out the logic of this game, click on the link below to see a description of the technique guaranteed to win every time.

The logic behind a winning game is fairly simple. Since neither you nor the computer can take away more than three pieces, you should plan to make the computer choose from a group of four pieces at its final turn. Since it can't remove everything; but is forced to take at least one, you will be left with one, two or three pieces at your turn, and can win.

But what to do when there are many pieces? Simply count them all, and leave the computer with any multiple of four at its turn. Four, eight, twelve or sixteen will work. Therefore, if you see eight pieces at the start, make the computer go first. If instead, you see ten, go first yourself and take away two, leaving eight. Always finish your turns by leaving multiples of four, and you are guaranteed to win.

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Queens on a Grid

Nim 3 D

To find it: Start at the Beach Bowling scene, and go forward 10, L2, F4, R.

You are faced with a 4 x 4 grid. Clicking on any square places a Queen on that square. The object of this puzzle is to place four queens so that each one occupies a unique row and column. If you place one that coincides with another already in place, it knocks the first one away. Maddening, isn't it?

Actually, the 4 x 4 is not too hard, and it gives you some idea of how to discover a concept that will work with larger grids.

 

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A very similar pattern works for the 6 x 6 grid:

 

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Now for the Biggie:

 

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Three-Dimensional Nim

(Getting to the Two-Dimensional Nim wasn't much of a challenge; it was revealed by a passing storm. Getting in here, however was more of a job. Those Queens are fusssy! The rules of this game are a little different, too. They reflect a different variation on the ancient game. Here is a clip from a Website describing how to play:

First, the counters are divided into several heaps. At your turn you remove as many counters as you wish from one heap. You must remove a minimum of one counter from the heap and may remove the whole heap if you wish.

In our game, we don't have 'heaps' or 'rows' but colors. So, you may remove any or all of the color you select. You may also force the opponent to go first, if you desire. As before, you want to control the removal of the pieces so that you get to take the last one, leaving your opponent with no move.

It helps to establish symmetry. Look for colors that are equal in number, and remove all the pieces of the remaining color. For example, you start with four blue, four gold, and three white. Take away the white ones. Then, after you opponent moves, restore the symmetry so he is left with equal numbers of each color. Keep doing that, and you can win.

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Coins

Mancala

The Coins

To get to the Mancala Game, you must solve another puzzle arranging sixteen coins. Look at the images. They represent a Castle, a Knight on a horse, a Bishop, King, Queen, and a Foot-Soldier (Pawn.) Set them up as a Chess-Board layout.

The trick is to nudge the big coins tightly together, and align the pawns neatly over them. Aren't they beautiful?

How to find it? From the No Fishing/No Pets sign, go forward three times. (to get to the No Fishing sign, start at the Beach Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F8, R, F2, L, F7.)

Mancala, an ancient African Game

Once you solve the coins puzzle, you have access to what is proclaimed to be the oldest game in the world! It is played all over Africa, with various rules.

Some internet links, if you like:

An interesting page of various rules.

Another page: You gotta see this collector's Mancala boards. Amazing!

The rules of this game, if you haven't figured them out, are as follows: The bowls on the bottom belong to you, and the large bowl at the right is your goal. The primary object of the game is to collect more pieces in your goal than the opponent gathers in his.

See the little 4's? that tells you that you are beginning with four pieces in each bowl. When you select one of your bowls, all the pieces in that bowl are picked up and distributed one at a time in the adjacent bowls. If the last piece distributed in a turn lands in the goal, you get another turn. If the last piece distributed in a turn lands in an empty bowl, and if the opponent's bowl opposite that one contains any pieces, you capture those pieces and they all go into your goal, along with the last piece you dropped. Once pieces are in either goal, they are safe and cannot be lost.

When either player completely clears his side, all the pieces belonging to the other player go into the other player's goal. Thus, it would be to your advantage to accumulate many pieces in one of your bowls, and let the opponent clear the other side. Care must be taken to protect your stash, by insuring that the opponent's bowl opposite your full one, is never empty; preventing their capture. You would do this by sending some of your pieces around to the far side at times.

You go first, so it would seem advantageous to select bowl three, since the pieces will be dropped into four, five, six, and the goal, giving you another turn. Here are the first several moves to get you off to a good start: 3, 6, 5, 6, 2. If you need to bail out, and would like to see a complete winning sequence (there are many more ways to win than this) Click Here.

One combination of moves that will get you through this game is this:

3, 6, 5,
6, 2, 2,
6, 5, 6,
2, 2, 5,
1, 2.

Here's another one; a little shorter, but with fewer pieces to your credit.
(A win is still a win!)

3,6,5,
6,1,2,
3,3,2,
1,2,1.

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Music Puzzle

X-O-X

High up on a hill is a box with a lever and five large buttons. Pressing any button results in a musical selection playing. The position of the five pieces is determined when you open the puzzle, and will be different if you re-open it, and what's more, they may be different pieces. There are several more than five to draw from. (To find your way here, start at the Wazzidor Bay sign. Turn left twice, and climb the hill eight steps. Or, from the Beach Bowling, R3, F5, L, F8.)

The object of this puzzle is for you to memorize these five pieces by next Sunday afternoon, when you will play them for an audience of at least 50 people, composed of your friends and family. (Just kidding.) You do, however need to learn enough about these five musical selections to be able to identify them upon hearing them again.

What you do is this: Press the buttons as often as you like, and try to distinguish between them. I know it's an advantage to be musical, but even if you think you have a "tin ear" or call yourself tone deaf, you can do this, it just takes a little understanding. Listen to the tunes, and try to apply your own adjectives to them. Pick out the loudest one, for example, and the softest one. Are any of them "bangy" or "smooth" or "sad" or "jumpy" or whatever quality you can think of? There are only five, and I'm sure you can find a way to do it. Sorry, because it's random, I can't provide a firm answer.

Once you think you can tell them apart, pull the lever. One of the tunes will play, and you must press the button that played that same music when you pressed it before. If you are correct, another tune will play, expecting you to press its button. If you get one wrong, it starts over at the first one. Completing all five opens the next game in the tower atop the hill.

The only way you cannot do this puzzle is if you are truly deaf, and cannot hear the sounds at all. If that is the case, you will have to enlist the help of a hearing person. There is not, to my knowledge, a short-cut or cheat.

Tic-Tac-Toe (XOX)

As you start this game, you will find that you have very little (none, that is) control over where the pieces go. Even if you are good at this game, you will lose at first. That's because "you" are the robot on the left, and your opponent is the robot on the right.

After losing four or five games, the lamp in the belly of your robot will start to glow. Now you can open it, and make some adjustments to the robot's settings. Find the stack of cards. You should spread them out, with the least desirable pattern on the left, and the most desirable pattern on the right.

Now that the robot has been optimized, you should have no trouble getting to eight wins, even if the opponent happens to win one or two along the way.

Arrange the cards in such a way so as to encourage a win and discourage a loss. Lots of arrangements will work just fine. The one pictured here seems to work pretty well.

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Map

Draughts (Checkers

When you see the big White Birch tree against the rocks, find the hotspot to open this image. Once you've seen it, you will be able to play Checkers. To find it: Start at the Beach Bowling scene, and go F8, L.

Checkers (Draughts)

The hot-spot that accesses this game is not available until you have seen the clue pictured above. To find this place, start at the Beach-Bowling location. Turn right seven times, then F2, L, F, L. You see a large rock that takes up most of the right half of the scene, with some scrubby trees in the center and some patchy sun at the left. The spot is at the base of those trees, down in the darkest part of the picture.

Rules of the game: Your pieces are white, the opponent's, red. You can only move diagonally, and you cannot go backward unless you reach the opposite side of the board. If you are adjacent to an opponent's piece, and the space beyond is open, you capture the opponent by jumping over it. If a capturing move is available, you must take it, even if other moves are possible. One side wins by capturing all the other side's pieces. White goes first. This is a scaled-down version of the original game, where the board is 8 x 8 and each player starts with eight pieces.

I have chosen not to elaborate on a series of moves; this is not a particularly difficult game, even though the computer plays it's best, the human player can win. It's a big advantage to have the first move, and the best move on this board is to choose the center piece first.

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Numbers in a Tin

King Me
(Fitchneal)

The preliminary puzzle is one of the toughest, and so it should be. The game that follows is equally difficult. To find it: Start at the Beach Bowling scene, and go F10, L2, F3.

High up on a hillside is a cute little tin box that originally contained some charming photos. Now it contains a brain-busting puzzle wherein you must set up an equation to yield the desired result. There has been some discussion about the rules of sequence, that is, do you add first or multiply first, and where are the parentheses when you need them?

In any case, if you have fiddled with the numbers at all, your companion showed you a very important clue already. It probably came after you accidentally solved one of the eight formulae. He says, "Tricky! He started counting at zero." Also, the picture in the book reveals the settings that will produce zero. It reads: 1 + 4 2 - 3

By the way, you will discover that you can use each numeral only once, and the mathematical operators add, subtract, multiply and divide, only once as well.

I would prefer to write the above expression thus: 1 + (4 2) - 3. The parentheses dictate to do that operation first, so four divided by two is two, then one plus two minus three is zero.

Your job is to find mathematical expressions that equal all eight numbers from zero to seven. Once you have discovered them, you must (accurately!!) insert them in order.

Need a spoiler for the expressions? I will assume you are being a sport, and only want to see one at a time.

Zero - check your companion's book or see above.

One

2 + 3 - 4 1

thiks of it this way:

(2 + 3 - 4) 1 = 1

or 2 + 3 - (4 1) = 1

Two

3 x 2 - 4 1

Picture it thus:

(3 x 2) - (4 1) = 2

Three

1 + 2 x 3 - 4

Remember, multiply first -

1 + (2 x 3) - 4 = 3

Four

4 2 - 1 + 3

or this way:

(4 2) - 1 + 3 = 4

Five

4 + 1 x 3 - 2

Multiply first:

4 + (1 x 3) - 2 = 5

Six

4 x 2 - 3 + 1

or

(4 x 2) - 3 + 1 = 6

1 + 4 x 4 - 3 also works (commutative property)

4 x 2 - 3 + 1

or

(4 x 2) - 3 + 1 = 6

Seven

1 + 4 x 4 - 3 also works (commutative property)

1 + 3 2 x 4

I don't understand why this one works. D'oh!

This is a truly fascinating game I had not encountered before playing Magnetic. It is very old, as are many of the games we encounter here. This one is of Irish origin. Here is an excerpt from a page describing the rules and strategy:

Unlike Chess, or Checkers which are fought by armies from opposite sides of the board, Tafl (Fitchneal) games involve a single king and his defenders in the center of the board surrounded by an army of attackers twice their number. The basic rules are that the defender starts with the king in the very center of the board and defended by his pawns, or guards. The defender wins if the king is able to break the siege by escaping to the edge of the board (or to a corner hole in some variations). The attacking army wins by surrounding the king on four sides to capture him. All of the pieces move any number of spaces left, or right, or up, or down, in the same manner as a rook in Chess. "Pawns" may be captured by trapping them between two of your own pieces.

Magnetic's version of this game is interesting because you can choose to be the attackers or the defenders. It turns out, you are better off defending, because the options allow you a slight edge. Here is the original setup:

Isn't that amazing? There are twice as many attackers as defenders, but the defense has an edge. Some brilliant Viking understood the value of protection.

 

Want to read more? Look here:
http://www.games.hartshorn-dale.org/fitchneal.html

Have Java? You can play the game here:
http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~leif/games/Hnefetafl/fitchneal.html

Another very interesting site:
http://www3.sympatico.ca/imelod/SCA/SCA_game_tafl.htm

Interesting stuff, no? There seems to be some vague connection between this game and Nine Men's Morris (which I consider to be a much more difficult game, only because of it's apparent simplicity and actual variables. N-M-M is Tic-Tac-Toe {XOX} for masochistic grownups, and gets my vote for the most difficult board-game around, given a skilled opponent.) In fact, in the adventure game "Drowned God" the developers actually had to build in a weakening of the opponent, predicated on several losses by the player, or it would have been impossible to surpass.

Anyway, down to business. There are many paths to success in Fitchneal, and it's fun to play. I encourage you to experiment and learn something about the strategy. Click here if you want to see one winning pattern.

Label the colums from left to right: A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I

Label the rows from bottom to top 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9

(It doesn't matter if you label it backwards, the board has four-way symmetry!)

Make these moves:

E3 - C3
E4 - C 4
D5 - D4
F5 - F4
E5 - E3
E3 - D3
C3 - C2
D3 - C3
C2 - B2
C4 - B4
C3 - A3 OR C9

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Turtle Puzzle

To find it: From the No Fishing/No Pets sign, turn left and go forward once. (to get to the No Fishing sign, start at the Beach Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F8, R, F2, L, F7.)

See how the Turtle has three missing scutes on his shell? You have to solve three puzzles to make the missing scutes reappear, and complete the shell. Then you can proceed to the Hexagon game.

Click on the turtle. You will see a pattern develop above the turtle, and another pattern develop above the control-box. Your job is to adjust the control box settings so that its pattern matches the one created by the turtle.

Starting at the left, the first button sets the color. 1=Red, 2=Yellow, 3=Dark Blue, 4=Orange, 5=Green, 6=Purple, 7=White, and 8=Cyan (light blue.)

The second button chooses the basic shape. 1=Octagon, 2=Hexagon, 3=Pentagon, 4=Square, 5=Triangle, 6=Star, and 7=Straight line.

The third button controls the number of repetitions, 1 being the most, and 5 being the least.

The fourth button causes the image to rotate as it renders. 1 is the most to the left, 4 is no twist, and 7 is the most to the right.

I cannot provide an absolute set of answers, because they change from game to game. You will simply have to learn the functions and make the adjustments. It's not hard to do, but just wait 'til you get into the game that follows. Aaarghh.

Hexxed!

To tell the truth, I had trouble coming up with any solid strategy. One player provided the following suggestion, and it seems to give you enough advantage to win.

Place your first piece in the second row, second column from the top. If you label the Orange side A, B, C, D, E, F (left to right) and the Blue side 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (top to bottom) your starting spot is B2. You will notice that the computer most often starts in C2.

Work your way down, trying to keep a double option open as you go. This means you might have to use column C sometimes. Notice at the top, how you have the choice of B1 or A1. Use the same idea as you approach the sixth row, making it so you have two places to go, such as B6 and C6. With the double choice, you can't be blocked.

Thanks "Sillerk," for the advice.

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Gold Balls

Most Boxes

To find it: From the No Fishing/No Pets sign, go forward once and turn left. (to get to the No Fishing sign, start at the Beach Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F8, R, F2, L, F7.)

Click on the rock to begin a randomized puzzle. Observe that when you click on one of the 25 spaces, whether it is glass or gold (empty or full?) it and all it's neighbors change their state. Your goal in this puzzle is to change all the spots to gold. It's pretty easy, once you understand the hints. Look to the lower-right of the screen, and underneath the arrow, is a book containing the following five pages.

What you need to do, is start at the top, working your way downwards to the bottom. Use the second row to change the spots in the first row; and use the third row to fix the second row, and so on. Do this until the first four rows are completed, and you are left with one of the above patterns. Notice that the third and fourth pattern are reversible because they are not symmetrical. See also that the first and second patterns show two places encircled at the top. This means that you may select either one, they both work.

Having identified which pattern you have arrived at, start again at the top row, beginning with the item circled. If you then complete the rows in order from the top down, you will arrive at the bottom with a pattern that allows you to complete the sequence. (The five patterns above cannot be completed by fiddling with the bottom one or two rows, you must establish parity by starting correctly at the top. Each time you finish the pattern, the cavern to your right opens a little more.

Get the Most Boxes

The object of this game is for you to end up owning more boxes than your opponent. There are 25 available squares, so any time you can take thirteen or more, you will win, and whenever your opponent has already taken 13 or more, you will lose.

It begins with some of the line segments in the 5 x 5 grid already selected. If you can find any boxes with three sides already selected, select the fourth and take possession of that box now. If you don't do it, your opponent will. In the beginning, you should avoid selecting a segment that will provide a three-sided box, it's a give-away to your opponent. When a player completes a box, he goes again (and again, and again, as long as there are three-sided boxes available.)

As the game progresses, and "safe" segments beecome harder to find, you will eventually have to provide your opponent with some squares. Examine the layout, and figure out ways to give away the least. If you can find a two-sided square, where providing the third side will allow the opponent to take that box, but not be able to continue with a string of others, that's the best move. Likewise, look at the other strings. If you must choose between giving away three squares or five, obviously it's a better choice to give away the three, and force your opponent to give you the five.

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Colours Puzzle

Pinball

To find this area, start at the Beach-Bowling. Turn R3, F5, R.

The preliminary puzzle to the Pin-Balls is the Wazzidor Bay Lookout color puzzle. Clicking on the Word "Wazzidor" scrambles the colors in the word. It is up to you to arrange the colors according to a clue you found on a small piece of paper elsewhere.  (To find the paper clue, start at the Beach-Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F2, L, F, L2, F3 and look in the fallen tree.)The sequence of colors was randomly selected especially for you, so you must locate that piece of paper in order to solve the puzzle. Hint: Think like Noah's Ark; two-by-two. Solving the puzzle results in the hillside opening to your left.

The paper clue will not change during your game; however if you start a whole new game with a different companion, the order of the colors will be a new selection, and you must locate the clue anew.

Falling Pin-Balls

The object of this game is to accumulate eight balls on your side before the opponent does. Clicking on any one of the four balls at the top causes that ball to tumble through the levers until it either reaches bottom, or lands on a platform. If the next player sends a ball downward so as to trigger the lever where your ball is resting, then both balls will fall. If a player sends a ball down in such a way as to land on top of a ball sitting on a platform, both balls will also fall until one or both reaches bottom, or gets trapped on another platform. If either player at his turn, gets the ball he released, along with all that had been sitting on any platforms, he gets another turn.

 

Notice the symmetry in the levers here. The two in the left column are both to the left, the two middle ones are both left, and the ones in the right column are also the same. Whether they are left or right is unimportant, so long as both levers in each column match. With this configuration, you are guaranteed to win.

Here, you would drop the third ball, causing the middle and right levers to all change. Then, both the second and fourth balls will drop clear through. Since you go first, and you each drop one ball at a time, you get the eighth ball before your opponent.

Now, it's fun to beat the computer starting with any pattern, but it's darned hard, in my opinion. There's a way you can rack up eight wins, but it's not very sporting. If you develop any ability for this game, have at it, and enjoy. If you reach your frustration limit and simply want to trudge through eight boring games.

Since you know how to win when the levers in each column match, you want to always start that way. How to do it? Do not back out of the game using the right mouse button. Instead, go to the top left of the screen, and open the transporter. Transport directly back into the Pinball game through the transporter. This way, you do not lose credit for the games you have won. Keep transporting back in, until you see the pattern where you know you can win. Boring, but it works.

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Cube Puzzle

Block-It

To find it: Start at the Beach Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F5.)

You must assemble seven blocks to create a cube. If you place a cube in the wrong sequence, they all jump back to the starting point. It's a puzzle. C'mon now, you can figure it out. If you just cannot,

To solve the cube, choose the pieces in this order:

Light Blue
Purple
Pink
Dark Blue
Yellow
Orange
Green.

(The first two are reversible; the others must come in order.)

Block-It (Dominoes)

The object of this game is to ensure that you have the final turn, by placing your orange blocks so as to prevent the computer from placing any more. Your blocks are always horizontal, and your opponent's are always vertical. The general strategy is to create and save a horizontal spot for last, while obstructing the opponent so he can't do the same thing to you.

You always go first, so your first position is very important. Experiment with the 3x3 grid. If you start in a corner, you always lose, and if you start in the center row, you always win.

The 4x4 is not so obvious. If you start on any edge, you will lose. Instead, start on an inside block, for example, row 2, column 2. You will be able to beat the opponent this way. Here's a couple of examples with one move to go.

The pattern can take several variations, but the idea remains the same.

Here's some suggestions for the 5x5 grid. Start again in the second row.

The remaining 6, 7, and 8 grids are a struggle to be sure, but apply the knowledge you have learned by getting through the 5 x 5, and you will make it.

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Anagrams

Cross Words

Down on the rocks overlooking the ocean, is a puzzle where you have to solve some six-letter anagrams. You may have found a clue lying around, that indicated two spots on the Anagram puzzle; one that selects a "New Word," and one that executes a "Shuffle." (to find the clue from Beach Bowling, go forward six.)

To find the anagram puzzle: From the No Fishing/No Pets sign, turn right and go forward once. (to get to the No Fishing sign, start at the Beach Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F8, R, F2, L, F7.)

Each time you correctly solve an anagram, the rocks open up slightly more. Click on the red stain at the right side to bring up the next word. Click on the left end of the rock to shuffle. You can use the shuffle feature to rearrange the letters, hoping they will look more familiar and you will be able to come up with the word. You can even use the shuffler after you have partly solved the word. If you bail out, and request a new word without solving the current one, the rocks will close and you must begin again. You must solve six words in a row to open the rocks completely.

If you fail a few times, your companion will give you a big hint - the starting letter never goes beyond "D" in the alphabet.

Here's a way to cheat: Take the six letters to This Internet Site and plug them in. It helps to set the "Maximum Number of Words option, at one.

(This puzzle and it's accompanying game were written assuming the players were English-speakers. Peter is working on a variation for non-English speakers.)

Down on the rocks overlooking the ocean, is a puzzle where you have to solve some six-letter anagrams. You may have found a clue lying around, that indicated two spots on the Anagram puzzle; one that selects a "New Word," and one that executes a "Shuffle." (to find the clue from Beach Bowling, go forward six.)

To find the anagram puzzle: From the No Fishing/No Pets sign, turn right and go forward once. (to get to the No Fishing sign, start at the Beach Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F8, R, F2, L, F7.)

Each time you correctly solve an anagram, the rocks open up slightly more. Click on the red stain at the right side to bring up the next word. Click on the left end of the rock to shuffle. You can use the shuffle feature to rearrange the letters, hoping they will look more familiar and you will be able to come up with the word. You can even use the shuffler after you have partly solved the word. If you bail out, and request a new word without solving the current one, the rocks will close and you must begin again. You must solve six words in a row to open the rocks completely.

If you fail a few times, your companion will give you a big hint - the starting letter never goes beyond "D" in the alphabet.

Here's a way to cheat: Take the six letters to This Internet Site and plug them in. It helps to set the "Maximum Number of Words option, at one.

(This puzzle and it's accompanying game were written assuming the players were English-speakers. Peter is working on a variation for non-English speakers.)

Crossword (Sort of)

This game is a variation of the popular board game Scrabble, except that you only have one letter at a time to place, and the tiles have no point value. You alternate placing letters with the computer-opponent. Your score comes when you create a word. It is a big advantage if you create crossing words, for you get points for both of them.

( I found it frustrating that so many words I tried should be valid words, but received no score because they are not in the lists available to the computer. Peter explained to me that he didn't want the computer to come up with a lot of unusual words.)

All it takes to win is a final score larger than your opponent. You may think, since it is a 5 x 5 board, that once you (or your opponent) gets to 13, the game is over, but not so. Because of the cross-scoring feature, it is possible to reach surprising sums, and it "ain't over 'til it's over!"

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Dissected Square

Bowling

After you solve a puzzle where you fit odd-shaped pieces together to form a square; you will enter a darkened chamber. To find it: Start at the Beach Bowling scene, and go F11, L. Once you solve the square, go into the opening. If you click the mouse button, it turns on a "flashlight" (torch) allowing you to examine a photograph that has apparently been left out in the sun. It has become pretty faded, but there is a faint image, barely visible in one corner, that will enable you to open the next major puzzle.

              The Square                                                            The Hotspot

                                  


See the faint fractal?

Find the Fractal image in the lower left-hand corner of the strangely-colored scene. To help identify the location of the scene, notice the large reflected boulder on the far right, and the cracks in the rock that seem to say "ISA" on the left, above the fractal. To find the correct scene, from the Square puzzle, turn right and go down eleven times; or start at the 2-D Nim game (the first one you encountered) and go down once, and turn right. It's right there!

Bowling on the Beach

How to find the Beach-Bowling? The hot-spot is not active until you have seen the clue that shows you where it is. Solve the Dissected Square. The bowling game is right next to the first game, Two-Dimensional Nim.

As with many other games in Magnetic, the object is for you to take away the last piece. You can choose to go first (the gold ball is yours,) or make the computer go first by clicking on the blue ball. You and the computer can strike one pin directly, or two adjacent pins by bowling between them. You must decide who goes first by examining the pattern of the pins. Let's look at an example:

Remember the Nim game, where you won by leaving the computer with multiples of four? You can use a somewhat similar tactic in this game, except it's not the absolute numbers that matter, it's the symmetry. What that means is, there should be matching groups when it's the computer's turn to go. In the above setup, there are two groups of two (that's good - leave them alone) and a group of three and a group of four. This time, you should go first, and pick a pin from the end of the group of four, changing it into a group of three. It is not the position of the groups that matters, it's the equal numbers.

If the starting setup contains equal groups, make the computer go first. Whatever it does, you will be able to restore the symmetry at your turn.

If all fifteen pins are there at the start, you should go first and remove the center one, leaving seven and seven.

For starters, count the total number of pins visible. If it is an even number, make the computer go first. Then deal with the pattern.

There is another approach you can take, but it's not very sporting. For those who have reached their frustration limit, and simply want to forge through the bowling game, Click Here to see a spoiler.

Don't bother trying this technique until you understand how to handle the symmetry.

If you don't like the pattern you see, you can re-set the pins this way: Do not back away from the puzzle by right-clicking. Instead, go to the transporter at the upper-left, open it, and re-enter the bowling game directly. This way, you will not sacrifice any wins you have already achieved.

Examine the new pattern to determine if it is symmetrical, or if you can make it symmetrical in one move. If this is true, you can proceed to win. If you don't understand the new pattern, or if you know it's a losing proposition, transport in again to see a new pattern.

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Sequences

Chess

To find it: From the Beach Bowling scene. Turn right seven times, then F8, R, F2, L2.)

Pick up the little calculator and watch the sequence of numbers it displays. It gives you five numbers, and expects you to deduce the meaning of the sequence, and provide the sixth number.

1. Integers (6)

2. Odd numbers (11)

3. Even numbers (12)

4. Prime numbers (13)

5. Integers squared (36)

6. Integers doubled (32)

7. Last two numbers added together (8)

 

 

Chess

Those of you who play chess will enjoy this 5 x 5 variation on the original. For those of you who do not, number the board as follows. Below, I will present some winning sequences.

 

Here's a 13-move solution devised by Burpee:

E2 - E3 D4 X E3
D2 X E3 A4 - A3 (*)
B2 X A3 B4 - B3
A2 X B3 C4 X B3
C2 X B3 D5 X E3
A1 - A2 E3 X D1
E1 X D1 B5 - E2
C1 - D2 E2 X D2
D1 X D2 A5 - B5
B3 - B4 C5 - E3
B1 - B3 E5 - D5
D2 X D5 E3 - C5
A3 - A4 CHECKMATE

Here's my own solution; a bit longer with some explanations:

A2-A3 __ B4XA3
B2XA3 __ B5XB1
A1XB1 __ E4-E3
D2XE3 __ D4XE3
D1-B2 __ D5-C3*, At this point your king is in check, and must move to the left to get out of danger.

B1-A1 __ A5-B5
B2-D1 __ C3XD1
E1XD1 __ C4-C3

Sacrificing your knight to capture his. Now for a couple of important moves

D1-D3 __ B5-A5

Here, if the computer has moved its king to the corner, you will be in good shape. If instead it brings the rook forward, it's harder, but still can be done.

D3XC3 __ C5-D4
C1-B2 __ D4XC3
B2XC3* __ A5-B5 This is the key move that allows you to get ahead
C3XE5 __ B5-C4

You will see some variations here, but if his king moves back to his home row, the rest should go as follows.

A1-B2 __ C4-B5
B2-C3 __ B5-C5
E5-D4* __ C5-B5
D4XE3 __ B5-A5
E3-D4 __ A5-B5
E2-E3 __ B5-A5
E3-E4 __ A5-B5
E4-E5** CHECKMATE.

Here's an optional ending for the last four moves:

E3-D4 __ A5-B5
C2-C3 __ B5-A5
E3-D2 __ A5-B5
C3-C4** CHECKMATE

Finally, here is a game that takes only nine moves; providing the computer reacts as described.

C2 - C3 __ B4XC3
D2XC3 __ D4XC3
B1 - C2 __ C3XB2
C1XB2 __ C4 - C3
D1XC3 __ D5XC3
B2XC3 __ C5 - B4
E1 - B1 __ B4XC3
C2XC3 __ B5 - B4
C3XB4 ** CHECKMATE

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Tessellation

Pawns

To get to the Pawns board, you must construct a Tessellation.

To find the Tessellation puzzle, start at the Beach Bowling and turn right five times.

From Merriam Webster:
Tessellation:
a :
MOSAIC

b : a covering of an infinite geometric plane without gaps or overlaps by congruent plane figures of one type or a few types.

Here's one complete element of the repeating pattern:

Eight Pawns:

First of all, Pawns can only move forward. The white ones are yours. If a Pawn is sitting on the first row, it has the option of moving one square or two squares. If it is anywhere else, it can only move one square.

Unlike a Chess game, these Pawns cannot capture one another. They can only block. The object of this game is to take the last move by blocking the opponent so he has no move.

As a general strategy, save your possible double-moves for last because they give you flexibility. Block each opponent's Pawn with single moves whenever possible.

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Key-Pad

Links

Somewhere along the trail, you picked up this crumpled piece of paper.

It is a clue to help you figure out the combination to this keypad on what looks like it used to be an anvient Foman fountain:

To find the clue, start at the Beach Bowling and turn right seven times. Then F9.
To get to the fountain from the clue, go B, R, F2, L, F2, R.
To get to the clue from the fountain, go L, B2, R, B2, L, F.

 

Did you already solve the Numerical Sequences puzzle? If so, you have a pretty good idea how to figure out the correct number. Figure out how the numbers are generated, then come up with the next one in sequence. Here's the answer:

The numbers are generated by multiplying each sucessive one by increasing integers.

One, times two, times three, etc. (You could use your Windows calculator.)

Finally, times 7. The result is:
720 * 7 = 5040

Links

As usual, you want to plan your moves in this game in order to have the last move. Sometimes you get the opportunity to win in one move! What you are looking for, is a path containing an odd number of steps, leading to a dead-end. At times, there is no such path, and you must try to create one as you make your way across the board. The computer is pretty smart, and will always make the best choice. There will be times when you get trapped, and there is nothing you can do about it.

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Dominoes

Paint Cans

To find this puzzle, start at the Beach Bowling and turn right seven times. Then F8, R, F2, L, F2, L. Pull the lever to switch on the power, and turn left.

The object of this puzzle is to remove the blocks in pairs by clicking where like colors meet. Try to plan ahead so that removal of a pair will result in two more similar colors bumping together. The arrangement is random each time you start.

For example, in the above arrangement, see the two orange blocks in the middle? Clicking there will take out the blue-orange and orange-green dominoes. That will allow the purple-red and red-blue ones to abut. Then if you take those two out, the purple-purple and purple-orange ones will meet.

The point is, study the arrangement a little before you start clicking away, and plan it a little.

Twenty-Seven Gallons

The objective is to have the last move. That also means exactly filling the vessel with 27, no more, no less.

The paint-cans are arranged according to capacity. The nearest row of cans are 5 gallons (or pints, or liters, or gills, or flagons, or cups, whatever) - then four, then three, then two, and finally one.

The computer selects a container at random for the first move. Then it is up to you to choose quantities that will lead to you having control over the last two moves. What you should strive for is to fill the container to 21, leaving exactly six remaining. That way, the computer must choose anything from one to five, leaving you in range to fill it on your next move.

As it was in the Nim game, keeping multiples of six in mind gives you an advantage. So, if the opponent puts in four to start with, you should add two, making six.

Oops, it's not quite that simple, if one of the rows of cans happens to be used up and it's the one you need. For example it has gone: 4/2, 3/3, 3/3. Now the total is 18, and you would like to put in three to make 21, but the 3's are all used. You don't want to pour in 4 or 5, then the computer will be able to reach 27 exactly. Try putting in one, and see what happens.