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Here is another Wormeus maze, following a previous puzzle that is yet to go viral. Wormeus has to eat all the apples without dying a horrible squishy death at the hands of the Pink Lady Stickotaur. I believe this maze should be slightly more challenging since there are fewer opportunities to recover from a false step. I also have also specified a move limit (which I believe to be the minimum).

enter image description here

Here is a quick recap of the rules:

  • Wormeus’s actions are: Up, Left, Right, Down, Eat, Delay
  • Stickotaur’s actions are: Up, Left, Right, Down
  • For every action by Wormeus, Stickotaur takes two actions
  • Stickotaur always moves closer to Wormeus if possible, and horizontal moves take precedence over vertical moves.
  • It is not possible for both sides to achieve their win condition simultaneously.

Your task is to eat all the apples in at most 101 moves

101 moves means 101 actions by Wormeus, including delaying. This also implies 100 "double-actions" by Stickotaur (after Wormeus eats the last apple, Stickotaur does not get two extra actions)

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EDIT: Finished product first.

enter image description here

For the logic on how to get there, read on.


Let's start by figuring out the general steps, without taking the action limit into account.

Obviously, we need to start by trapping the Stickotaur by taking a step right. Now we can clean the bottom 5 rows safely. Then, we can eat the apple in the top left (that seems to be the trickiest one, so we eat it right now while we can), and we can just barely escape to r2c2 with the Stickotaur at r1c2. We can then steer the monster to r5c1, and move to the right side. Then, we bring the Stickotaur to r6c4, so we get to the top row, and we get to clean out the top right with the monster at r4c6. Now there's only one apple left at r1c2 (lucky for us, the Stickotaur's starting square doesn't have an apple), and we can just barely get there without getting caught.

Let's name these phases:

  1. step right
  2. initial cleanup
  3. top left corner
  4. steering to r5c1
  5. trapped at r5c1
  6. released
  7. trapped at bottom
  8. top right cleanup
  9. final apple

then, let's label each apple by the phases when it can be eaten.

enter image description here

Seeing that there are a couple of apples with a single one on them, a path with very few useless square visits and no stalling immediately suggests itself:

enter image description here
Phase 0: R (1)
Phase 1: eUeLeLeLeUeReReUeLeLeLeDeDeLeDeURUULeDeU (40)
Phase 2: UeDR (4)
Phase 3: DDDeDeLRLe (10)
Phase 4: RReReReReUL (11)
Phase 5: UDDUL (5)
Phase 6: eLeUUUUeRe (10)
Phase 7: RReDeDeUU (9)
Phase 8: LLLLe (5)

That gives a total of 95 actions. Recount by counting all the moves (61) and adding the number of apples on the grid (34) confirms that we can indeed spend the last 6 actions just chilling and stalling, which is just as well, since the Stickotaur will instantly catch us if we do anything else.

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    $\begingroup$ Wormeus wins, good job! Extra brownie points for good explanations as well as improving on my intended 101 actions :) $\endgroup$ – happystar Apr 2 at 9:16
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    $\begingroup$ In the process of making that animation, Gimp crashed on me twice. The first crash taught me to make saves along the way. The second crash taught me to make saves of both projects, if you are using one project to create the frames and the other to store and animate them. Ouchy. $\endgroup$ – Bass Apr 2 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ But it was worth it!!!! $\endgroup$ – happystar Apr 2 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ I guess one can also make animations "programmatically" like I did in my Flappy Bird cover of the Wintergatan Marble Machine (GIYF). Of course I know your animation isn't programmatic since Wormeus is facing the wrong way after the 53rd action :-) $\endgroup$ – happystar Apr 5 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ You mean the juke? That's definitely intentional. $\endgroup$ – Bass Apr 5 at 6:01

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