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This is a puzzle from the Expert section of my game Fetching Alchemist, visually modified for presentation here. It is a variant of the Travelling Salesman problem where you are trying to complete a set of quests.

The red numbers indicate the distance of each road. You need to find the shortest path that allows you to complete all the quests. Present your answer in the form "ABCDE", where the letters are the places you visit on the path.

Shortest path distance for this puzzle:

58

You complete a quest simply by travelling there with the required items in your inventory (if the quest has required items, indicated by the presence of items left of an arrow under the quest). In this puzzle, gathering ingredients requires no items, brewing potions requires two particular ingredients, and selling requires two particular potions.

The items drawn around places are the reward items for the quests that can be completed there. So for instance you can brew a Potion of Energy at G, H, and J, so long as you have Silkleaf and Dryleaf. You can gather Chrylets at C, I, and K.

If you would obtain an item from completing a quest, you can use it to complete a quest in the same place without travelling again. So for instance, if you already had Silkleaf in your inventory, you could both gather Dryleaf and brew a Potion of Energy in the same "turn" at either H or J.

You always start where the character Lyla is (at the bottom connected to B, C, D, and H). You cannot return to the starting place once you have left. This is because, in the game, returning to the start is how you reset the puzzle.

I will also include two more mechanics that are not relevant to this first puzzle, but I will reference this text for explanation of future puzzles:

  1. You can complete a quest more than once but only once per place.
  2. Quests are completed from top to bottom, and you cannot avoid completing quests. Consequently, completing a higher quest may prevent completing a lower quest.
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    $\begingroup$ This looks like an interesting game. I like the artwork! $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Apr 16 at 13:49
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I found this:

CDJG
Go to C, pick up Chrylets (10)
Go to D (20)
Go to J, pick up Bonnets and Dryleaf, make Farsight (19)
Go to G, pick up Silkleaf, brew Potion, Sell to Jo (9)
Total: 58

If this is right, it took me four tries, so while not trivial, I'm not sure I'd label it as 'Expert' unless that is low on your scale of difficulty. Otherwise maybe I am not understanding the rules. But I can see how the mechanics could make later puzzles much more interesting. Keep up the good work!

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  • $\begingroup$ Good job... I'll put up a more difficult one next. This is the very first puzzle in the Expert section, and the Expert section is only "Expert" in the sense of starting out more difficult that the "Normal" levels, which are very casual to begin with, because the vast majority of players aren't Puzzling Stack Exchange users and it is a new, strange concept for most of them. I just meant to say where you could find this puzzle if you wanted to do it in-game. But yeah I will look for a much more difficult one to put up next. Good job! $\endgroup$ Apr 16 at 22:04

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