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This is the sixth puzzle in the Wormeus series and the second puzzle involving multiple Stickotaurs and wormhole puns. Wormhole-pairs are indicated with light green lines (note that this was unnecessary in the previous puzzle). As usual, the task is to eat all apples.

enter image description here

Normal Wormeus rules apply. In addition:

(1) After Wormeus has taken an action, the Stickotaur in the same universe as Wormeus takes two actions and all other Stickotaurs stay still.

(2) If Wormeus occupies the same square as a wormhole he can teleport to the corresponding wormhole in a different universe. Teleporting is not mandatory, but it does cost an action.

(3) Wormholes have no effect on Stickotaurs.

The (intended) solution is quite involved so this time I will not impose a move limit. Clarity of expression and/or cool animations(!) is more important than shortest solution. But if you really insist on minimising the move-count then I can’t really stop you 😊 Good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ When using wormhole, which Stickosaur will move? The origin or the destination? $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Jul 29 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ Destination stickotaur will move $\endgroup$
    – happystar
    Jul 29 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ I feel so conflicted: this is (I think) the first time the "do nothing" action is actually useful, and yet I wish it wasn't allowed, the alternative path is so wonderfully silly. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Jul 29 at 18:19
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This one's an absolute gem. Do have a go before reading on.

The solution is long and involved, and I don't have a program handy for fancy animations, so I'll only give the general outlines, with more detail on the critical bits.

Universe A

First things first, we have only one chance of guiding the Pink Lady Stickotaur of Universe A (henceforth called the "A-taur") to the trap at r2c1.

So we start with LL.

Then, since we're not counting moves, the A-verse is free for us to roam, and we eat all the apples in Universe A, except for the first row and the square the A-taur is in.

There's absolutely no way we can eat the apple at the A-taur's trap and then reach the portal afterwards, so it'll be necessary to end our journey in universe A. Keeping that in mind, it's time to enter universe B at this point.

Universe B

And boy, are we in a hurry. As we materialise in universe B, the B-taur is instantly freed from the promising nook it started in. Time to run. UUUR barely saves us, and traps the B-taur at r2c2.

This lets us clear out universe B except for column 1 and the B-taur trap. Those look like a real problem, since there's no way to lure the B-taur, well, basically anywhere without getting caught. But maybe we can use the teleports for that later..

In any case, we'll need to head to universe C at this point. Since the lower teleport is closely guarded, we'll want to poke our smiling head out at the top teleport first, and immediately teleport back to the B-verse.

Now we can re-enter universe C via the lower teleport, and move right to barely survive.

Universe C

While the C-taur is trapped on the top row, we can clean up the C-verse, except for row 1 and column 1. Those will require some superb precision later, since after we go to r4c2 and move the C-taur into another prison by LRRL, we can of course easily clean up column 1, but getting the apples in row 1 would require stepping onto r1c3, which is taboo: it would release the C-taur.

Here's what the multiverse looks like at this point, after the "easy parts":

enter image description here

Since there's nothing else we can do, we'll return to universe B via the lower teleport at this point, and then do

The absolutely brilliant part

Eating the top row apples in universe C would release the C-taur, rendering the universe C shortcut inaccessible for us. But there's absolutely no way we can ever grab the lower left corner apple of Universe B without teleport shenanigans. After racking our wormy brain for quite a while, we finally figure it out: we can to move the C-taur to a better prison! We take the upper teleport back to universe C and PASS. (Yes, stalling for a round is allowed by the rules. If it weren't, we could teleport back-and-forth once for the same effect.)

Now the C-taur is nicely tucked out of the way at r2c4, and we are finally ready to tackle the rest of Universe B.

Universe B, top part

Now we can take the lower teleport back to the B-verse and release the B-taur with LR, and mysteriously vanish into the teleport.

While the B-taur is standing mystified at r4c2, we sneak around to the other teleport through universe C, finally emptying universe C of apples on the way, and when we reappear in universe B, a simple move right will trap the B-taur in the spot it started on. We clean up the apples left in the top three rows or universe B, and then saluting the brilliance of the puzzle creator, we head back to the upper teleport to universe C. The B-taur will be back at its starting spot when we leave.

Universe B, final apple

With the C-taur still neatly trapped at r2c4 (because we managed to figure out the brilliant part), we take the lower teleport back to universe B, and just barely manage to eat the final B-verse apple with LER. We then teleport back to the C-verse, and return through the other teleport. A step right will again trap the B-taur, and we can finally return to the A-verse.

Final Cleanup

After the intense excitement of the other universes, we take a deep breath, go to r2c4, release the A-taur with UDL, bring it to its new jail by DDDLL, after which we can eat the rest of the apples at our leisure.

What a journey!

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    $\begingroup$ Of course it would make a lot of sense (distancewise) to clean up the top rows of universe B on the way back to universe A. I chose this order purely for the better dramatic value and not at all because I entirely overlooked the possibility. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Jul 29 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ Good job! Wormeus wins again! $\endgroup$
    – happystar
    Jul 29 at 22:11

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