4
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And so, Wormeus had a great time, eating every apple in sight, surviving several close calls with the Pink Lady Stickotaurs, respawning after the occasional horribly squishy death, exploring different universes and making a name for himself within the Puzzling Stack Exchange community. After navigating several hundred similar mazes (not shown here), Wormeus had greatly improved his puzzle-solving skills and lived happily ever after … until one fateful day when he entered one wormhole too many and ended up in unfamiliar territory.

(Cue ominous muzak from Hero Wars MMORPG)

Wormeus glanced at the numbers tattooed on himself and all the other worms. Perhaps they were prisoner numbers and he was supposed to help them escape. On second thoughts the other worms were probably not his friends. Those with 4-digit numbers or higher looked particularly menacing.

Relax, deep breaths, think.

“Hang on a minute”, Wormeus thought to himself. “None of the other worms can move. Perhaps I might have a chance after all …” His thoughts were rudely interrupted by a guttural roar from row 1 column 9.

“Ah yes, the infamous Minotaur,” mused Wormeus. “We all know Theseus was a useless coward. Wasn’t even trying. All he ever did was run away. Perhaps this is my chance for glory – oh rot13(shpx) how am I supposed to do this?”

enter image description here

RULES

Normal Wormeus rules apply, but with the Pink Lady Stickotaur replaced with the Minotaur. The strength of Wormeus, the Minotaur and every enemy worm is indicated with a number in the same cell. Extra rules:

  • WORM BATTLE: If Wormeus moves onto the same square as an enemy worm then the weaker worm dies and gives all his strength to the stronger worm. Ties always favour the red worms.

  • BOSS BATTLE: If Wormeus and the Minotaur occupy the same square then the same rules apply and ties favour the Minotaur.

  • EASTER EGG POWER-UP: If Wormeus moves onto the same square as an easter egg his strength increases by X (where X is some value between 1 and 9), even if Wormeus’s original strength does not exceed the value of the easter egg.

  • Enemy worms and easter eggs never move and have no effect on the minotaur.

Rule clarifications:

  • Wormeus needs TWO actions to move onto the same square as an enemy worm and defeat it. After the first action, fighting is mandatory. Wormeus only needs ONE action to move onto the same square as an easter egg and collect the power-up.

  • If Wormeus, the minotaur and an enemy worm all occupy the same square, the WORM BATTLE occurs before the BOSS BATTLE.

  • The Minotaur will always chase Wormeus, even if Wormeus has more strength than the Minotaur.

Your task is to kill the Minotaur in any number of moves. There is no special reward for quickest solution.

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    $\begingroup$ How are the value of the easter eggs decided? $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2021 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ Also, how many times does the minotaur move for ever one of Wormeus' actions? $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2021 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ @BennettBernardoni you already have all information required to deduce the value of easter eggs. Also the link for "Normal Wormeus rules apply" should tell you that the Minotaur takes two actions whenever Wormeus takes one. $\endgroup$
    – happystar
    Aug 15, 2021 at 6:05
  • $\begingroup$ Since the lateral-thinking tag is there, this is easy: hit the first available easter egg a million times: the rules don't say the egg gets used up. If the eggs do get consumed, and they really can have any value from 1 to 9, (say, all eggs could grant ones) I can't see a guaranteed win. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Aug 16, 2021 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ For lateral thinking, I tried concatenating instead of numerically adding, but that doesn't quite have enough time; NSWNSSW has him catch Wormeus with a strength of 312384 $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2021 at 18:02

1 Answer 1

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1, 2(south), egg, 5, 9, 2, 18, 1, 4, egg, 3, 5 more or less directly from point to point, getting Minotaur stuck at (8,5),(7,9) and (4,7).

38, 2, 27, egg(NE), 134, 166, 400, 25, 852 get Minotaur stuck at (5,3) then (8,5), need help from eggs here, get 400 then loop again to get 25.

1111, 9, 7, 544, 8, 3356, 3 now that whole NW corner is opened up.

9, egg, 6183 with moves similar to before.

11982 tough move: get Minotaur at (4,7) and move worm to (5,2)->(4,2)->(3,2)->(3,1) which gets Minotaur stuck at (5,1). Then you can move up to the top left then right two and down one to get the Minotaur stuck behind the NW wall.

23727 you can move (5,8)->(4,8)->(3,8)->(3,7) to get Minotaur out from NW wall and stuck back at (4,7), so you can freely get 23727.

8, 37903, 4 get Minotaur stuck behind the NW wall again, then move worm to (1,5)->(2,5)->(2,4), getting Minotaur now stuck at the north wall. Move worm down and then to the right to (5,7), getting Minotaur stuck at (3,7). Then move down and left, getting Minotaur stuck back at (8,5) in the south to escape.

56260, 8, 7, 3, egg, 4 continuously loop around and get Minotaur stuck at (1,4) in the north then move down and grab each of these one at a time

142857, 285714, 428571, Minotaur to reach a total over 1,000,000 with help of eggs along the way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Jonathan Michala's answer is partially correct (except Wormeus needs to kill the 23727 worm). He only needs to deduce the correct values of Easter eggs :) $\endgroup$
    – happystar
    Aug 17, 2021 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ @happystar Even if the sub-puzzle with the eggs turns out to be the cleverest thing ever, this puzzle would be way better without. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Aug 17, 2021 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass should I edit the puzzle so it becomes solvable even if the Easter Eggs turned out to be all ones? Or should I wait a few weeks and then give hints/answers if nobody solves the sub-puzzle? $\endgroup$
    – happystar
    Aug 18, 2021 at 23:33

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