One of your sister's former friends has gotten herself lost in a storage room in some abandoned building, and you've decided to go capture her and turn her in.

However, when you enter you realize there's a lot of valuable stuff in the storage room, which you'd like to extract. You recall that there was a small map scribbled on the wall, which looked like this:

Maze Map

black squares are moveable racks, grey squares are immoveable

You should be able to lift one rack at a time, but you'll only be half your usual speed until you put it down. Once you pick up a rack the space it was in can be passed through by both you and the fugitive. While you're carrying a rack, you can either drop it off if you're at the entrance or place it where you're standing to block the path

Luckily, it seems the fugitive didn't see the map, as she can only say that she's sitting at a T-junction

The fugitive, from what you've seen of them, seems rather unintelligent, so you feel you can anticipate her behaviour: Specifically, when you move the fugitive will run to the path closest to going directly away from your current position (based on her immediate surrounding when she starts running) and follow the path until she reaches another junction or a dead end. She should be able to pinpoint where you are in the maze based on your footsteps, but you cannot determine where she is, where she started, or how far she travels. She won't move any racks herself. Based on previous experiences, you know that the fugitive can run 50% faster than your full speed, and you also believe they are unlikely to stop or slow down to think. If the fugitive makes it to the exit, she will be able to escape and run away

The fugitive is also rather destructive, so you'd ideally want to remove all of the racks before confronting her. However, if you fully cleared the room then the fugitive could quite easily run away, which isn't something you can allow

Assuming these rules, what strategy will maximize the amount of racks you can remove from the storage room without letting the fugitive escape?

  • $\begingroup$ Can't you just forcibly block the two passages left and right with racks so the fugitive cannot escape, and then go from there? $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2023 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ @newQOpenWid If you block off the entrance then you won't be able to get there to drop anything off $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2023 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ I have an efficient solution, however it relies on being able to predict the fugitive's position with your OmegaGodCalculatorTM. Would that work? $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2023 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ @newQOpenWid I'm not sure what you mean by that $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2023 at 16:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It means, being able to correctly time yourself so that you can make the fugitive go where you want. Consider that in fljx's answer, the fugitive must eventually be restricted to certain loops. If we were to assume that the fugitive is in one of the loops, then we can try to predict where he is I'm not going to deign to respond about the name, though (Even if my 'endgame' failed, I can still remove racks in at least three-quarters of the board without letting the fugitive escape.) $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2023 at 12:55


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