Spent most of my life out at sea
I've crossed a shark or two – or three
Stayed calm – a skipper brave and tough
Yet one of them did call my bluff
Gorged on my leg with glee

Not yet fully recovered me
Got dropped off by my crew at B
The lady waits for me at A
Please tell me what's the shortest way?
I've got this limp you see

The currents, tides – right now, it's ebb
And I – with my unequal step
Would love to beat upcoming flow
Pass beach and lawn – after shallow


What is it that I will take home
After my long and perilous roam?

  • $\begingroup$ You might want to put the red box at the bottom, so that "the below" only refers to that text. $\endgroup$ – Acccumulation May 1 '18 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Acccumulation – ah yes, of course, done, thanks :) $\endgroup$ – OnlyF May 1 '18 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ What is the best way to edit this picture? $\endgroup$ – Sam Harrington Jun 7 '18 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ so @OnlyF, what is the answer to this puzzle? Can you please comment the answers of Johnie and Mike below? Are they correct? $\endgroup$ – Oleg Jun 10 '18 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Oleg, Johhny's is not right due to the comment OnlyF posted on ferret's answer, which is that hopping over obstacles is not allowed. But, I would like to get an ruling on Mike's answer and perhaps another clue. However, as no one has decoded the last line of the riddle, I am fairly confident that none of the existing answers are correct. $\endgroup$ – cpcodes Jun 11 '18 at 20:04

Here is a solution in 24 steps if you can only go to a directly adjacent tile.

The is the shortest path, since you must make 12 steps to the east and 12 steps to the north.
enter image description here

And here is one solution in 15 steps (there are others) if you can also go diagonally.

enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There are three path splits (one in shallow, one on beach, one on lawn) that will lead to 3 more equally short non-diagonal paths. $\endgroup$ – kayzeroshort Apr 20 '18 at 21:42

I think some of the words are hinting that

Each move, you hop over one square. “Skipper”, “limp”, and “unequal step”

So in that case the shortest route, which

Sticks to shallows, beach, and lawn

Is (sorry, on my phone so I can’t make a graphic)

12 hops. Up x 4, right x 5, and then there are a few alternative paths: 1) right, up, up 2) up, right, up, and 3) up, up, right.

I suppose

The number sequence will tell us which of the 3 paths to take but I’m not sure what it means

  • $\begingroup$ Oh yes, picking up on some hints there, another step in the right direction hasn't yet lead you to using the right step, there's no skipping over stuff, not very mobile at the moment.. $\endgroup$ – OnlyF May 1 '18 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ What kind of crappy phone do you have that doesn't have a full version of Photoshop on it? :) $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 2 '18 at 0:00

It is clear from the various comments and the bounty that we are missing the correct step size. I believe the correct step size is:

The quay. That is, a move in the shape of the quay on the map. This is equivalent to a long knight's move, 1 horizontal and 3 vertical or 1 vertical and 3 horizontal.

My reasoning is as follows:

1. The quay is never mentioned anywhere in the poem or elsewhere and is superfluous to the puzzle as it could simply be replaced with deep water if it were intended to be impassable. 2. The phrase in the poem “my unequal step" contains the letters necessary to produce "quay". This is tenuous but the question bears the anagram tag. Perhaps there is a larger anagram I am missing. 3. The quay could be considered an unequal step.

My attempts to use this step thus far:

Have been unsuccessful. Presumably we are looking for a step that provides a unique shortest path which will be used to decipher the rest of the puzzle. There are a couple ways in which the quay step could be interpreted. If we are not permitted to jump over deep water then we cannot progress after the third step. If we can jump over deep water, rocks, and hedges then there are multiple solutions that each require 8 steps.

An alternative and more complex step:

Perhaps we are intended to use two unequal steps, a quay and something else. The simplest would be a single adjacent move. I suppose this would resemble a limp by alternating small and large steps. It’s not obvious which step we should begin with, but I believe there is a uniquely shortest path starting with the small step as depicted below. Black dots indicate the position after the short step and red dots the position after the quay step: Limping quay path

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ That "quay" is pronounced "key" also lends creedence to it being significant to solving the puzzle. Good catch! $\endgroup$ – cpcodes Jun 2 '18 at 1:29

Assuming that this pirate has been


and can ride

Seahorses :)

The solution might be achieved in 14 steps, thusly:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for giving this a try, not using a regular step is a step in the right direction, but I don't think there's anything clueing knighting and seahorses in the riddle, and no lateral-thinking tag.. $\endgroup$ – OnlyF Apr 30 '18 at 19:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Before I saw this answer, I was going to say that he moves light a knight because he's a "skipper" (jump two blocks) with an "unequal step" (stumbles one block to the side) $\endgroup$ – Paul Parker May 1 '18 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @PaulParker – On the right track there, keep thinking along those lines and add some more hinting to the mix.. $\endgroup$ – OnlyF May 2 '18 at 5:26

I think that the rules for moving are:

Alternate between taking steps of length 1 and steps of length 2 ("unequal step", "limp", etc.); that is, on the first go, take a step to an adjacent cell, and on the next turn, step to a cell that is two away in a cardinal direction
It's possible to go from B to A using this rule and only using shallow, beach, and lawn. Here is one possible route; it uses some backtracking so there might be a shorter route.
enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This is one of the many things I tried. You can actually do it in only $23$ steps ($5$ shorter than yours), but the solution is not unique. $\endgroup$ – noedne May 31 '18 at 15:43

I think the hint assume :

the part where it say "Yet one of them did call my bluff Gorged on my leg with glee" i assume it mean he have a fake legt then he must >!be walking strangely. most likely 1 small step (1 square) then 1 normal step >!(2 square) or vice versa and alternating.

So the answer must be :

The answer


Second edit: The first part of this post is the original post and the first (humorous) edit. My answer lies with the (rest of) second edit at the end.

If the idea of alternating 1-square and 2-square steps is right, then i think the shortest path (23 steps) is as follows. enter image description here Also, if walking on the quay is allowed then the shortest path (19 steps) is as follows. enter image description here There is some back and forth, but i hope its clear, 1-square steps with red, 2-square with black.


Also the question "what will i be taking home" remains unanswered, unless it is 100 rep, or a headache, or something like that.

Second edit:

Assuming that we have to be stepping on an allowed square, but can hop over others, AND that we have to alternate between 1 and 2 square steps, then the answer can be in 16 steps as follows, enter image description here
In this case, that which i will be taking home is the stairs!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree that $23$ is minimal, but the path is not unique. $\endgroup$ – noedne Jun 1 '18 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ I cannot type it without a spoiler, but at move 8 if you change direction there is an alternate path indeed. $\endgroup$ – Johnnie Jun 1 '18 at 23:01

I see many ways to move if we consider him as a knight, i.e uncommon movement, so if we look at it this way and believe we can only move on shallows, beach and lawn, we can take the following paths, both in 16 steps. []



  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! Your answer seems to be a longer version to this answer. The OP basically said that it is not a knight movement. Don't forget to take the tour for a badge! $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jun 5 '18 at 15:10

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