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(This is part of a series of puzzles written for Timwi for a Secret Santa puzzle exchange, themed around various custom modules for the game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. No KTaNE knowledge is necessary for any of these puzzles except the final meta; each puzzle resolves to a single word or short phrase.)


On The Subject of Marble Tumble

The grid is 7×7. Solve a tilt maze in six moves.

  • Interest found in a large amount of land (7)
  • Golden sun god's heavenly glows (5)
  • Actors' entertaining "a number and a card" game (7)
  • Your target square is more like a penny? (6)
  • Bones are chilled, bottom to top (4)
  • Bent down, I hear, to turn to passageway (4)
  • Scratching head, grab chisel (4)
  • Like some 20s, Brown backed up (3)
  • Parts of crawfish not yet prepared for eating (3)
  • Sandbar found during freefall (4)
  • Hate to have mailed another time (6)
  • Took a chair, grabbing iron before the end of the day for protection (6)
  • Willow, perhaps changing "false" to "true" in one square of a bingo card (4)
  • Private teacher not having alternative word for "king" (3)
  • Characters from network give both coordinates of your starting space (3)
  • US teen reshaped early online forum (6)
  • Facial deformity mostly provides bloodshed (3)
  • The law, amended by primarily yielding to the rich (7)
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Solutions to clues:

ATTRACT    Interest found in a large amount of land (7)
AURAS      Golden sun god's heavenly glows (5)
CANASTA    Actors' entertaining "a number and a card" game (7)
* CENTER * Your target square is more like a penny? (6) <------
DICE       Bones are chilled, bottom to top (4)
DUCT       Bent down, I hear, to turn to passageway (4)
ETCH       Scratching head, grab chisel (4)
NAT   `    Like some 20s, Brown backed up (3)
RAW        Parts of crawfish not yet prepared for eating (3)
REEF       Sandbar found during freefall (4)
RESENT     Hate to have mailed another time (6)
SAFETY     Took a chair, grabbing iron before the end of the day for protection (6)
TREE       Willow, perhaps changing "false" to "true" in one square of a bingo card (4)
TUT        Private teacher not having alternative word for "king" (3)
* TWO *    Characters from network give both coordinates of your starting space (3) <------
USENET     US teen reshaped early online forum (6)
WAR        Facial deformity mostly provides bloodshed (3)
WEALTHY    The law, amended by primarily yielding to the rich (7)

Grid:

D U C T T W O
I S A U R A S
C E N T E R A
E N A R E E F
R E S E N T E
A T T R A C T
W E A L T H Y

With the necessary bars:

enter image description here

At this point I tried two Wrong Things, which I document here for the sake of honesty. First

I treated the puzzle as a marble-maze -- this much turns out to have been correct -- and tried to find a 6-segment path from location (2,2), meaning the S near top left, though the T near bottom left was also a possibility, to the centre, such that the letters along it spell out something useful. I couldn't make that work.

Then

I looked up "marble tumble", found that it's a KTANE thing, and found some very unconvincing words I could make by treating this puzzle as one of those. I won't go into details because, as I say, it was all rather unconvincing.

Thankfully hdsdv is cleverer than I am, and pointed out in comments that

if we go back to the marble-maze idea -- which in fact is stated explicitly in the second sentence of the instructions -- but (1) require that the marble always goes as far as it can in the selected direction and (2) only use the letters it stops at, then we can get from start to end making the word STARTER.

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  • $\begingroup$ The statement "no KTANE knowledge is necessary" is true. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Feb 2 at 21:39
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ For this tilt maze, you tilt in any of the four directions and the ball goes as far in that direction as it can. If you do that here, and rot13(bayl pbafvqre gur yrggref jurer gur onyy fgbcf, lbh pna fbyir vg jvgu QYHEHY, tvivat FGNEGRE) $\endgroup$ – hdsdv Feb 2 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ Ohhhh, I see. I am a moron. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 2 at 22:13

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