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Star Trek (Posted on 2005-09-23) Difficulty: 3 of 5
                                    
                  * * * * * 
            * * * * 4 7 7 * * * * 
        * * * 5 4 4 8 3 3 4 6 3 * * * 
      * * 1 4 5 1 1 1 4 5 1 7 1 3 5 * *
    * * 4 9 4 9 6 7 5 5 5 8 7 6 6 8 5 * *
    * 3 7 2 9 8 3 5 6 7 3 9 1 8 7 5 8 5 *
  * * 1 4 7 8 4 2 9 2 7 1 1 8 2 2 7 6 3 * *
  * 7 2 1 8 5 5 3 1 1 3 1 3 3 4 2 8 6 1 3 *
  * 4 2 6 7 2 5 2 4 2 2 5 4 3 2 8 1 7 7 3 *
* * 4 1 6 5 1 1 1 9 1 4 3 4 4 3 1 9 8 2 7 * *
* 4 3 5 2 3 2 2 3 2 4 2 5 3 5 1 1 3 5 5 3 7 *
* 2 7 1 5 1 1 3 1 5 3(3)2 4 2 3 7 7 5 4 2 7 *
* 2 5 2 2 6 1 2 4 4 6 3 4 1 2 1 2 6 5 1 8 8 *
* * 4 3 7 5 1 9 3 4 4 5 2 9 4 1 9 5 7 4 8 * *
  * 4 1 6 7 8 3 4 3 4 1 3 1 2 3 2 3 6 2 4 *
  * 7 3 2 6 1 5 3 9 2 3 2 1 5 7 5 8 9 5 4 *
  * * 1 6 7 3 4 8 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 8 9 4 1 * *
    * 2 5 4 7 8 7 5 6 1 3 5 7 8 7 2 9 3 *
    * * 6 5 6 4 6 7 2 5 2 2 6 3 4 7 4 * *
      * * 2 3 1 2 3 3 3 2 1 3 2 1 1 * *
        * * * 7 4 4 5 7 3 4 4 7 * * *
            * * * * 3 3 4 * * * *
                  * * * * *

Starting from the central cell of this maze (there's a (3) in it), the challenge is to find a path that leads you off the maze, and to a "star" (*).

The number at each cell shows how many steps, in a straight line, you must take. You can travel horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, up or down, left or right.

But! You must reach the first star in the direction you are travelling in an exact number of steps, and not go any further. If you reach a star, and still have some steps "left over", you cannot exit that way.

See The Solution Submitted by pcbouhid    
Rating: 3.6000 (5 votes)

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Solution re: computer solution -- "graphically" displayed | Comment 12 of 27 |
(In reply to computer solution by Charlie)

The 9-character solution, the shortest one found can be expressed as follows.  Again, visited nodes' numbers are prefaced with the time slot (1 more than the step number leading there) at which it is visited, and a directional notation, /, \, ^, v, < or > is placed in the appropriate direction around the original digit to point to the next node on the path:

                                                4    7    7                                              
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
                                 5    4    4    8    3    3    4    6    3                              
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
                       1    4    5    1    1    1    4    5    1    7    1    3    5                    
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
                  4    9    4    9    6    7    5    5    5    8    7    6    6    8   65               
                                                                                       /                
                                                                                                        
             3    7    2    9    8    3    5    6    7    3    9    1    8    7    5    8    5          
                                                                                                        
                                                                               /                        
             1    4    7    8    4    2    9    2    7    1    1    8    2   52    7    6    3          
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
        7    2    1    8    5    5    3    1    1    3    1    3    3    4    2    8    6    1    3     
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
        4    2    6    7    2    5    2    4    2    2    5    4    3    2    8    1    7    7    3     
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
        4    1    6    5    1    1    1    9    1    4    3   74    4    3    1    9    8    2    7     
                                                              /                                         
                                                                                                        
   4    3    5    2    3    2    2    3    2    4    2    5    3    5    1    1    3    5    5    3    7
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
   2    7    1    5    1    1    3    1    5    3   13    2    4    2    3    7    7    5    4    2    7
                                                    /                                                   
                                                 /                                                      
   2    5    2    2    6    1    2    4    4   46    3    4    1    2    1    2    6    5    1    8    8
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
        4    3    7    5    1    9    3   84    4    5    2    9    4    1    9    5    7    4    8     
                                          /                                                             
                                                                                                        
        4    1    6    7    8    3   24    3    4    1    3    1    2    3    2    3    6    2    4     
                                     /                                                                  
                                                                                                        
        7    3    2    6    1    5    3    9    2    3    2    1    5    7    5    8    9    5    4     
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
             1    6    7    3    4    8    1    2    1    2    1    2    2    8    9    4    1          
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
             2    5   94    7    8    7    5    6    1    3    5    7    8    7    2    9    3          
                        \                                                                               
                   /                                                                                    
                 36    5    6    4    6    7    2    5    2    2    6    3    4    7    4               
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
                       2    3    1    2    3    3    3    2    1    3    2    1    1                    
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
                                 7    4    4    5    7    3    4    4    7                              
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                        
                                         100    3    3    4                                             
                                                                                                        

For a wilder ride, the first solution found took 92 steps.  There were 1162 solutions in all that were found.  The bias is toward going to the upper left as that's the first direction tried from any node.  So there are probably more than 1162 long solutions, without that bias.

                                                4    7  707                                              
                                                           \                                            
                                                                                                        
                                 5  264> 284> 448    3 <273  294    6  583                              
                                                v             /          v                              
                                                                                                        
                       1    4   95>   1    1    1    4  105>   1    7    1    3  115                    
                                                                                   v                    
                                                                                                        
                  4  169> 404  189> 476  227  205> 675    5 <158 <177 <216 <196  778  895               
                           /          v   /         /                             /    /                
                                                           /       \                                    
             3  347    2    9  608    3    5    6 <337  573    9  141 <598    7  645    8    5          
                  v               \                                                v                    
                   /                 \         \         \    \                /                        
             1  254  807   38>   4  392  309> 462  527  321  561   48    2  882    7 <316    3          
                       v                            /              /                                    
                                          \      /                 \         \                          
      377>   2    1  498>   5    5    3  381  511    3    1 <503  663    4  132    8    6    1    3     
                                                                                                        
                   /    /            \                /  \      /                 \                     
      414>   2  436  697 <422    5   22  754>   2  552   85  764    3    2    8  121    7  717    3     
                                                                                            /           
                           \                   \                                                        
        4    1    6    5  681    1    1    9  741    4    3  904    4    3    1    9    8    2    7     
                                                              /                                         
        ^                            \          ^          /                      \                     
   4  363    5    2    3    2    2  483    2  454    2  635    3    5    1    1  653    5    5    3    7
                                                                                                        
                                          \         \                                                   
   2  237>   1    5    1    1    3    1  245    3   13    2    4    2    3    7    7    5    4    2    7
                                                                                                        
                 \     ^                         /        ^        \                                    
   2    5    2  352  796    1    2    4 <784  876    3   74    1  622    1    2    6    5    1    8    8
                                                                                                        
                                                ^    ^                  \                               
 930    4    3  537> 815    1    9    3  914  734  545    2    9    4  611    9    5    7    4    8     
                       v                  /                                                             
                                                                   \                                    
        4    1    6    7   58>   3  854    3    4    1    3    1   62    3    2    3    6    2    4     
                                     /                                                                  
                                                         \                                              
        7    3    2    6    1    5    3    9    2    3  722    1    5    7    5    8    9    5    4     
                                                                                                        
                                               \                                                        
             1    6    7    3    4    8    1  842    1    2    1    2    2    8    9    4    1          
                                                                                                        
                      \                                                                                 
             2    5  924    7    8    7    5    6    1    3    5    7    8    7    2    9    3          
                                                                                                        
                   /                            ^                                                       
                866  825>   6    4    6    7  832    5    2    2    6    3    4    7    4               
                                                                                                        
                                                                                   &nb
  Posted by Charlie on 2005-09-24 02:38:19
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