Neat Maze Solution [✏ Can you do it? (Another Maze)] and (I think) fan mail!


I recently received an email containing a solution to one of my mazes, along with a what I’ll interpret as a fan-letter and some constructive criticism.  Check out the incredibly detailed solution & the message below:

✏ Can you do it? (Another Maze) SOLUTION

✏ Can you do it? (Another Maze) SOLUTION

And the accompanying email:

From: Rick Jaspers
Date: Mon, Jun 25, 2012
Subject:
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Hi, I saw a post in which you asked people to solve a maze, and send the solution to you, but I just can’t seem to find the post now. Oh well, here is my solution.

It was a great maze! Your style of utilizing tight squiggly paths and many dead ends made it a real challenge to solve. I enjoyed the complexity and design of this wonderful maze.

I did find a couple issues that I should bring to your attention. I hesitate to say anything because I fear it could be taken in the wrong spirit. But I assure you that even though we don’t know each other, I wish you every success with your mazes. The things I found are very minor, and things I have done many times myself, and not caught until much later. Furthermore none of these issues keep this from being a very good maze.

With that said, this is what I found (refer to the attachment for a visual):

The areas marked in red are closed off from the rest of the maze so the solver is not able to get into them from the starting line. This is an easy fix, open up an end in each of these areas, and you have created additional dead end to frustrate the solver.

The second thing is the three loops marked with green dotted lines. Some maze designers use loops, others do not. Personally, I don’t like using loops except in certain specialized mazes. As the designer, you get to chose the rules you apply to your designs. Since you only have a small amount of loops, I am thinking that they were not intentional. Again, if you did not mean to include loops, they are easy to fix. Closing off one end makes yet more dead ends. Having loops along the solution route adds a further complication of having alternate paths which lead to the end, and these other ways to get to the finish must be shown when you provide solutions.

If you can bare one more suggestion, here it is. As you make the last turn for the finish line, the trail forks off into three paths. When solvers are so close to the finish, they can see which path is the right one. I would recommend closing off the two false paths at this point, and finding another place to open them up, so you create two more dead ends right at the finish.

These are all minor things, but I hope they help. I don’t see myself as an expert maze designer. Many of my mazes are poorly designed. I lack a mathematical sense, which can be very helpful in designing mazes. Also I have a really horrible sense of direction, seriously. I am constantly getting lost when I go places. But I enjoy making mazes, so I do it.

I sincerely hope you can find a way for more people to enjoy your fine mazes.

Rick Jaspers

So, I wrote back…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 26, 2012
Subject: Re:
To: Rick Jaspers

Wow Rick!

Thanks for taking the time to complete the maze & for all the pointers!  How did you find me?

I should be able to look through them to find the one that this matches without a problem.

I don’t know if I really “design” mazes, I kind of just draw them.  I do appreciate your advice though… it would be easier to complete without the loops, and more challenging without the areas that are closed off.

Do you have any of your mazes up online anywhere?

Would you mind if I posted your email in a blog along with your solution?

Thanks for writing!
-Eric
aixelsyd13.wordpress.com

Permission granted:

From: Rick Jaspers
Date: Wed, Jun 27, 2012
Subject: RE: Maze Solution
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Hey Eric,

I enjoyed doing your maze, so no problem. Much more challenging than any of mine.

Originally, I found your site when I did a WordPress Topics Search for “Mazes”, and was able to get a hold of you because your e-mail was listed on your About page.

I do not have any mazes on-line. I no longer own the rights to the 33 in the published book. All of the other mazes I have done are part of unpublished or unfinished books. I guess I don’t like the idea of putting mazes on-line that I am trying to get into print.

You are welcome to do whatever you wish with the solution I made, and if you want to include my e-mail, that is fine also.

Rick

That’s pretty cool!  Rick had to take some serious time solving the maze & doing his photo-editing work in the solution.  This encourages me that there are more people out there who dig mazes, & we all may benefit from me getting a book published.  Maybe I can put more though into my mazes, instead of just doodling.  I certainly could use more money to buy goofy guitars.

Maze Solution! Peculiarly Perplexing Path


We have another maze solution!  This one is from Jennifer B, she said her son worked through the Peculiarly Perplexing Path in a half hour.  I hope the family is able to roll through some more of my mazes, and glad you’re having fun with this one!

From: Jennifer B.
Date: Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 9:06 PM
Subject: I DID IT! The Peculiarly Perplexing Path – Maze Solution
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Hey there,

I couldn’t resist sharing your latest maze with my kids. They love a challenge! Here is my 11 year old’s solution.
JenniferB

Check it out…

Cool!  Jennifer’s kid rocks! Thanks for taking the time to solve it & for taking the time to send it in!

As always, if you try any of my mazes, send a scan or photo of the solution to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com!

Curvilinear Course [Maze Solution]


So, we have a solution to one of my ridiculous mazes by Chris Thornborrow of the Labirintia Project:

Chris writes along with his solution…

Hi there,

Wow it took over an hour. In the end I started blacking out dead end paths to narrow the search down. This meant I found a start at the finish first and then worked toward the start. As you can see I had to black Out huge amounts. Very confusing very hard maze. How the hell did you design this?

I wrote back to Chris, saying…

Hi Chris,

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to try the maze & to send a photo! I haven’t got many responses yet. I hadn’t heard of the blacking-out method until recently.

I don’t really design the mazes, as much as “just draw”. I try to always keep an open path until the end. Sometimes I work form both the start & the finish, connect two paths, and try to close off all the others. Sometimes I have multiple paths.

If you’d like to try this maze for yourself, you can here: Curvilinear Course [Maze]  –  Try not to look at the solution above first, though.

Solutions have also come rolling in from Eric Yano, to a handful of mazes at once!  Are you brave enough to try?

Solutions to several mazes!


Well, Eric Yano (of local weblog Valley of Steel) stepped up and has completed (or almost completed) 8 of my mazes.  He’s got a unique method of solving.  He fills in the dead ends, leaving the “good” path open.  Some of these don’t show a good path, so either I screwed up in drawing, or Eric got overzealous in filling-in.

Check out this awesome *.pdf with Eric’s notes and the url’s of the mazes attached:

The mazes he’s completed or attempted are as follows:

Maybe Eric will be the one to complete them all before anyone else?  Don’t forget some of the older ones…

They need some solution love too!  I’ve seen some of them being re-pinned on Pinterest.  I try to ask those people to also email their solutions to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com, but I haven’t received any other attempts yet.

How would you like the solutions presented?  Is this link to a pdf good?  Is the individual blog post good?  Should I post a photo of the solution in the comments of each maze?  Should I just post a link o the solution to prevent “ruining” it for anyone else?  Is anyone reading these besides Eric?