Holidays Merry-Go-Round


by Serhiy Grabarchuk

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The thirteen balls scattered around the star make two words, HAPPY and HOLIDAYS, and two balls are with asterisks. The challenge is to place all these balls on the nodes of the star so that they form the very same words separated by asterisks, something like this: *HAPPY*HOLIDAYS. Each word can be read in any directions, clockwise or counterclockwise, and can start at any node of the star. Sounds easy? Well, there is one rule to be observed while you put balls onto the star nodes.

To place a ball, first you must put it on any vacant node of the star, and then move it to another vacant node along a straight line segment connecting them. To put a ball simply click it first; then click a chosen vacant node on the star; then click another vacant node which the ball should be moved to along the connecting (!) line segment. Use "Undo" and "Redo" (or B and N keys, respectively) for the respective backward and forward moves of balls on the star in accordance with your solution.

Note that the final ball is placed directly on the last vacant node. That's all! Once you form both words, and they are properly separated by asterisks, you will see a congratulation message.

Happy Puzzling!

*This puzzle is based on old challenges with placing seven chess knights on a 3 x 3 chessboard; or placing seven beads on an octagram.

Posted: December 25, 2008
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