That-A-Way™ - The Pattern-Matching Arrow Game
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A solving toolkit that helps you!
Here are some useful tools that help you perform specific visual tests on the challenge you start to solve, and so to analyze it and get very important information about tiles' position in the original pattern. These tools are especially effective in the starting stage of your solving, because they use visually most recognizable elements of your pattern.
Tool #1 - Jutting Arrow
Scan your challenge to see if there are any puzzle pieces where a single arrow juts out from the rest of the pattern. In these cases, you can be sure that there is one and only one puzzle piece which can be used for this jutting arrow. Tool #1 delivers 100% of information required to place a piece.
Tool #2 - One-Arrow-Wide Line
Scan your challenge for areas that form lines that are one arrow wide. In these cases, you won't be able identify the exact puzzle piece that goes in a specific position, but you will be able to determine that there are two specific puzzle pieces that would work. Tool #2 gives you a 50% chance of success. Use this tool to identify two possible pieces which could fill a specific area, and then try to use other tools to definitely place one of these pieces in another location. Once you have confidence that one of the pieces belongs somewhere else, then you can have equal confidence that the other piece will fit in the area in question.
Tool #3 - Line Extension
This is an extension of Tool#2. Once you've determined the puzzle piece that fits a specific spot in a line, study the arrows immediately adjacent to this puzzle piece. You are likely to find that you can determine where one or more other pieces must be positioned in relation to this first arrow placed.
  Tool #4 - Double Arrow
Scan your challenge looking for the Double Arrow - Tile 2. If there is exactly one such element in the pattern, you're lucky, because you have the exact place for Tile 2. If there are two (three, or more) Double Arrows - you have 50% (33% or less) chance of success. It's important to recognize that just one of these Double Arrows can be real; the remaining are composites of other arrows. Keep this in mind until you're able to eliminate all the Double Arrows but one.
  Tool #5 - Arrow Chain
Scan your challenge for a straight chain of consecutive arrows aiming in one direction along this chain. If you found just one such a chain, and it consists of just two arrows - you have found Tile 1. If it consists of three (four, or more) consecutive arrows - again you have 50% (33% or less) chance of success. So as in Tool#4, keep in mind this result until you are able to cut all extra arrows of the ends of the chain except two.
  Tool #6 - Bow-Tie
Scan your challenge looking for a bow-tie element - Tile 3. If there is only one Bow-Tie in the pattern - this is Tile 3. If you see two or more Bow-Ties in the pattern simply try to remember their position until you have confidence that one of them is that real.
  Tool #7 - Two-Direction One-Arrow-Wide Line
This tool uses principle of Tool #2 in combination with Tools ##3, 4, 5 and 6. Find all one arrow wide chains of arrows aiming along these chains (no matter in what of two directions). This may be very efficient to compare their elements keeping in mind all the results you got using Tools ## 4, 5 and 6.
  Tool #8 - Double House
Scan your challenge looking for the Double House - Tile 4. If you may see just one Double House in the pattern - you're lucky, because your Tile 4 is at home. If you see a block of the Hauses (a straight line of arrows aiming all in one direction across the line) - you have 50% (33% or less) chance get home. It's only one Double House in the pattern, but before you find it you have to recognize all those houses that belong to your neighbors.
  Tool #9 - Two Propellers
Scan your challenge looking for the Propellers - Tiles 5 and 6. We have two different Propellers - CWP (a clockwise Propeller - Tile 5) and ACWP (an anticlockwise Propeller - Tile 6). It's useful look first for CWP, than for ACWP, and after that linear blocks containing both kinds of the Propellers that overlap each other. The Propellers are very unusual elements - they are self-symmetrical and have rotational symmetry. It's a little bit tricky to go carefully through your challenge looking for the Propellers. Moreover, often some linear blocks may looks like they contain many different Propellers. But since you are about to use Tool #9 after you've gone over your challenge with all the previous tools, and so already have certain information, Tool #9 may help eliminate many dead-end combinations you saw on the previous stages, and likely gives you new important results. If you're lucky you may discover both Propellers very easy, but even if it's not the case you may get two places where very likely the Propellers will be found.
  Tool #10 - Propeller-Double House-Propeller
Like Tool #7 this tool uses principle of Tool #2 in combination with Tools ##3, 8, and 9. Find all one arrow wide chains of arrows aiming across these chains (no matter in what of two directions), and then compare their elements keeping in mind all the results you got using Tools ## 8 and 9.
  If you'd like to go deeper into using of the above Tools, or if you try to solve a difficult challenge where you can't get specific knowledge about any specific pieces go to our special Wider Aspects section.
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Last Update August 28, 2003

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