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The Bitcoin Maze


         The Bitcoin Maze

This post was released for Issue 15 of Bitcoin Magazine as part of a series of  articles about puzzles and games that started with Issue 12.

Time for maze crawling! This is a maze that I invented in 1996. I first called it “4-dimensional maze” (you’ll figure out why), but I don’t like that definition much. It’s more like a self-referential maze, a tricky concept.

You’ll need two coloured pencils (red and blue for example) and a notepad for bookkeeping in case you wish to submit your answers for a prize (see below).


Two prisoners are trapped in a maze. But it’s not an ordinary maze, as the actions of each prisoner determine the options of the other. The maze is made of a square grid of rooms. Some rooms have arrows painted on the floor. The rooms are connected by gates so prisoners can cross them when they’re open. But here is the tricky part: wherever a prisoner is, his available gates are determined by the arrows of the other prisoner’s room!

So prisoner A can only move one step in any of the directions indicated by the arrows on prisoner B’s room, and vice versa.

Both prisoners start in separate rooms, and both have to reach the same exit room. Notice that it is allowed to have both prisoners on the same cell at any moment.

Here is an example of how the prisoners move inside the maze:

FIGURE 1: Example of movement.

The Red prisoner can move one step left or right. The Blue prisoner can only move one step downwards. If the Red prisoner moves one step left, the Blue prisoner will be able to move upwards.

Warning: You must think ahead in order to avoid getting trapped!


Challenge 1: Move both prisoners to the exit room indicated with a yellow frame¹·¹.

Figure 2:  Challenge 1

Challenge 2: Move both prisoners to the exit room indicated with a yellow frame, while picking up as many bitcoins as you can. Can you pick up all of them?

Figure 3:  Challenge 2

Challenge 3: Move both prisoners to the exit room indicated with a yellow frame, while picking up as many bitcoins as you can and avoiding the Minotaur’s room¹·². Can you pick up all the coins?

Figure 4:  Challenge 3

Challenge 4: The giant maze!

Figure 5:  Challenge 4

Please post your answers in my forum¹·³:

... and I will reward the best post with a copy of one of my games. I’m looking forward to discussing your findings. Thank you for reading!

You might also enjoy my previous posts:

- Bitcoinstellations

- Rise of the machines- Creativity as problem solving---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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