Wednesday, August 24, 2011

May's Mysteries: the Secret of Dragonville: unsolvable puzzle

I've come across a puzzle which I think is impossible to solve without a huge amount of luck and randomness. It's puzzle 48 in the main story, and I've had to skip it.

In the puzzle, you have to put the words of ice cream flavours into the grid. The flavours you have are BANANA, CHOCOLATE, CARAMEL, COCONUT, LEMON, MOCHA and PISTACHIO. Words are placed like in Boggle, moving only horizontally or vertically. Spaces can be used more than once for the same letter. The first letters of words are placed outside the grid, and then you have to fit the rest inside.

The grid looks like this:



B





******
C******P
C******
L******



C
M



For the words starting with letters other than C, you can at least start off with the first letter. For LEMON, you can see that the word has to continue along the bottom, since you can't have a word starting "CM". But after that I get stuck.



B





*A****
C*****IP
C******
LEM**O*



C
M



I've had a load of goes at solving this, and nothing. I've tried terminating the PISTACHIO on the MOCHA's O, but that hems in the whole of the right side of the board. The hints suggest concentrating on the words starting with letters other than C (gee, thanks), and then the second hints says that the positioning of CHOCOLATE is key. That really doesn't help.

So, any ideas, anyone?

Update!  Tom from Croatia (see comments) has solved it!



B





RAMELO
CANUTSIP
CHOCACH
LEMOLOA



C
M


I have no idea how we were supposed to solve that except by brute force.  How does working out where CHOCOLATE can go help?

13 comments:

deKay said...

I don't think it can be done!

If it can, then the top C is the start of Caramel, which then goes up to use the A from BA.

Tim said...

I was fairly sure that the two Cs on the side would be the starts of COCONUT and CHOCOLATE, since then you could get away with:

CH
COCO

or vice versa. But doing that leaves no room for the O of LEMON.

Unless, maybe, the end of CARAMEL can be the MEL from LEMON? Can I reuse that L?

deKay said...

I'd assume so. I'm wondering if you can reuse the same letter in a single word too - BANANA and PISTACHIO in particular.

deKay said...

Actually, it won't work. No matter how you arrange CARAMEL to connect to MEL, you're stuffed for either LEMON or one of the other two Cs.

Tim said...

Yes, you can definitely use one letter more than once - which means BANANA needs only one extra N next to the A - but even that doesn't help.

Pepsiman said...

. . B . . . . .
. L A T E * O .
C O N U T S I P
C H O L A C H .
L E M A R O A .
. . . C . M . .

Tim said...

Tried Pepsiman's solution, and that doesn't work either. I suspect you're not meant to leave a gap in the top row. But adjusting it after that doesn't work.

Pepsiman said...

The L in the middle is unused too.

Pepsiman said...

. . B . . . . .
. L A T E T S .
C O N U T A I P
C H O R H C H .
L E M A I O A .
. . . C . M . .

tom said...

hi i did it... took me a while.

ramelo
anutsi
hocach
emoloa

regards from croatia
Tom

Malcolm Parsons said...

Ah, no outside letter reuse.

Tim said...

Tom, you're a genius! I'll update the blog post to show the solution.

deKay said...

That Banana was cheeky!