Monday, November 15, 2021

Crossings meta solution

Last week's puzzle was a meta with some pretty detailed instructions. Let's repeat them here: "The grid depicts a certain problem, but it can't be solved as is. One way to solve the problem is to destroy one of the objects shown in the grid; if you destroy the right one, then you'll be able to spell out a word for what's left after you destroy it - that word is the meta answer."

Here's the grid in question:

As the KONIGSBERG entry at 56-Across tells you, the grid depicts the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg problem. That classic problem involved crossing the seven bridges spanning the Pregel River in Konigsberg, with the catch being that you have to cross each bridge exactly once in a single trip without doubling back. The great mathematician Leonhard Euler proved that there was no solution.

But as the instructions indicate, the problem is solvable if you get rid of one of the bridges. There are multiple bridges you could destroy to solve the problem, but only one of those solutions gives you a path that spells out a word: destroying the G leaves you with DEBRIS, starting in the bottom right and traveling in a counterclockwise spiral. Congrats to everyone who figured it out!


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