## Advent of Code 2016 Day 24

## Part 1

- This seems familiar...
- It may be doable visually!
- Uncovering shorter and shorter paths
- Counting the steps
- Guessing...again and again
- My shortest path, not
*the*shortest path - Pulling my hair out to find a shorter path

### This seems familiar...

...to 2019 Day 18: Many-Worlds Interpretation:

- Designated starting spot:
`0`

here instead of`@`

there - An elaborate maze
- Markers to pass through or collect
- In search of the shortest path from start to collecting or passing through all markers

### It may be doable visually!

- Many-Worlds featured dozens of keys and doors in a large square maze
- The number of possible routes seemed endless
- Here, however, there are only seven markers
- And the maze is relatively smaller - though no less elaborate

It is definitely worth my time analyzing the maze and attempting to identify some shortest paths between a few of the numbers `0-7`

.

### Uncovering shorter and shorter paths

These are the locations of the numbers `0-7`

:

After a few hours of careful navigation, these are the shortest paths I found:

Before attempting to count each step between numbers, these are the paths that seem viable:

- 01376542
- 01352467
- 01732456
- 01765423

### Counting the steps

- I've done it before
- It's not fun
- But it's all I can do

At least it makes for a cool GIF:

### Guessing...again and again

My initial tallies:

```
0:1 22
1:3 64
1:7 54
7:3 79
5:6 20
4:5 80
2:4 32
```

I decided to try the most promising path first:

```
01732456
0:1 22
1:7 54
7:3 79
3:2 216
2:4 32
4:5 80
5:6 20
-------
503: too high
```

Thankfully, the website told me `too high`

.

Sadly, I wasted a guess hoping for dumb luck:

- I submitted 500, seeing if I was one off
- Still too high

Even worse, I wasted another guess!

- I submitted 495
- Still too high

Time to try another path:

```
01765423
0:1 22
1:7 54
7:6 198
6:5 20
5:4 80
4:2 32
2:3 216
-------
over 503, yikes
```

Then, I saw it: `3`

to `6`

!

I have no idea if this is the shortest path, but it's definitely an optimization:

```
01736542
0:1 22
1:7 54
7:3 79
3:6 147
6:5 20
5:4 80
4:2 32
-------
434: wrong
```

Bummer.

Even worse, I submitted too many guesses to get the direction I should be headed.

I must assume that there's a shorter path.

First, I'll try to find one between 3 and 6.

I tried. Couldn't find any that are shorter.

###
My shortest path, not *the* shortest path

### Pulling my hair out to find a shorter path

I tried re-counting the path - same number:

I tried the only other viable path - higher number:

No matter what I found, nothing beat my shortest path.

Grrr.

## An admirable attempt

- I tried to solve this puzzle visually
- After hours of hunting, I couldn't find the shortest path

To anyone reading this:

- What am I not seeing?

Anyway, time to move on.

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