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Holidays Merry-Go-Round*


by Serhiy Grabarchuk

The thirteen balls scattered around the star make two words, HAPPY and HOLIDAYS, and two balls are with asterisks. The challenge is to place all these balls on the nodes of the star so that they form the very same words separated by asterisks, something like this: *HAPPY*HOLIDAYS. Each word can be read in any directions, clockwise or counterclockwise, and can start at any node of the star. Sounds easy? Well, there is one rule to be observed while you put balls onto the star nodes.

Each ball but the last is placed in two steps. First you must put it on a vacant node of the star, and then move it to another vacant node along a straight line segment directly connecting them. To put a ball simply click it first; then click a vacant node on the star. Then click another vacant node which the ball should be finally moved to along the connecting line segment. Use "Undo" and "Redo" (or B and N keys, respectively) for the respective backward and forward moves of balls on the star in accordance with your solution. Once you solve the puzzle, or have some particular sequence of moves, you can use "Undo" and "Redo" to check all your moves.

Note that the last ball is placed directly on the last vacant node. That's all! Once you form both words, and they are properly separated by asterisks, you will see a congratulation message.

Happy Puzzling!
*) This puzzle is based on old challenges with placing seven chess knights on a 3 x 3 chessboard; or placing seven beads on an octagram.
Last Updated: October 1, 2012
Posted: December 24, 2008
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