CISRA Puzzle Competition 2008 - Solutions
This is the archive of the 2008 Puzzle Competition. Please visit the current competition site for information about the latest Puzzle Competition.
This is like a normal maze, except there are keys that you can pick up as you reach them, and gates that block the passages and need to be unlocked using the keys. Each key unlocks any one gate with the corresponding shape, but then is "used up" and cannot be used again. There are also treasures scattered around the maze, illustrated by the pictures.
The first step is to pick up the two keys in the upper left corner of the maze: the key and the key.
Next there are two options: The key could be used to open the gate which leads to the Amber gemstone, or it could be used to open the gate which leads to the uncut Diamond.
It turns out that if you choose the gate leading to Amber, you get stuck, because although you can go on to open the gate which leads to Gold and pick up the key in the process, you cannot then open the gate leading to the uncut Diamond.
So, the correct choice is to open the gate leading to the uncut Diamond first, which gives access to a key, which in turn gives access to the Runestone and a second key, which can then be used to retrieve the Amber, the Gold and the key without becoming stuck.
Proceeding in this way, the maze is solved by visiting locations in order as follows. (Some of the blue locations with the same number can be visited in either order.)
In order of their collection, the first letter of the treasures picked up in the maze spell out "dragon erebor". In Tolkien's The Hobbit, the dragon of Erebor is named SMAUG.
With thanks to the following people for the images used in constructing this puzzle: