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plasmid last won the day on August 24 2019

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  1. I'm pretty sure this isn't optimal, but it's a start.
  2. I agree completely with EventHorizon, and will try to summarize in a way that addresses the OP and deconvolutes the paradox at its heart:
  3. The part that I turned red in the quote bugs me a little bit.
  4. It looks like that will indeed work. And I know I just said this about the previous solution, but now I really don't think there's a way to do it with any fewer breadcrumbs. As for ever finding a general solution to the breadcrumbing problem,
  5. I would have to disagree with that since I just posted a solution with only one breadcrumb going from C to E. But I do agree that there probably isn't a better solution for the pentagon case than adding five new breadcrumbs.
  6. That's the best solution so far, and matches the number of breadcrumbs I had even though it seems substantially different. I strongly suspect that there aren't any better solutions with fewer breadcrumbs, although I don't know of a way of proving it, let alone finding a general solution for determining the fewest number of breadcrumbs it would take to "teach" a dumb but hungry mouse to travel any arbitrary path. And I sort of doubt that anyone has figured it out since this sort of puzzle isn't a common thing. But I'll go ahead and share my perspective on the problem and the solution I reached.
  7. That's correct. The mouse can take whatever path you want it to take, even if it's not straight lines from A to C to E to B to E, as long as it reaches the specified destinations in the specified order. And it took me more than a day or two, so I certainly wouldn't fault you if it takes more than that.
  8. Sort of a hint... (But note the edit below the spoiler before you open the spoiler.) Edit: To clarify: the mouse doesn't need to travel along straight lines to each of the points. It can go along any curved, jagged, or whatever sort of two-dimensional path you want, which makes the problem more interesting. If that's enough clarification, then don't open the spoiler :3
  9. CaptainEd has the best answer so far and asked to see my solution so I'll go ahead and PM it, but will leave this open in case anyone else drops in and wants to take a crack.
  10. Putting coordinates into a spreadsheet and calculating distances sure is a good way of checking your work; now I wish I had thought of doing that! I believe I have a way of doing it with five breadcrumbs aside from the five vertices. Up to you if you'd like to look at it a little longer or if I should go ahead and convert my chicken scratch to an intelligible post when I get a chance.
  11. Well, I blew it with the first guess...
  12. I see what you're saying -- if we don't care whether the mouse goes from C to B or from C to D then that would work and you could let the mouse just flip a coin after it reaches C. The OP was phrased sort of ambiguously since I first talked about making the mouse take as many diagonals as possible (in which case that would be fine to do) and later said the specific letter sequence of ACBD (in which case that wouldn't). The only thing I'd say, though, is that if you drop a breadcrumb in region E, it seems like the mouse would go eat the breadcrumb there and then go to either B or D instead
  13. Yep, this gets harder than it looks
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