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Extended 9 Dots Puzzle to nxnx...xn Dots: General Solving Method

# Extended 9 Dots Puzzle to nxnx...xn Dots: General Solving Method

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How to solve any nxnx...xn dots problem: 2D, 3D or k-dimensions, it doesn't matter. I can provide a strict upper bound and a lower bound for any dots&lines problem belonging to this family.
How to solve any nxnx...xn dots problem: 2D, 3D or k-dimensions, it doesn't matter. I can provide a strict upper bound and a lower bound for any dots&lines problem belonging to this family.

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05/29/2013

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The
nine dots puzzl
extended to n^2 dots
Marco Ripà, sPIqr Society, Apr 01 2013
Figure 1: The 9 dots puzzle/solution
Problem 1:
Considering the
nine dots puzzle
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking_outside_the_box)simplest extension, I show that you can solve it (4x4 dots grid fitting all dots into the center withstraight, thin, lines) staring from any dots of the grid. Just take a look at the picture below:
Figure 2: The 16 dots // 6 lines puzzle solutions (starting from any dots).

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Problem 2:
Considering a generic nxn grid, what is the minimum number of straight lines that you need to fitall the dots (without lifting the pencil from your paper)?
Answer: for n=1, you need (at least) 1 line; for n=2, you need (at least) 3 lines…
and,
for n≥
3, you need (at least) 2*n-2 lines
.To understand this result, you can look at the following solving pattern, using the same strategy to
solve any nxn puzzle (for n>3). You can easily see that you need two more lines for any n’:=n+1
square.
Figure
3: To fit nxn dots (into the center and without lifting your pencil from the paper), for n≥3, you
need (at least) 2n-2 straight lines.

N.B.

A consequence of this proof is that, for n→∞, the size of the paper that you need to draw your
solution with your pencil, tends to be the same one of the area encompassed by the most externaldots.

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Figure 4: The square spiral proof (2*n-2 straight lines proof).
If n’:
=n+1, you have to draw one horizontal and one vertical line more... a square spiral, indeed.Figure 5: Solving the nxn problem inside the box for n=5.For n>5, it is possible to solve any nxn puzzle inside the box just using the square spiral method.