Die Agony

December 2022 : Puzzle

A six-sided die, with numbers written on each of its faces, is placed on the 6-by-6 grid above, in the lower-left (yellow) corner. It then makes a sequence of “moves”. Each move consists of tipping the die into an orthogonally adjacent square within the grid.

The die starts with a “score” of 0. On the Nth move, its score increases by N times the value of the die facing up after the move. However, the die is only allowed to move into a square if its score after the move matches the value in the square. Also, the die cannot be translated or rotated in place in addition to these moves.

After some number of moves the die arrives in the upper-right (blue) corner.

The answer to this puzzle is the sum of values in the unvisited squares from the die’s journey.