Puzzle Archive

September 2020 solution

The fastest sequence of untangling the ropes that was found was this 114-command beauty:

RSSSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSS
RSSRSSRSSRSSSSSRSSRSSRSSSRSSRSSSSRSSRS
SRSSSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSRSSSRSSSRSSRSSRSS

It could be discovered by using the theory of rational tangles, which maps ropes tangled by these commands onto rational numbers using continued fractions.  The late John H. Conway of puzzle math fame worked on this, hence our silly name for the dance “Yawn-ock” (“Conway” is hidden in there backwards).

Here are the solvers of this tangly challenge, with the first group having the shortest solutions and the second group being ordered chronologically.

Heidi Stockton
Cubist
Neil Thistlethwaite
Will Liao
Keith Schneider
Sean Egan
A Dodecahedron
Mark Taylor
Aaditya Raghavan
Alex Kalbach
Sebastian Salazar
Lyudmil Kouzmanov
Josh Marza
Will Christerson
Anirudh Raghavan
Rahul Saxena
dbartok
Jet Kwang
Dewei Chuan
Erik-Cristian Seulean
FK
Sanandan Sandman
Senthil Rajasekaran
Simon Zeng
Ryan Kavanagh
Walter Sebastian Gisler
Ben Reiniger
alang
Ivin Lee
Alexey Levin
Sergey Tychinin
Leif Metcalf
Jonah Goldstein
Andrew Argatkiny
Gareth Owen
Serbest
Mike W
Jacob Gross
Exchange Traded Fun!


ThomasWJ
Akhil Goel
Dhruv Bhattaram
Jet Kwang
Kilian B.
Vaskor Basak
Guillermo Wildschut
Francois Crucifix
Jack McHaffie
Advitiya Goyal
Michael Giba
Heledd Roberts
Karl Mahlburg
Fabiano Menezes
Dimas Ramos
Nakamoto
Liam Trodden
Serbest
Glauber Guarinello
Axel Li
weitendorf
Stanley Chow
Holland Emery
Chinmayi Gajula I
Nadia Magnuson and Ben Visness
Tomer Tzadok
Garrett Andersen
cssachse