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- The stone has to visit two other points before reaching its final point.
- These three points have to be next to each other.
- The points have to be in a straight line.
- Although the second (middle) point is allowed to be occupied by a stone, the first (starting) and third (ending) points must be clear before a stone is placed at the third (ending) point.
The puzzle is used as a confidence trick in Mexico, where it is known as estrella mágica.
The solution to Pentalpha can be found for any starting point using the following algorithm:
- Choose a node X.
- Travel two nodes in a straight line to node Y.
- From node Y, place a stone at node X.
- Let node Y be the new node X.
- Repeat step 2-4 until the puzzle is solved.
- John Fisher, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break
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