Theseus and the Minotaur Puzzle Solver

A few years ago, I found a web page with a Java applet for a maze puzzle called "Theseus and the Minotaur". Many other versions have been created since then, but the original was by Robert Abbot. Toby Nelson has developed a series of new Theseus mazes. The original one I played is now number 14 of a series which may be played online. Robert has also written a Further Notes on the Theseus and the Minotaur Maze.

After a few hours of experimentation with the original Java applet, I came up with a solution. I was curious as to whether there were better solutions, so I wrote a C program to solve the puzzle using a brute-force search. It does so reasonably quickly, but does not produce an optimal solution.

C is probably not the best-suited language to solving these problems; languages with built-in support for backtracking (such as Icon) allow these kinds of problems to be expressed more easily. However, when what you have is a C compiler...

This was written as a quick hack one afternoon in 2001 when I was bored, a condition in which I do not often find myself.

theseus is distributed under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's General Public License, Version 2. If you agree to the terms of the license, you may download it:

Download theseus-0.1.tar.gz (8.5K, Friday, 12-Sep-2003 03:32:13 MDT)

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Last updated September 12, 2003

Copyright 2003 Eric Smith

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