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Solutions for Act V Scene 1 - Frictionless

This puzzle looks like the type of game where you have to move objects to their goals. Drawing inspiration from the title and icy ground, we may surmise that the objects can only travel in straight lines and won't stop until they hit something. In these games the goal is usually to solve the puzzle in a minimum number of moves.

The minimal move solution for this grid, in 24 moves, is:

(Some rules say that when two blocks collide, the moving block may push the stationary block along with it until both hit a wall. Applying that rule with this puzzle would render the red block useless.)

Taking the paths travelled by each block in standard ROYGB order (there's no indigo or purple block)...

... spells out COLLIDER, an apt description of the mechanics of this puzzle.


Design notes:

This puzzle idea started out with a single character and had rocks to impede movement, with the goal being to collect all the coins. Some squares had blue paint while others had red - these would paint the player as he/she moved past and the resulting red squares would spell out the answer.

After Sean Gardiner commented on his previous plans to create a Ricochet Robot puzzle, I thought that the idea of having more than one object to move would be neater for spelling out the answer than splotches of paint. What seemed to be a simple idea turned out to be a sort of construction nightmare, largely due to the fact that most letters have non-straight strokes, have loops and/or can't be drawing without lifting your pen up. For letters like a closed O, you need a reason as to why a cube should loop around and come back to the same place, while for letters like F you need a reason as to why a cube should spend two moves branching off then coming back again. This problem compounded with the difficulty of proving that a solution was minimal - an ambitious attempt at a 54 move puzzle cluing SHARPSHOOTER (back then the puzzle had "Ricochet" in its title) had no chance of being checked for uniqueness nor minimality.

So the puzzle was simplified and, to make construction even simpler, different cubes were allowed to clue a different number of letters. Based off the guesslog, this seemed to have confused some teams who assumed that each cube clued exactly one letter. While the orange LL does not look like a single letter (but could loosely be interpreted as a U), the red open O led some teams to think that the red path was an S or G on its side, and also the blue small R was thought to be part of the E. This led to guesses such as GUIDE, GLIDE or SLIDE (and their -ER variants), which were all coincidentally quite fitting. Apologies to any teams who solved the grid but had trouble deciphering the letters.

The answer is: collider