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The fourth row

The board should look like this. Now, we do the same thing to the fourth row that we did to the second and third. There are two lights still lit on the third row, shown in blue, so we press the two lights directly below them on the fourth row, shown in purple.

The fifth row

One last time. This move should be second nature to you by now. An after this, maybe... if we're lucky...

Did we win?

We check to see if it's solved. Of course, if it were, we'd be in the middle of the victory animation right now, but we aren't. Instead, we've still got some lights on on the bottom row (shown in red). This is where it gets complicated.

How to count, computer style

You may remember that we were going to treat the first row differently. What we just did was only the first of up to 32 attempts at finding the solution. If you're lucky, you just solved the puzzle; this has more chance of happening on the easier puzzles. Now, we must try every possible combination of pressing and not pressing buttons on the first row. One way of doing this is by counting in binary, this is the way the computer algorithm does it, and if you can manage to think in binary, you should try this.

How to count, human style

Or you can try this method. The way it goes is: try every possible way of hitting one button, then every possible way of hitting two. I, personally, have an easier time remembering this method. It also has the added benefit of more likely finding a solution earlier. (Because there's a greater chance of 1, 2 or 3 hits than 4 or 5) Either method of counting you choose, the next step is what you do with it.

But now, how to really do it

[Added 08/19/03] But, seriously folks, this is the way to really do it. Of course, I only learned of this method well after I had finished programming my Palm application, so I wasn't able to work it into the solution algorithm, or update the remaining steps. So, just think of this as an aside for now. Look at the last row of the failed attempt. Look that up on the left column of this table. The corresponding right column (in this case the sixth one down) is the starting first row that you should use. In this case, it's different from the example first row I use on the next page, but that's because there's more than one solution to this particular puzzle.

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