Befuddled

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About the Befuddled online puzzle game

Introduction

The Befuddled puzzle is a tiling Jigsaw puzzle with a twist. Like a jigsaw the Befuddled puzzle has tiles which can be moved to different places (swapped with other tiles) or rotated by 90 degree increments. Whereas a Jigsaw each piece is an unique part of a whole image, the befuddled pieces contain identical copies creating ambiguity about their placement. Befuddled HTML5 puzzle game: Rotate and arrange pieces to solve this jigsaw puzzle with a twist. Whereas in a jigsaw each piece is an unique part of a whole image, the befuddled pieces contain identical pieces of a puzzle. The pattern of the pieces extend beyond the edge and create numerous configurations of which just one is the solution.

The Befuddled pieces have 4 symbols placed at the edge of the piece that are directional and cut in half at the edge of the piece. On a single befuddled piece you have 4 half parts of a symbol that can be either head or tail parts one of four colours.

The solution of the puzzle is the board state in which along all the interior edges symbols of identical type and colour align with their respective other halfs. It is only important that the interior symbols are aligned as the symbols at the edge of the board have no neighbours, however unlike the jigsaw puzzle it is not easy to discover which ones are the edge pieces.

How to play the puzzle

To swap a piece: click the piece you want to swap (its border changes to black to show it has been selected), then click the piece you want to swap it with. To rotate a piece by 90 degrees: click the piece to select, then click it again. This puzzle is also available to play as an app on Facebook.

Click to play Befuddled on Facebook

Scientific thoughts?

An analogy with science might be that the puzzle is a 2D analogue of a cubic crystalline structure (like a salt lattice), however since all the symbols or groups are dissimilar from each other in a piece or to other pieces there exits no rotational or translation symmetry. The random alignment and distribution of elements in the lattice reminds of the random orientation of domains in a magnetic crystal with the solution of the puzzle being the energy minimum achieved by a process of annealing. In the case of puzzle solving (and life on Earth in general), the mental work needed to solve the puzzle is creating order from disorder and in so doing the natural tendency of systems towards greater disorder is reversed, and the system ends up in a more ordered, higher entropy state.