Firelight

Clicks count

How to play:  Firelight is played using a 3 x 3 set of braziers in which a fire can be lit or out.  When you click on a lighted brazier, it will be extinguished and certain others lit around it.  The aim of the game is to light all the braziers but leave the centre one out.  If all the braziers go out, as can easily happen, you have failed dismally!  To start the puzzle again, click on the Restart button.  It is worth persevering but if you are struggling and need help, click on the Hint button and scroll down if necessary.  Just click the button again to return to the game.

History:  An interesting history.  It goes back to one of the very first widely-available hand-held electronic games which was introduced in 1978.  It was called Merlin and was manufactured by the Parker Brothers game company.  The six puzzles on the machine were devised by Bob Doyle and his wife Holly and this Magic Square was one.  It started with a random position and you could press ANY button, not just buttons that were lit.  This simplifies the puzzle a lot and brings it into the usual 'Lights Out' style of puzzle.

However in 1979 the puzzle was included in a demo program for a speech recognition board that plugged in to an Apple II computer. The developer added his own twist choosing to always start from the center-cell-on pattern, and with the crucial restriction of only allowing players to choose cells already "on" in the current displayed pattern. This version of the Magic Square makes it a bit special. Your aim is the shortest solution in 11 moves but it is a challenge to solve, even with more moves!
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Or, now you are warmed up,
why not take a Polar Journey ?
Hint:  First you need to work out how each brazier affects the others.  Because this is such as small puzzle there are only three different positions for a brazier - corner, centre of a side and middle, but there are actually 512 (2 to the power 9) different configurations of braziers lit and out to work with.


<- <- <- <- <- The diagram on the left shows in yellow which positions are switched on or off when you click on each of the nine positions shown in red.

The diagram on the right shows the first three and the last three clicks, this only leaves the middle five to discover! -> -> -> -> ->