Snake Pit (Words) by Joseph Howard

Snake Pit by Joseph Howard


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between letter entry and a composite mode for line/edge drawing.)

Theme: Snakes in a Bee Hive

Author/Opus: This is the 6th puzzle from guest contributor Joseph Howard.

Rules: Variation on Snake Pit (new rules in italics). Divide the grid along the boundary lines so that every cell belongs to a snake. A snake is a one-cell-wide path at least two cells long that does not touch itself, not even diagonally. Circled cells must be at one of the ends of a snake. A snake may contain one circled cell, two circled cells, or no circled cells at all. Each snake houses a word (given below the grid) with one letter in each cell. Some letters are given. Snakes of the same length cannot touch each other horizontally or vertically.

Also see this example:

Snake Pit

Answer String: Enter the letter placed in each cell in the marked rows from left to right, separating the two rows by a comma. Use CAPITAL LETTERS!

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:15, Master = 6:15, Expert = 12:30

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other Snake puzzles.

  • egrieg says:

    Completely intuitive solve, took me around 6 min. Is this supposed to be approached more like a numberlink?
    I would be interested if there is a theme to the strange word list, or what the meaning of the bee hive theme is…

    • JoeHow says:

      Hello, egrieg!

      The theme and reason for the tilted bee hive shape of the grid is that the words given were all winning words of the Scripps National Spelling Bee from 2014 to date. I hope this clears things up. I truly should’ve chosen a theme name that was a bit more straightforward in retrospect.

    • Aaron Chan says:

      I was unable to solve this logically neither. Is there a method at all for it?

      • JoeHow says:

        Hello, Aaron!

        Absolutely! See below, ROT13’d:

        Juvyr lbh pna nofbyhgryl fbyir guvf vaghvgviryl, gur ybtvp bs vg ortvaf va gur hccre-yrsg. Gur yrggre V vf abg n svefg be ynfg yrggre va nal jbeq, naq fb gur fanxr vg orybatf gb zhfg rkgraq bhg va obgu qverpgvbaf. Vg pna nyfb or abgrq gung gur fanxr pbagnvavat guvf V vf erfgevpgrq sebz pbagvahvat bhg fgenvtug va rvgure bs gurfr qverpgvbaf, nf vg jvyy perngr n arj fanxr nybat gur rqtr jvgu n guveq yrggre bs rvgure R be Z. Abar bs gur jbeqf va gur onax unir na R be Z nf gurve guveq be guveq-sebz-ynfg yrggre. Guvf terngyl erfgevpgf gur fanxr gb gur cbvag jurer lbh pna vachg gur svefg frira yrggref bs gur jbeq fgvpubzlguvn. Gur cerfrapr bs gur unys bs guvf fanxr erfgevpgf gur Y orarngu vg, juvpu yrnqf gb jung V oryvrir gb or gur uneqrfg qrqhpgvba rneyl ba: gur vagrecynl orgjrra guvf Y naq gur R ba gur rqtr erfgevpg gur jbeq srhvyyrgba gb bayl gjb bcgvbaf sbe trareny cynprzrag (trfryyfpunsg pnaabg or pbafvqrerq va guvf nern bs gur tevq, fvapr gur gjb 12-yrggre jbeqf jbhyq or gbhpuvat). Bar bs gurfr bcgvbaf pubxrf gur obggbz-yrsg pbeare, erirnyvat gung Y gb orybat gb gur jbeq srhvyyrgba. Sebz gurer, vg’f n pbagvahngvba bs abgvat cebcregvrf bs gur jbeqf naq orvat njner bs nal nqqvgvbany fanxrf lbh znl znxr, nf jryy nf pbafvqrevat juvpu jbeqf pna ernpu gur pvepyrq pryyf arne gur irel raq. Vs lbh srry fbzr bs gurfr fgrcf jrer gbb varyrtnag gb abgvpr, V shyyl haqrefgnaq naq V pna bayl ncbybtvmr.

  • JohnJBulten says:

    Thank you Joe for showing that there are lots of logical steps one can take with snakes that don’t appear on the surface. Some puzzles I solve for speed rather than uniqueness and your walkthru is very reassuring.

  • LorenR says:

    Late comment since I just entered the answer and only then read the thread. I was able to figure out the break described by the puzzle author. However, I did place one word via mostly logical deductions in the opposite corner before I saw the big break.

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