[2014 – 01 – 26]
Never get lost again : 1 principle and 1 or 2 fruitful intermediairy configurations.
I had a hard time finding a solution, and it took me ages. Remembering how the puzzle solved itself (almost never, and after a big number of pointless “random” moves) was impossible.
So, I tried reasonning and decided that the best strategy would be to keep the small pieces close to the big one. Prehistoric thinking : the small pieces act as a “lubricant” ! Actually, that seems to be plainly false… but even a wrong reasoning can lead to a solution : gives hope, goal, and persistence of efforts.
What I found useful also : working backwards, memorizing three or four simple configurations and using them as intermediate goals, or situations to return to when I had messed everything.
The optimal solution is said to have 81 steps, and is very close (almost identical ?) to mine. The counting rules seem to impose counting every move of each individual piece. By those rules, the number of step in my solution would be 83 (if I count well).
As I still can’t go under this number, I chose to count the moves made by the player : this gives a much smaller number 🙂