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solve this 3 x 2 sliding block puzzle in fewest moves.

Posted on 2013-01-07
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Last Modified: 2013-01-08
Given the following sliding blocks:  (b = a blank space to move blocks)

1   B
5   4
3   6


Re-arrange the 5 and the 3 in the fewest moves.  so that it looks like this:

1   B
3   4
5   6


Post the solution as 1R, 5U  (i.e. move the 1 block right.  Move the 5 block Up, etc.)
Would love someone to explain to me the logic in solving this.  I'm stuck!
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Question by:arthurh88
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by:ozo
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Not possible.
The requested re-arrangement requires an odd number of swaps,
But getting B back to its starting position requires an even number of swaps.
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by:arthurh88
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is it possible then to get
B   1
3    4
5    6

?


The key for me is the 3, 4, 5, 6 in the right positions
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by:ozo
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No.
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by:arthurh88
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ok can you please help me understand why?   how do you know the even/odd thing?   is there an explanation that might make sense to a laymen?
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ozo earned 500 total points
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by:arthurh88
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wow thanks.  i searched wikipedia for "sliding block puzzle" but didn't know what it was really called.
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