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The Easiest Lights Out Games

Bruce Torrence
The College Mathematics Journal
Vol. 42, No. 5 (November 2011), pp. 361-372
DOI: 10.4169/college.math.j.42.5.361
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.4169/college.math.j.42.5.361
Page Count: 12
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The Easiest Lights Out Games
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Abstract

Summary The game Lights Out and its mathematical predecessor, the sigma-plus game, has inspired an extensive mathematical literature. In this paper, the original game and a borderless version played on a torus are considered. We define an easy game to be one in which pushing the buttons that are originally lit solves the game. Easy games are classified for all square boards and a strategy is introduced which, for certain board sizes, will readily solve any Lights Out puzzle.

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