Added February 2021
Following her most recent electrical debacle, Alice urgently needs to stump up £10,000 to hire a decent electrician! Unfortunately, she has nowhere near that amount in her savings and has no way of raising the rest.
Her former electrician, hapless Bob, has been declared bankrupt and is now destitute, having left a trail of botched rewiring jobs across town. He nonetheless feels a great sense of guilt when he hears about Alice's plight and lets her in on a potentially lucrative secret: the last job he did before he was disbarred by the Guild of Electricians was to service the fruit machines down at the local amusement arcade.
He confesses that he made a bit of blunder and has accidentally left the machines at their factory settings. These settings are used when testing the fruit machine software during development and he tells Alice that he's heard about one particular quirk that she might be able to exploit: if one puts exactly £10 into one of these fruit machines, then its spins become completely deterministic rather than random! This means that the machine will behave in the same way each and every time it is played, so that someone who knows the correct sequence of actions could potentially win again and again!
Bob admits that he doesn't know the exact sequence of button presses needed to guarantee a win, but he does have some other snippets of information that Alice might be able to use:
- Another oddity of the factory settings is that the machines won't let you collect your winnings until you've won at least £100.
- The result of each spin only depends on the three symbols that were on the winning line before the spin. The same set of symbols always spin to the same place!
- However, holds and nudges may sometimes be available to manipulate the outcome. The award of holds and nudges also only depends upon the three symbols that were on the winning line before the spin (although they are only awarded if no holds were applied on the spin in question).
- A hold is used before a spin and allows you to pin one or more reels in place whilst the others spin. It is important to note that the other reels still spin to the same symbols that they would have spun to without the hold: only the held reel is affected by the hold.
- A nudge is used after a spin and allows you to bump a reel down so that it rotates by one extra symbol than it would otherwise have rotated. If you don't want to use all the nudges, then you have the option to cancel them using the button of the same name.
- Each spin of the fruit machine costs £1. The winning lines are as follows:
- Three bars: £100
- Three bells: £50
- Three cherries: £20
- Three oranges: £10
- Three plums: £5
- Two bars on the first two reels: £2
- Two bells on the first two reels: £2
- Any other two of a kind: £1
Alice can't think of any other way to raise the money, so decides to give it a whirl! All she needs to do is to find the correct sequence of plays that will allow her to convert £10 into £100 and then repeat this process until she has enough money to fix her faulty electrics – properly, this time. Can you help Alice solve the puzzle?
There is no hidden trickery going on behind the scenes in this maze. The only important factor is what's happening on the screen at the time – there are no hidden variables. The best way to proceed is to keep track of where you've been in the maze and utilise this information to turn the holds and nudges to your advantage. Refresh the page if you want to reset the puzzle and start again.
The fruit machine animation in this puzzle is an adapted version of Stefan Petre's jQuery slot machine.