GeekDad Puzzle of the Week: Logo Language Saves Santa!

Hacking the Holidays

It’s Christmas Eve and a dense fog engulfs the bucolic village of Kisseonawack! This is a job for…well, it looks like Rudolph’s had one too many eggnogs to be guiding any sleighs tonight. So instead of reindeer, Santa’s only hope is a turtle. Yes that’s right, the turtle-powered Logo programming language, developed in 1967 mostly at MIT.

But not only must Santa pre-plan the degrees he will turn and the distances he will travel in order to hit all the houses in Kisseonawack (in Logo, please), but he must do so by the shortest possible route. Note that Santa is currently pointing due west and so you’ll need to turn him to start, houses are precisely at the intersections of grid lines, and you should measure everything in box-side lengths.

Also note that this puzzle is very much like the venerable Traveling Salesman Problem, and so in addition to submitting your answer to Geekdad Holiday Puzzle Central by Friday for your chance at a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate, if you can discover a general method of solution, the Clay Mathematics Institute has a million bucks with your name on it.

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