As a high schooler in the 70’s, my father enjoyed playing the Star Trek game written for the Sigma 7 mainframe. You play as the Enterprise surrounded by Klingon ships, and to shoot them down you have to look at a grid and figure out which angle to fire at.
Three days ago, Conrad Barski, creator of the absolutely delightful book/comic Land of Lisp, took the Internet by storm with a new puzzle game. In this puzzle, three characters move between rooms and press buttons, where each button closes or opens other doors. At least, that’s how it might appear in a traditional video game. Phrased that way, it may remind you of many other games; I’m reminded of the famous Flash game Fireboy and Water Girl and the obscure student project Lineland. But in its actual presentation, the Dog-Bunny Puzzle abstracts this mechanic into a thing someone can understand with no instructions in 60 seconds, while also being surprisingly difficult.
I spent a minute or two playing around and discovered that it would actually take serious thinking to solve it. I was about to put it down to get back to my work, writing design challenges for software engineers, when I realized this puzzle could fall to a sledgehammer a bit less humdrum than trigonometry, something I first learned about in a lecture on how to automatically fix bugs in concurrent programs.