Blake O'Hare .com

Fun at Cracker Barrel

This is an ancient repost (from 2005). I found it in an old NP backup and thought it was worth reposting. It has been quite a long time since I've eaten at a Cracker Barrel. If you work for the Cracker Barrel corporation and you are reading this, please build a Cracker Barrel in Washington. The junction of I-90 and I-82 in Ellensburg is an ideal spot.

The other day I went to Cracker Barrel, and like most sane dining patrons, I brought a camera with me. The following is the story of my adventure.

Figure 1.1: A piece of citrus fruit that I specified to not be placed in my beverage.
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The most notable nerd appeal that this eating establishment has is the Jump-all-but-one peg game present at each table. I will show you how to solve this game when the corner peg is missing.

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Figure 1.2: The battlefield.

First, place the triangle board in front of you like so with the empty hole on the bottom right. I suppose you could consider this a solution from 3 starting points, since there are two other equivalent radial transformations while in this state.

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First move: Take the peg on the left of the hole and jump over the adjacent left peg so that now you have something that looks like this...
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I suppose this text is rather pointless since the picture suffices.
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Figure 1.3: My tea has now arrived. This is the tea after surgical removal of the offending lemon. A seed fell to the bottom, and the one labelled "Tammy" ran away without giving me a straw. This made me a sad webmaster for the next 2 minutes.
cracker_barrel_tea.jpg

BUT I FIGHT ON:
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Note the V shape:
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The cool thing about this is it's a nice mid-way goal for when you're trying to do this on your own or from a different starting point. If you can create a V anywhere on the peg board with 5 pegs, you can always get to a solution as long as one of the "legs" of the V has 1 empty space on the opposite side of the vertex.

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Take a wild guess.

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Booya.

Wasn't that fun? Now you can impress dates...or something. I don't know. Be creative.

Here are some utterly random action shots I took afterwards:

Figure 1.4: The lone peg...
cracker_barrel_lone_peg.jpg
I liked this photo, so I made a wallpaper-sized overglorified photoshopped version of it.


Figure 1.5: The small rectangular piece of paper that holds your silverware napkin thing together...
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Figure 1.6: Don't ask...
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Figure 1.7: This is what I ate...
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Well, that's all for today. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Join me next week as I go to the grocery store with my camera.