Even More Messing with Corn

(I wrote this in 2002, and then it sat around in my files for a year. Sorry.)

Pilgram Farms

Perhaps I shouldn't be bothering with these maze reviews at this point. The state of the art is not advancing. I don't mean that in a disappointed way. I enjoyed this maze. You don't need to add rules to chess in order to enjoy a chess game. Every instance is different. But there's only so much you can say.

This maze had the standard features. Two bridges -- one exit bridge and one in the center of the maze. A border region which starts at the entrance, runs under the exit bridge, and circles the perimeter to bring you back to the entrance, without ever moving far into the maze. Several "ingresses" from the border region, some of which lead nowhere, some of which lead into complicated inner regions (and the bridge), and one of which leads towards the exit. A long branchless path leading to the exit, so that you reach it with no sense of anticlimax.

The maze was fairly small -- smaller than this site had last year. (Although last year, there were no bridges, which rather limited the challenge.) My group solved it quite quickly. Really, this was mostly luck. After a few forays into the interior, I made several correct guesses in a row, and got us from the perimeter to the winning path with no exploration or wrong turns. If I had missed that, we probably would have spent three times as long, exploring systematically. But hey -- luck counts. (This is why I try to do several mazes each year.)

Triple B Farms

Again, if you want me to describe corn mazes as an art form, I don't have a lot to say. If you want me to tell a story about enjoying a corn maze, I could write plenty, but it would include spoilers. :-) We messed around in one peripheral area; we found a bridge, we figured out one key path... we got sidetracked into a large red herring that seemed to promise victory right around the next corner, for fifteen solid minutes, before dumping us back into the center of hell. Even at the time, it was a good joke.

After that, having walked through most of the sectors of the maze, we were able to deduce where the winning path had to be.

Quite a large area; two bridges. (Both in the center; this setup did not use the standard "exit bridge" idea. This means that if we had tried walking the periphery (wall-following), we would have been taken on a heck of a ride -- diving deep into the interior, crossing over and under bridges six times! Okay, now that I think about it, that is an interesting technique. It's the most interesting track I've ever seen set up for thwart wall-followers. (Except for the Belvedere site in Virginia, in which the maze starts and ends at a clearing in the center, thus allowing tremendous latitude for Moebius-strip confusion.)

On the other hand, we could have won the maze by wall-following to one particular spot, skipping just one branch, and continuing to wall-follow to the end. This might be considered a risk of the design. Of course, we'd have had to know where to do it.

Davis Megamaze

I visited Boston in October 2002, and it rained all weekend. We went to see Spirited Away instead. Great movie.

Updated September 29, 2002.

Essay on Corn Mazes - Maze thoughts 2000 2001 2002 2003

Zarfhome (map)