The Directory

Written by Edgar Chen and Nishant Pappireddi


This puzzle is about identifying board games based on the graphs formed by spaces and their connections. The board games are presented in alphabetical order by name to help with identificiation. Once we have identified each board game (see Appendix), only one set of directions fits each board game. The next step is to follow the instructions, which weave between instructions for the board game and for the graph. Directions that are labeled up/down/left/right refer to directions in the graphs, which require us to trace through the graph. Cardinal directions refer to board games in which there are cardinal directions associated with the board.

Board gameDirectionsPathNotes
ClueI started on the red node and traveled 6 nodes south. I then went 1 node up, and then entered a named node. I then took a shortcut to another named node. From there, I went down-right, then up-right three nodes.  Ms. Scarlet start
→ Lounge
→ Conservatory
The highly dense and square grid shaped map is a great start, but the two secret passages make it easy to place the four corner rooms.
PandemicI started from the red node with the highest degree. I traveled northwest 3 nodes away. I then went down-left, and then down-left again.  Hong Kong
→ Tehran
→ Baghdad
Santiago is a good place to start identifying cities, as it is the only node with degree 1.
RiskI started from the least connected node of the most prevalent color, and then moved 2 nodes away, crossing across the sea each time. From there, I traveled down-right twice.  Japan
→ Kamchatka
→ Alaska
→ NW Territory
Oceania and the link to Asia via Siam is easily identifiable here.
MonopolyI started from the only node with an out-degree of 2. I took the path of a hardened criminal and did my time, traveling down-right then forward 15 nodes after that.  Go to Jail
→ Jail
Atlantic Ave
This is a simple loop, but the Go to Jail space throws a bit of a wrench into the whole thing!
Note: In Monopoly, the only ways to exit Jail result in landing on St. Charles Place, without ending up in Just Visiting, so there is no link on the graph from Jail to Just Visiting, and leaving the Jail space in the puzzle results in moving to St. Charles Place.
Twilight StruggleI started from the easternmost node, which tied for the highest value in its region. I traveled up-left and then right. Finally, I went southeast, and then east.  Japan
→ Cuba
→ Haiti
Dominican Republic
This is likely the map with the most distinctive features; a good place to start is in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
DiplomacyI started at the node with the smallest number of adjacent nodes. I then went west into the sea, then up-left back onto land.  Portugal
→ Mid Atlantic Ocean
We can find Portugal without too much difficulty on both the board and the graph.
Trivial PursuitI started at the largest yellow node, traveled 6 nodes in one direction, then turned slightly left and went 6 more nodes. Finally, I turned left again and went 4 more nodes.  Big yellow outer node
→ Center
→ Big green node
→ Brown space between big green and pink nodes (Arts and Literature)
This one is the only one that looks like its board game counterpart, making it pretty easy to identify.
Chutes and LaddersI started from the initial node and climbed to an adjacent node. I then traveled forward for 9 nodes, before dropping to another node. I then made a step right, a step up, and a step up-right. Finally, I traveled 7 more nodes forward.  1
→ 38
→ 47
→ 26
→ 28
→ 84
→ 91 (Ninety-one)
If we look closely, we can identify the 1st space and 100th space. The path is mostly linear, but of course there are dozens of twists and turns induced by the Chutes and Ladders!
Ticket to RideI started from a coastal node with degree 2 and took the longest route. I then traveled along the lightest route, then the darkest route, then up-right, then up-right again.  Vancouver
→ Calgary
→ Winnipeg
→ Duluth
→ Omaha
This map is one of the harder ones to identify, but one can find Vancouver and Boston and count the degrees of the nodes in between to verify.

After following each set of directions, the first letter of each final space spells the answer, BROADBAND.






Twilight Struggle


Trivial Pursuit

Chutes and Ladders

Ticket to Ride

Author's Notes

This puzzle was originally conceived as a runaround or Duck Konundrum in either the Amtrak Map or Ticket to Ride, but we found the maps too complex/un-canonical and too simple respectively. We decided to do many small versions of the Ticket to Ride idea, using different board games and representing them as graphs, which we thought was an interesting method of looking at a board game and warping its appearance.