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Tracks is a fun path-making logic puzzle that is similar to the classic snake puzzle. In a tracks puzzle, you are given a grid like that shown in the image below. As you'll see, there are numbers around the edge of the grid. These numbers indicate how many squares in each row and column the train track must pass through as it moves between the two cities labelled A and B.

In addition to the numbers around the outside, there are always at least two given bits of track in the grid to get you started. The train track does not visit every square in the grid, but it must form a continuous path between the two cities, A and B, and it must not cross itself at any point. In each square of the grid that it visits, it must either pass straight through the square or turn at 90 degrees inside it.

Tracks puzzles come in a range of different sizes, and, broadly speaking, the smaller the grid, then the easier the puzzle is. All tracks puzzles can be solved by using logical rules, and guessing is not required. It's a fun little logic puzzle and the more you solve the more bits of logic you may spot that will help you solve the trickier and larger puzzles.

Tracks puzzles are visually interesting as they look different on the page to number-based logic puzzles, so can add a nice mixture to your publication. Various different presentations of the puzzle are available, so depending on the theme of your publication different options could be provided - a common alternative is as a snake that winds its way around the grid: the puzzle logic and mechanics are the same, simply the presentation differs.

If you are an individual looking for tracks to play, then you might like to take a look at our 'Tracks a Day 2021' puzzle book that contains a daily 8x8 tracks puzzle to play (this is the most common grid size), via the link below:

Strategy Tips

- Ensure you extract the maximum amount of information from the given pieces of track. For instance, you'll see in the example above that they must extend into another square. Once you extend them in that manner, then you'll notice you will have the track visiting two squares in column one and the final row. Note that these have the number '2' outside them, which means that now you've placed both pieces of track that can put a small 'x' in the rest of the first column and last row to remind yourself that the track cannot visit any other squares in those regions.

- Check for places where the track can only go one way: once you have made the move outlined above, you'll notice that the track in the final row must come out of the row and move into the column above. That will complete row seven since it only contains one piece of track in it. That now means you can move directly up into row six, and furthermore you can place an 'x' in every other square in row seven.

- A slightly harder piece of logic to spot: you now have a piece of track in row six. Because row seven is now complete, this means that your track must turn in row six either immediately to the left or to the right. You can therefore put an 'x' in every square in row six other than the two squares that are horizontally adjacent to the square in which you've marked the track. Can you see why this must be the case?

- Have fun solving tracks puzzles and finding other little bits of logic you can use to help you solve the puzzles correctly - just remember, you'll never need to guess to solve these puzzles!

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