Monday's New York Times "Wordplay" blog featured a challenge created by Robert Torrence, a math major at The College of William and Mary.
Torrence presents readers with a network of lighted buttons connected by wires. Buttons may be either on or off, and pushing a button reverses not only its state, but also the states of the buttons attached to it. Torrence asks:
Given some initial condition, can you find a series of button presses that turns all buttons off?
Torrence, who presented "Lights Out Strategy for Petersen Graphs" at MAA MathFest 2013 in Hartford, will reveal on Friday a simple strategy he discovered for solving any initial state that can be solved.
Take the challenge (a Lights Out gizmo allows you to play the game in your browser).