Optimal search path for finding Waldo


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/16/optimal-search-path-for-findin.html


Nice, but you know it’s an arms race. As soon as Waldo finds out about this - and he will - he’s going to retool his hiding algorithm. Somebody’s going to crack that, and so on. I can’t wait to see how the Waldo-searching community responds when he develops stealth technology.


What? Take off that ridiculous striped hat and jumper? How do you know he hasn’t already…


Oh no!


Deja vu.


Hmm, this works somewhat well with the “Where’s Pricklepants” ones too…


It’s not optimal, but a rough approximation to that path that would be easier to remember is to write a U on the left page then use the right edge of the U as the left upright of a lower-case n (or maybe a loose approximation of an R) on the right page.


It’s disheartening that in the 21st century Waldo still feels the need to hide.


Waldo - or should I say Wally as he is known on his native shore - is a bit concerned.

He came over on a tourist visa in 87 and has sorta overstayed it. He knows with the new administration coming in, he may not be so welcome.



This all assumes that finding Walfo quickly and efficiently is the optimal way to experience the books. The journey is the destination with Waldo. Do you really want to miss a tree nymph squirting water in a knight’s face, knocking him off a ladder into a mudmonster’s arms?


Damn you!!!


I’ve actually managed to find Waldo in the second one, but not PPP. The first one was so easy…why is the second one so hard???


I know right? She’s in there though. Just really well hidden.


He’s never really been hiding though, has he? Otherwise he’d duck down behind one of the many available objects in the frame, or leave the field of view altogether.


I was worried the first one was way too easy, so I increased the challenge level on the second. Sorry.


Does she look like a piglet with no quills showing? Because otherwise I really can’t find her.

I cannot believe I’m sitting here inspecting a zoomed-in picture of Where’s Waldo. Good thing no one else is around to see!


Zoomed, she looks like:

A bit smaller than the people, and the optimal search path from the article actually works pretty well for this one.


Back in the halcyon days of Sega Genesis there was a Where’s Waldo video game. Timed levels. Wider than two pages, though, so not sure is this would have helped me as a kid.


Yup, that’s what I saw…thanks!