The trick is to cut off all escape routes, and only then try to trap.
The trick is to cut off all escape routes, and only then try to trap.
Two out of my first three tries.
Okay, maybe nine out of my first ten.
One mistake would be to seal an exit early. If you seal an exit while she's three steps from it, that's three steps she won't waste.
I wonder if she doesn't run for the opening you're trying to seal. If you start by working on a wide far-away exit, that may keep her from using a nearby exit.
I agree with both of you--the basic strategy is to draw a dotted line around the outside and then fill in as needed to trap her--as you're filling in a line you can draw faster than she can move.
It seems to me random, though--if she starts out heading the other way from my first move she probably escapes.
Still haven't been able to prove that theorem... Won thirty-something in a row trying to figure it out, though. The cat always takes the shortest route to the edge, no matter how stupid it is, so it can always be beaten as far as I can tell, but only because of its inability to resist the shortest path.
The direction of his initial move can be influenced by your first move and/or the given dark spaces, but I've found that if I guess and use my first turn to start laying a trap, the time to final trappage is greatly reduced on average. The "trick" to winning every time is to start counting the number of moves for the cat to get to the edge, and prepare a trap accordingly. If I can't trap him right away, I chase him back toward the middle - as many moves from the edge as possible. If it gets dire and he's like 3 moves from a completely open edge, I can still get him if but have to keep him out of the corners...
It's more fun (for me) to see how fast I can trap him - it's amazing how many mistakes I make - it's as if six possible outcomes in the cat's next move are too many to keep in mind. Something possibly age-related?