# Connect-The-Dots

Connect-the-dots is a puzzle genre which is also used as an extraction method in hunt puzzles.

In a vanilla connect-the-dots puzzle, the solver is presented with dots scattered across a page numbered sequentially. By drawing a straight line from dot 1 to dot 2, then from dot 2 to dot 3, and so on, the solver draws a picture. Vanilla connect-the-dots puzzles with no additional mechanics are usually very easy and are rarely designed for adults to solve.

In puzzlehunts, connect-the-dots is an extraction method used when the solver is given anything that can be represented as one or more ordered lists of dots. What a "dot" can be represented by in a puzzlehunt includes mathematical points, geographic locations, small parts of a larger image or a work of art, and even dots on a page.

Puzzles with many branching connections between dots usually are not described as "connect-the-dots", even if the visual shape of the connections is important. The same is true for puzzles which do not allow for more than two dots to be connected into a longer trail and puzzles which require drawings of smooth curves rather than connecting discrete, separate points.

## Puzzle Application

As a genre in puzzlehunts, connect-the-dots generally focuses on the positioning or ordering of the "dots", with the act of connecting them at the end being trivial. Connect-the-dots as a hunt genre usually uses the act of connecting the dots as an extraction, usually by having the dots connect into the shape of letters or numbers. Since connect-the-dots is a simple genre that lends itself well to extraction, it also can appear as an extraction method for more complicated puzzles.

When connecting dots is the primary challenge in a hunt puzzle, it typically is presented with unseparated or unnumbered dots, and the genre may be left unclued. In particular, connect-the-dots puzzles which use their genre as a method to spell a word will often leave the dots in the correct order relative to each other but require them to be partitioned.

Puzzles presented as descriptions of tours often require solvers to connect the dots between the stops as the final step, even if they can only be mapped unconventionally. This also applies to lists of physical locations.

While vanilla connect-the-dots puzzles are generally very easy, the high degree of precision required for dot positioning, the low tolerance for missing data, and the potential to form incorrect letters or pictures by misplacing dots may cause connect-the-dots hunt puzzles to be very difficult. As a result, connect-the-dots is most suitable as an extraction method when it only encodes small amounts of information.

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