The Swamp of Cardinals

As the ground beneath your feet gets marshier and murkier, you suddenly discover with dismay that you are completely lost. The road is nowhere to be found, and the Swamp is starting to pull at your feet. Quickly, you step onto one of the large lily pads dotting the morass. It seems to hold you up, and you note with interest that the flower is actually a number 3.

“How strange,” you remark to no one in particular.

“It gets worse,” replies someone in particular. You turn to see a luminous creature with dark eyes and limbs seemingly made of light rays. “Hi,” it says. “I’m a will-o-the-wisp, and for only three obols I’ll lead you out of here.”

“I can find my own way out, thanks,” you answer.

“Don’t count on it. This bog is worse than quicksand. One wrong step and you’re a goner. The only way to get out alive to follow the numbers.”

You try to think of something intelligent to say. “Huh?”

The will-o-the-wisp laughs. “Sure. It’s all right in front of you. This is a number 3 lily pad. From here, you can move three lily pads in any direction in a straight line. The lily pad you land on will have another number on it; you can then move that number of pads in any direction in a straight line, etc., etc. Eventually you’ll land on a pad with a number that takes you beyond the Swamp—if you’re lucky. People have wandered for years, but I know the way out.”

From the heart-shaped 3 lily pad at the center of the swamp, you look about at the sea of numbers stretching to all sides and sigh. Nothing comes easy.

The Swamp

Try to find your own way out by submitting a solution

Infinity Symbol