SEVEN ASIDES

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Each of the main chap­ters out­side the pro­logue and epi­logue con­tains an op­tional puz­zle that lies off one of the cor­ri­dors be­tween the puz­zle cham­bers. You’ll quickly un­der­stand why they’ve been kept apart from the main tests, as most of them are a lit­tle out of step with the rest: some are sim­ple, while others are a lot more time-con­sum­ing. They are, how­ever, worth tak­ing time out to com­plete, of­ten ex­pand­ing upon themes that crop up in di­a­logue be­tween Tom and Ava: one leads to a Chi­nese room, an­other to scat­tered pages per­tain­ing to Alan Turing’s re­search. Others func­tion as stand­alone chal­lenges, in­clud­ing one ex­tended puz­zle based on Boolean al­ge­bra. Don’t worry: a bit of back­track­ing aside, the lat­ter isn’t as tricky as it sounds.

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