Berto's SHU-TAI Page

last modified: 970216

SHU-TAI is a chinese card puzzle, the objective is to arrange 25 cards in a 5x5 pattern, so that the 9 cats, 8 mice and 8 bags are formed (this implies that the figure should repeat itself at the borders). The total number of possibilities is easyly calculated, there are 25! ways to distribute the cards, but any card can be rotated (0,90,180 or 270 degrees) so the total is 25! * 4^25, that's 1.7464 * 10^40 possibilities. Ok, some of these are equivalent, because it requires only a translation. Also you might notice that cards 'e' and 'y' are exactly the same ... so the real number of distinct configurations is:

8.732 * 10^38

or approx. 873 200 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
The 5x5 puzzle is extremely difficult, so I also create an alternate puzzle with 16 cards, this one has only 1.4041 * 10^21 possibilities.
shutai4.gif shutai5.gif

Click here to download this game:

This program is freeware, this means that this product may be copied and distributed freely for non-commercial purposes only. If you represent a shareware clearing house, it is assumed that your charges are for media and overhead, so you may include this product in your catalog.

The author makes no guarantees or warrantees regarding the suitability of this product for any given task.

If you solve the game, you will see a message box with 8 hexadecimal digits in the title, you can mail them to me and you will be included in the SHU-TAI hall of fame. I'm also interested in partial solutions (if they exist ?) that have mismatches only at the borders (note that you can save and reload a configuration). [the program will detect a solution only if it is made in the left 5x5 (4x4) matrix].

Good luck ...

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