The examples above are some of the ways I solved the problem of having random oval shapes all touching in three places.
When I explained the challenge to my very clever grandson Andy yesterday , he set about trying to do it with even fewer stones and came up with the drawing below.
As few as four stones can touch in three places each!
Way more simple a solution than the ones I was finding.
But now the question is can it be done in five or six or seven stones?