Riddle me this, Batman!

Discussion in 'Community' started by Thomas Veil, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    My daughter was asked this riddle in a class in school. She gets extra credit if she gets it right.

    A farmer has to get a fox, a goose, and a bag of corn across a river in a boat which is only large enough for her and one of these three items. She does not want to leave the fox alone with the goose nor the goose alone with the corn. How can she get all these items across the river?

    Now: keep in mind that you must think of both sides of the river. The first solution that tends to come to mind is that she takes the goose across first. But if she comes back for either the fox or the corn, she'll have to leave one of those alone with the goose on the other side of the river. And that doesn't work.

    The only solution that I can think of -- and it's not a truly satisfying one -- is the one below. I've made it a "spoiler" because I don't want to prejudice your thinking. You may not want to read it until after you've thought it through yourself, because frankly I think I'm going down the wrong road.

    (Click-and-drag if you want to view: )

    The farmer takes the goose first, leaves it in the middle of the river (it's a goose, remember?), then takes the fox across, then takes the corn across, and then comes back to the middle of the river for the goose.
     
  2. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #2
    The first thing is to bring the goose, because the fox won't eat the corn. Then bring the corn over and bring the goose back. Then bring the fox over,leave the goose and then get the goose ;)
     
  3. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #4
    it's a classic in schools worldwide after all ;)
     
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #5
    I suppose that "call FedEx" isn't an acceptible answer? Nor are "how would the goose open the bag of corn?" and "can't she tie up the fox?" allowed as questions.

    Schools. Bah. So rigid in their required answers. ;) At least, since I was a child, they've changed the farmer to a "she".
     
  6. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #6
    There is a slightly more complicated but similar one.
    There are 4 people who need to cross a bridge. One takes 1 minute, the next 2 the next 3 and the last one 4 minutes. There are a few complications.

    1) 2 people at a time in the bridge. (too weak to support more)
    2) Its dark. Someone has to run a flashlight back so that more people can cross.
    3) Crossing is done at the rate of the slowest person
    4) 12 minute time limit or they are blown up/late for dinner.
     
  7. dotcomlarry macrumors regular

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    #7
    I would have guessed you'd let the goose eat the corn, the let the fox eat the goose, and by doing that you get all three things across at once..... but oh well.
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #8
    Let #1 be the one that takes 1 minute, #2 the one takes 2 minutes, etc.

    Send #1 & #4 over (4 min -> 4 min total)
    Send #1 back (1 min -> 5 min total)
    Send #1 & #3 over (3 min -> 8 min total)
    Send #1 back (1 min -> 9 min total)
    Send #1 & #2 over (2 min ->11 min total).

    #1 always carries the flashlight.

    What did I miss?
     
  9. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

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    Madison, Wi
    #9
    I'll play

    No legs have I to dance,
    No lungs have I to breathe,
    No life have I to live or die
    And yet I do all three.

    What am I?
     
  10. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #10
    "flame" or "fire" would be my guess
     
  11. Wyvernspirit macrumors 6502a

    Wyvernspirit

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    #11
    Fire
     
  12. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #12
    bingo was his nameo
     
  13. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #13
    My approach would have been to tie a rope to the goose and tow it along with you (they float, you know) and it would save you a trip.

    D :D
     
  14. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #14

    I suppose this is a bit morbid:

    Feed the corn to the goose. Feed the goose to the fox. Take the fox across the river.
     
  15. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #15
    Yes, but at least now you can go home and have your parent ask 20,000 forum members for the answer. When I was a kid, we had to figure these things out on our own... ;)
     
  16. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #16
    A bridge supports 150 pounds of weight. You weigh 148 and you are carrying three pieces of fruit that weigh a pound each. How do you get across in one trip carrying the fruit?

    No, you don't eat the fruit and discard the peels, or take off your shoes, or some trick like that. You have to walk across with the fruit intact. I remember this puzzle and its solution from a puzzle book, although I never tried it myself.
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #17
    Juggling - which I assume is the answer - won't work. The act of tossing the fruit will put the combined force above 150 pounds. You need to exert a force greater than one pound to heave a one pound piece of fruit into the air.
     
  18. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #18
    Well, I suppose if you really had to go to the bathroom that would help!

    Actually, just juggle the fruit as you walk - you'd never be holding more than two at one time. At least as long as you're a good juggler.

    Edit: Dammit. Should've skipped the funny stuff! :p
     
  19. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #19
    As evidenced by the fox/goose/corn riddle, reality seldom plays a role in these riddles...
     
  20. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

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    #20
    big fruit.
     
  21. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #21
    Yeah, the answer is to juggle the fruit. But I decided not to try it myself since I couldn't find an appropriate about-to-collapse bridge. Now I'm glad!
     
  22. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    #22
    Could you roll some of the fruit across and carry the rest. That way you only make 1 trip.

    And what kind of POS bridge only holds 150lbs?
     
  23. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #23
    Rolling would work, but throwing would too. Although it might get a bit messy.

    Rigidity in the answers in not necessarily the case here. In general, the answers require out of the box thinking even though you can't be creative and come up with alternatives ;)

    Good things for kids, look at the different perspectives.

    D
     
  24. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #24
    I;m showing my age, but I remember that riddle from the early 70's
    Here's a harder one from the 1500's:

    A man dies, and he is taking the road to heaven. He comes upon a fork in the road; one leads to heaven, the other to hell. At the fork are twin brothers. Identical, except one ALWAYS tells the truth, the other ALWAYS lies. The man, who does not know which brother is which, gets to ask ONE brother ONE question. What is the question, and what path does he take?
     
  25. musicpyrite macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

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    #25
    Ask the man that lies to tell him which way hell is, and then he takes that path.
     

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