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October 14, 2008

Cannibals and Missionaries

Three missionaries and three cannibals wanted
to get on the other side of a river. There was
a little boat on which only two of them can fit.
There can never be on one side more cannibals
than missionaries because of a possible tragedy.


Secret Squïrrel said...

Actually, in order to solve this puzzle, at some point there will be more cannibals than missionaries on one side, but the number of missionaries will be zero. Presumably, this is acceptable. So,

Start: 3M 3C | nobody
2 C go across: 3M 1C | 2C
1 C comes back: 3M 2C | 1C
2 C go across: 3M | 3C
1 C comes back: 3M 1C | 2C
2 M go across: 1M 1C | 2M 2C
1 M and 1 C come back: 2M 2C | 1M 1C
2 M go across: 2C | 3M 1C
1 C comes back: 3C | 3M
Now the cannibals come across 2 at a time with 1 returning until all are across.

Evan said...

(Oh give me a break!)


1 Cannibal (C) and 1 Missionary (M) cross the river together. Then the missionary goes back to get 1 C. He dropps off 1 C on the other side of the river and then goes back to get 1 more C. He then goes back to get 1 M. Repeat until all have crossed.

There is no requrement that there be 2 people on the boat at all times!!!

I don't get you people! Look:

"Three missionaries and three cannibals wanted to get on the other side of a river".

That doesn't mean they're all on the same side of the river to begin with. Sheesh! If so, you would have a "possible tragedy" before the whole river crossing began.

Now we need to know which side the boat started on; the cannibals side or the missionary's side. Since the author omited this cruial piece of the riddle, there are multiple answers.


Secret Squïrrel said...

Evan, you are really are a bit of a twat aren't you? It's no wonder you don't have any friends.

Secret Squïrrel said...

And you're solution is wrong; it directly contravenes one of the stated restrictions - that there can never be more cannibals than missionaries on any side. When your hapless missionary takes the second cannibal across to the other side, there will be him and two cannibals on that side (and he will supposedly be eaten). That is unless you are going to insist that he makes the cannibal swim the last few metres, which also contravenes both the letter and spirit of the original problem.

Really, haven't you got anything better to do than demonstrate to everyone what a risible little turd you are? Your mummy must be so proud.

Beca said...

Evan your a twit, now please stop before mommy finds out about the porno under your bed. Secret squirrel as ever you are correct. Evan go back to your mpg's and Nintendo games as well.

Anonymous said...