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October 14, 2008

River Crossing Puzzles

A farmer is returning from market, where he
bought a she-goat, a wolf and cabbage. On the
way home he must cross a river. His boat is
little, allowing him to take only one of the
three things. He can't keep the she-goat
and the cabbage together (because the she-goat
would eat it), nor the she-goat with the wolf
(because the she-goat would be eaten).
How shall the farmer get everything on the
other side (without any harm)?


Secret Squïrrel said...

Since he can only ever leave the wolf and the cabbage together he must take the goat on the first trip.

Then come back and take one of the others across, say the cabbage. Since he can't leave the cabbage with the goat he must bring the goat back with him.

He leaves the goat and takes the wolf across, leaving it with the cabbage, then goes back for the goat.

CasualPuzzles said...

That's what I got, is that the answer?

Anonymous said...

the answer is this (basically what secret squirrel said but simpler) :

farmer crosses with goat
farmer returns alone
farmer crosses with cabbage or wolf
farmer returns with goat
farmer crosses with whichever (cabbage or wolf) he didn't take the first time
farmer returns alone
farmer crosses with goat
they are all on the other side

Evan said...

No, no, and no! READ the puzzle!

2 facts:
1) His boat is little
2) He must cross the river

He doesn't have to take his boat, and he doesn't have to use a boat at all. He can cross the river using a bridge.

More importantly, how could he get them all to the river in the first place "without any harm"?


Secret Squïrrel said...

Evan, what f*cking bridge?! Now you've descended to even adding features to the puzzle scenarios to justify your childish badgering.

Clearly, just because the puzzle-setter didn't explicitly state that there wasn't a bridge doesn't mean that you can assume that there is one. Why didn't you just make up a flying-fox, or a pontoon, or a tunnel, or even a bigger boat?

You are a fatuous clot.