Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The fox, the duck and the bag of corn

Do you find that your life sometimes become rather like this puzzle?

A man owned a Fox, a Duck, and a bag of corn. One day he was on the bank of a river where there was a boat only large enough for him to cross with one of his possessions.

If he left the fox and duck alone, the fox would eat the duck. If he left the duck and the corn alone. the duck would eat the corn. How did he get safely across the river with all three of his possessions?

You can do A, but not B. On the other hand, there's C to consider, and even D...My life is a bit like that this week.

(PS I am a lot better at solving the puzzle than sorting out  my life. Sigh.)

19 comments:

  1. My life is just like that.
    I can't fit everything into the time I have. But when I do seem to be getting somewhere, something else crops up out of nowhere and forces me back to square one again.
    Sigh.

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    1. I think we're in the same boat, Joanna!

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  2. I think I remember that he took the duck first, leaving the fox with the corn. Then he went back and picked up the fox and took it across (leaving the corn by itself), but took the duck back to the original side, where he picked up the corn and took it across (leaving the duck by itself) and left the corn with the fox. Finally, he returned one more time and picked up the duck.

    The solution involved moving one of the objects (the duck) three times.

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    1. Yes. But I have to work it out again every time I think of it. I must be very thick...

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  3. Yes, the above was the solution- I used to give my class this problem to solve when I was teaching. It's a good job us women are good at juggling, Frances!

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    1. I have a sneaky feeling there are two solutions, but I can't remember the other one.

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  4. I bet his wife said, 'Just buy a big boat love?" Or put all three in the boat then he hang on the side and swim across pushing the boat. :-) Err, I think that's called thinking outside the box LOL

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    1. No no no! You can't leave the three together as they will eat each other!

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    2. You cage them up seperately and the man has to swim quickly :-)

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  5. This type of thing makes my head hurt.......

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  6. Why would a farmer own a fox? That's the real puzzle.

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    1. An excellent question, Patsy. I never thought of that.

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  7. Didn't work out the puzzle but sympathise with your sentiments, Frances!

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  8. Sometimes we juggle little segments of our life in our effort to please others - even ourselves.

    I used to give too much of myself away - only this year I have learned to say "Sorry, no, can't do."

    Love puzzles!

    Anna :o]

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    1. When it comes to saying no, I find the best thing is not to give a definite asnwer straight away. Just to say "I'll get back to you", which gives me time to think!

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  9. I can't help wondering what he needed the fox for anyway... ;) I'm often forced to accept an "only one task at a time" strategy myself though, so very wary now of making too many promises.

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