(related to Problem: Crossing The Stream)

First, the two sons cross and one returns Then the man crosses and the other son returns. Then both sons cross and one returns. Then the lady crosses and the other son returns Then the two sons cross and one of them returns for the dog. Eleven crossings in all.

It would appear that no general rule can be given for solving these river-crossing puzzles. A formula can be found for a particular case (say on Five Jealous Husbands or The Four Elopements) that would apply to any number of individuals under the restricted conditions; but it is not of much use, for some little added stipulation will entirely upset it. As in the case of the measuring puzzles, we generally have to rely on individual ingenuity.

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Project Gutenberg

  1. Dudeney, H. E.: "Amusements in Mathematics", The Authors' Club, 1917

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