Row Your Boat

Published: 10th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2014 06:24 PM   |  A+A-

...into the wild!

Let’s say you’re a big fat explorer who’s camped in a jungle next to a river. Let’s also say that you’re a curious little dude who wants to know things which are none of your business -- one of them being what’s upstream except for more water flowing downstream. Lastly, let’s say you can paddle a boat like there’s no tomorrow. So you grab your trusty native, plonk your butt into the boat and paddle off.

The current flows and you paddle at a constant rate and when you stop paddling you change the boat’s speed so that it immediately (assume so for the heck of this little puzzle) moves at the speed of the current. Trusty, who has a watch and notebook does his best to keep ship’s log of your great voyage but you later find this is how it reads:

08:30: We leave camp. Bossman paddles upstream; 10:10: We pass a blue jetty and a shirt which is drifting down with the stream; 10:15: Fatman stops paddling and rests; ?: We are again abreast of the blue jetty. Fat Bossman resumes his paddling upstream; 11:16: Mad Fatman stops paddling, turns the boat in midstream, and rests; 11:34: The paddling downstream begins; ?: Once again abreast of the blue jetty; 12:30: We pass the shirt; ?: We reach the camp; ?: The shirt reaches the camp.

What are the four missing times -- marked by question marks?


(The problem was to solve the following equations with movies: “(1) 3 = I; (2) 3 = M and a B; (3) 6 = D of S; (4) 7 = B for S B; (5) 2 = F of D J and M H; (6) 9 = H to R; (7) 4 = W and a F; (8) 12 = A M; (9) 10 = D that S the W; (10) 55 = D in P; (11) 1 = D in the L of I D; (12) 13 = G O 30.)

1. Three Idiots; 2. Three Men and a baby; 3. Six Degrees of Separation; 4. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; 5. Two faces of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde; 6. 9 hours to Rama; 7. Four weddings and a Funeral; 8. Twelve Angry Men; 9. Ten Days That Shook The World; 10. 55 Days in Peking; 11. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich; 12. Thirteen going on Thirty. -- Ravichan Ramadurai,  (Yes Ramakrishna Bhogadi,, you got it right too.)

(The other problem was: “If it is zero degrees outside today and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold it is going to be?”)

Since the scale of temperature is not specified we have two solutions; one for the Celsius scale and another for Fahrenheit. In view of the concept of hotness and coldness; the term twice as cold may be reckoned as twice as cold relative to our body temperature. Normal human body temperature being 37 degree Celsius, at 0 degree it’s 37 degree below body temperature. Therefore, if tomorrow is supposed to be twice as cold as today it must be 74 degree below body temperature, that is -37 degree Celsius. Similarly, in the Fahrenheit scale it has to be -98.4 degree, as our body temperature in it is 98.4 degree. -- Balagopalan Nair K,

(And finally the thingy about the five open ended gold chains each having three links where you  had to make a single big open ended chain of 15 links, etc, etc.)

Take the five sets of rings as A, B, C, D and E. Open up all the rings from set A and use the first piece to join B and C. Second piece to join C and D. Third piece to join D and E. By doing this all the pieces form a single chain. The total cost is 90 -- Advaithram ravichandran,

There are five open ended chains with three links each. Pick one chain of three links and cut each of them. Now there are four open ended chains which need to be connected. Thus we need three connections to be made. Each cut link will work as a connector between the four open ended chains. The minimum amount in which a 15 link single open ended chain can be done is 3*10+3*20 = Rs 90. -- Murali S L,   


A travels at the rate of x kilometres an hour, while B travels at the rate of x minutes a kilometre. Obviously, if x is 30, then A is much faster; while if x is 3, then B is much faster. What must be the value of x for A and B to be travelling at the same speed?

— Sharma is a scriptwriter and former editor of Science Today magazine.



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