Puzzling Photo

photo via theyardpdx

I saw this beautiful photo and it instantly put a smile on my face. It reminded me of one of the puzzles my dad gave me as a child. It's a really famous problem, as it turns out. If you're into puzzles, you can probably guess which one I'm referring to based on the photo. But if not, would you like to hear it?

A man has one goat, one wolf, and one cabbage. He needs to cross a river, but the boat can only hold one object in addition to himself. The wolf, if left alone, will eat the goat; the goat, if left alone, will eat the cabbage. How does he get across the river (with the goat, wolf, and cabbage intact, for all you smartasses)?


  1. Well, he just gets in the boat and rides off! Unless there's a requirement that all items need to make it across as well ;)

    Wise-assery aside though, here's your puzzle with some pretty bomb animations. And the sailor is a cat; so I had to post it (do wolves not eat/chase cats?): http://www.mathcats.com/explore/river/crossing.html

    1. Hahahaha. Oh, of course the cat mans the boat.


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