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Tricky Crossings

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathLand)
Description: Have you heard the one about an itinerant entertainer traveling with a wolf, a goat, and a basket of cabbages? The showman comes to a river and finds a small boat that holds only himself and one passenger. For obvious reasons, he can't leave the wolf alone with the goat, or the goat with the cabbages. How does he get his cargo safely to the other side? Brainteasers that involve ferrying people and their belongings across a river under trying circumstances have been around for centuries. This particular version dates back to the eighth century and the writings of Alcuin, a poet, educator, cleric, and friend of Charlemagne.

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Problems/Puzzles, Articles
Math Topics: Permutations/Combinations, History and Biography

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