beanz Magazine

Wolf, Goat, Cabbage

Jon Stammers on Flickr

Logic puzzles help develop reasoning skills useful for programming, computer science, and anything you might do.

They also have another advantage: they’re free. Many logic puzzles also date back thousands of years. Here is a classic river crossing puzzle.

The Puzzle

You stand on the bank of a river with a wolf, a goat, and cabbage. You can carry only one across the river at a time. The wolf will eat the goat if left alone. And the goat will eat your cabbage if left alone. How do you get the wolf, goat, and cabbage across the river?

The Solution

This ancient puzzle appears in many cultures and dates from at least a thousand years ago. Most people assume you will cross the river with one item — the wolf or goat or cabbage — then return empty handed to get the second then third item. If you do this, however, at some point the goat will eat the cabbage or the wolf will eat the goat.


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