House distance puzzle

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ceptimus
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House distance puzzle

Postby ceptimus » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:56 pm

Alice and Bob live in different houses on the same straight street. By coincidence they both decide to make a surprise visit to the other and they leave their houses at the same moment. Alice takes her bike and Bob walks. Alice goes faster than Bob but they both travel at a constant speed. They pass each other 800 yards from one of the houses, but distracted by a passing truck they fail to see each other. When each arrives at the other's house. they ring the bell and knock the door for two minutes before giving up and starting back on their return journeys at the same steady speeds as before. This time they meet each other outside a coffee shop 400 yards from the other house: they go inside for a coffee, exchanging their stories and laughing at what has happened.

How far apart are their two houses?

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Rob Lister » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:58 pm

I got it. They live at the north pole.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby asthmatic camel » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:07 am

Don't the dozy fuckers have smart phones to work it out for them?
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Rob Lister » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:11 am

I want to know a bit more about this relationship between Bob and Alice. Do their respective spouses know about these " meet ups "?

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Pyrrho » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:14 am

Spoiler:
1200 yards.
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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Rob Lister » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:19 am

Pyrrho wrote:
Spoiler:
1200 yards.


What color was the bear?

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby asthmatic camel » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:24 am

Spoiler:
Brown or black, you idiot. Seen any houses, bikes, pavements, trucks and coffee shops at the North Pole recently?
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Rob Lister » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:26 am

asthmatic camel wrote:
Spoiler:
Brown, you idiot. Seen any houses, bikes, pavements, trucks and coffee shops at the North Pole recently?


Spoiler:
You fucking wanker. You don't think Santa has a truck. You don't think he has a local Starbucks? They're everywhere.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby DrMatt » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:58 am

Where were Carol and Ted during this?
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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Rob Lister » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:32 pm

They were doing the quantum cryptology experiment that Bob and Alice were scheduled to do.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby DrMatt » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:57 pm

So they weren't having an affair in the truck?
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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby MrMonty » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:36 pm

Pyrrho wrote:
Spoiler:
1200 yards.


I don't see how that could be correct. That would mean Alice is traveling at twice the speed of Bob. Pyrrho's answer only works if they leave each other's house at the same time, but the problem doesn't say that. In fact, the problem specifically says they both spend 2 minutes waiting. Alice will have arrived at Bob's house before Bob arrives at Alice's house. Subsequently, Alice will leave Bob's house before Bob leaves her house.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby MrMonty » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:46 pm

The more I think about this problem the more I'm convinced we don't have enough information. We need to know somebody's velocity or we need to know the time when Alice and Bob first cross paths.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby ceptimus » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:16 pm

Pyrrho wrote:
Spoiler:
1200 yards.


Sorry, that's not correct. :(

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby ceptimus » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:20 pm

MrMonty wrote:The more I think about this problem the more I'm convinced we don't have enough information. We need to know somebody's velocity or we need to know the time when Alice and Bob first cross paths.

You already have enough information to solve the puzzle. I agree it seems like you don't, but that's the charm of the puzzle. Once you see the solution, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it before.

And it's not a trick question: the exact answer - a number of yards - can be worked out without any complicated mathematics.

It helps if you draw a diagram showing the two friends' paths - assuming you've not already done so.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby no one in particular » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:54 pm

Spoiler:
The answer can be figured if you assume that Alice is traveling 1.5x Bob's speed. The distance between the houses is 2000yds. You can double check the answer by reviewing the total distance traveled by each participant. Bob traveled 2400 yards, and Alice traveled 2400x1.5=3600 yards.
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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Cool Hand » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:18 pm

Where the hell are Carol and Ted?

Is Christopher Walken on the boat too? I don't trust that dude.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby no one in particular » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:41 pm

Spoiler:
Image
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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby MrMonty » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:47 pm

no one in particular wrote:
Spoiler:
The answer can be figured if you assume that Alice is traveling 1.5x Bob's speed. The distance between the houses is 2000yds. You can double check the answer by reviewing the total distance traveled by each participant. Bob traveled 2400 yards, and Alice traveled 2400x1.5=3600 yards.


I agree, this is correct.
I was incorrectly thinking the 2 minutes somehow factored into things and that if Alice was going fast enough she would meet Bob back at her own house.

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Re: House distance puzzle

Postby Cool Hand » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:54 pm

It's the same problem we all saw in 7th or 8th grade algebra in disguise. Two trains traveling towards each other on parallel tracks leave at the same time, the A Train traveling 60 mph and the B Train traveling 80 mph, cross paths four hours later. How far apart where they when they began?

Same problem. Solve for x.

CH
....life purpose is pay taxes -- pillory 12/05/13

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

"Time" -- Pink Floyd


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