Every engineer loves to prove their superior knowledge over others, but do you have what it takes to figure out this bridge crossing riddle? Essentially, there are four people running from zombies, and they have 17 minutes to cross a bridge that can only hold two people at the same time. They all can cross at different speeds and when crossing they have to hold a lantern. This all may sound pretty confusing right now, but watch the video below and see if you can work out the math in order to get the 4 people to safety. Make sure to pause the video at the 2 minute mark while you work out the solution!
This situation is probably not something that you will ever find yourself in, but it is a pretty good exercise to run your brain through. So were you able to solve the riddle? Once you find out the solution it seems pretty simple, but it may have taken some of you a really long time to get there. There are 4 people, each can cross at different rates, so the trick is to get the slowest people across first so that the fastest people can shuttle the lantern back and forth.
Now, like most engineers, you’ve probably thought about a million other ways to get across the bridge, like swinging on a rope, or maybe even building some elaborate contraption, but not so fast, because that would be cheating. The key to being a successful engineer is not just solving the problem, it’s solving the problem within the constraints and scope set forth by the client.
[Image Source: Ted Ed]
While being good at riddles is a skill that can be honed in and developed for many, it just comes naturally to others. Regardless of whether you solved the riddle or not, keep on developing your skills and learning how to solve problems. The world needs more creative thinkers and innovative designers, so keep up the hard work.