What is the solution?


Is it solvable?


One solution (I’m assuming that the fox will eat the duck and the duck will eat the corn):

  1. Take the duck across. Drop off the duck, then go back.
  2. Bring the fox across. Drop off the fox, then grab the duck and bring it back.
  3. Drop off the duck, then grab the bag of corn and bring it across.
  4. Drop off the corn, then go back and get the duck.

Take duck over. Wolf and Grain remain
Return empty handed Duck is alone across river
Take fox over. Wolf, Duck and you on one side.
Return with duck Wolf is alone on other side
Take grain over Duck is alone, Wofe and grain alone
Return empty handed Same as above
Take duck back. All of you are on the other side.

Actually, no. The puzzle we’re all familiar with has solutions as given above, but the version on the site you gave us has the added complication that the corn cannot be left unattended on the east side due to the flock of birds over there.

To show insolubility, note that to win you will at some point need to have two items on the east left unattended. If one of these is the corn, you lose because of the birds. If one of these is not the corn, you lose because the fox eats the duck. QED.


Pasta, I thought that, too, but then I went ahead and tried since it seemed too strange to have an insoluble puzzle up at a place like that. You can leave the corn on the shore with the fox guarding it. So this just restricts the solution – you need to bring over the fox first, then the corn, rather than the other way round.
Both solutions detailed so far work.

No, I won because you can leave the fox and the corn unattended. The wild birds won’t go near the corn because the fox is there.

But the corn will have to be either alone or with the duck at some point, so it is insoluble.

Either I’m hallucinating or it’s soluble, since I did it using headshok’s solution.

you are halucinating ren in ** headshock’s ** solution, the first step: you take duck over, leaving wolf and grain behind. Then, go back alone, leaving duck on side b. pick up wolf… oh, no, you can’t do that since then the grain would be alone. ok ok.

take wolf over first…, oh no, can’t do that!! leaves duck and grain there by themselves.

ok, ok, take grain over first… oh no.!!! duck and wolf!!!

I say, make a stew of them all and row over by yourself.

Step 2 of headshok’s solution involved leaving the corn by itself on the first bank, which Pasta says can’t be done because of those crazy birds.

Sorry wring, I was distracted and didn’t submit in time…

C’mon people, just try it out. The birds, for some reason, only attack the grain if it’s on the right side. It can be left alone on the left side.

Does it really take that much time to click your way through it before telling people they’re wrong?

I went to the site and tried out my solution before I posted it. The birds are only on one side of the river, the destination side. You can leave the corn on the other side, and the birds won’t go there. Maybe they’re afraid of the water, maybe they’re not on speaking terms with the duck, I don’t know. But it works, trust me.

D’oh! Stupid non-river-crossing birds!

I just won it, too. The wild birds are only on the right side, so you can leave the corn safely on the left.

Yeah the duck then the corn then you take the duck back and drop it off, pick up the fox then you take the fox, drop him off andand go back for the duck. Corn is never alone and all is right with the world.