Saturday, April 20, 2002
 M I N D  G A M E S

Crocodile waters

THE signboard says: "Crocodile waters; do not enter", yet I have seen many men take the plunge. A lot of you turned away after reading the sign, but some brave men and women listened to their heart and put their head on the line. This service is in memory of such brave brothers and sisters, who could not cross the waters, but tried.

 EUCID taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions. — Eric Temple Bell (1883-1960)

In the puzzle, the Harvard crocodile was in a race in which the starting line was at a certain point on a straight beach. The finish line was in the water. One way to arrive at the finish line is to run 4 km down the beach, make a 90-degree turn and swim 1 km. However, it may cut into the water at any point. Its speed on land is 6 kmph and its speed in water is 2 kmph. You had to tell at what point, measured from the starting line, should it cut into the water for an ideal run?