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Mr Flibble
06-14-2009, 05:27 PM
Because, yeah I'm bored. And procrastinating

So, I has a conundrum for you.

You are a lieutenant, and you have a platoon of men under your command. You're all but surrounded. The only free path is across a ravine with white water rapids 100ft below. One of your men is injured and unconscious.

You need to cross the ravine, which is 30ft across. Apart from standard military issue, you have one length of rope. It is 35ft long. There are no trees taller than twenty ft in the vicinity. The enemy approaches.


You need to get your men across the ravine ASAP ( you have about ten minutes). You are on your own - no calling in the cavalry. What order do you give?



This was, many years ago, a contest in a paper.There is no 'right' answer as such, but gold stars will be awarded for the most inventive. The man who won the contest came up with what I consider to be the perfect answer. Double gold stars and chocolate if you get it.

KTC
06-14-2009, 05:55 PM
What color are their uniforms?

Mr Flibble
06-14-2009, 05:57 PM
Blue with little purple flowers on, and a puppy motif

Does it make a difference?

Priene
06-14-2009, 05:57 PM
You need to get your men across the ravine ASAP. What order do you give?


Take the rope, sneak through the undergrowth, strangle all the enemy, order an airstrike on their headquarters, put their leaders in an internment camp and nuke their capital.

Sorted.

KTC
06-14-2009, 05:59 PM
Blue with little purple flowers on, and a puppy motif

Does it make a difference?

In this case, I believe he would take out the Mary Poppins umbrella and scream, "All aboard!"

Mr Flibble
06-14-2009, 06:01 PM
Take the rope, sneak through the undergrowth, strangle all the enemy

All of them? All like 3000? You aren't in the SAS :D


order an airstrike on their headquarters, put their leaders in an internment camp and nuke their capital.

Sorted.

No air cover ( or it can't reach you before you are overwhelmed by the enemy and / or your injured man cops it)

C for effort. Must try harder :D

ETA: i editted the original to be clearer.

BenPanced
06-14-2009, 06:02 PM
Because, yeah I'm bored. And procrastinating

So, I has a conundrum for you.

You are a lieutenant, and you have a platoon of men under your command. You're all but surrounded. The only free path is across a ravine with white water rapids 100ft below. One of your men is injured and unconscious.

You need to cross the ravine, which is 30ft across. Apart from standard military issue, you have one length of rope. It is 35ft long. There are no trees taller than twenty ft in the vicinity. The enemy approaches.


You need to get your men across the ravine ASAP. What order do you give?
"Retreat!"

Mr Flibble
06-14-2009, 06:03 PM
"Retreat!"


Which way - you're surrounded. Unless it's 'retreat into a 100ft drop and a messy death on the rocks of the ravine'

Maybe not the outcome you'd like.

Button
06-14-2009, 06:03 PM
What kind of trees? There's a difference between Balsa Wood (very weak) and teak (the strongest).

If they are the strong variety, rope a couple logs and cross that way.

Otherwise, use the rope to get down into the ravine with some birch wood (very popular in many regions) and go into the water. Birch is best for floating.

Button
06-14-2009, 06:04 PM
I didn't read the 1000 foot drop. ;)

GTG. Swimming in pool now. Bieeee.

KTC
06-14-2009, 06:05 PM
How about, "Everybody...it's time to drink the Kool-Aid."

Mr Flibble
06-14-2009, 06:06 PM
How about, "Everybody...it's time to drink the Kool-Aid."

Defeatist!

And I don't know what type of trees. Crappy ones?

Vincent
06-14-2009, 06:08 PM
After hacking down the trees with our entrenching tools and ordering the men to strip naked, I'll build a trebuchet, using the wood for the frame and beam, and tightly twisted clothes (drab olive, I assume) for the sling. The weight of 30 naked men huddled in a ball will act as the counterweight. I will tie the rope to the feet of our unconscious comrade, and use the trebuchet to launch him across the ravine, like a limp grappling hook. Repeat until his body tangles with something on the other side.

Voila! We all climb across.

Mr Flibble
06-14-2009, 06:09 PM
Did I not mention that the injured guy should live?

Nice answer though :D


BTW - it's way way WWAAAAAAY easier than that. *snickers to self*

Vincent
06-14-2009, 06:10 PM
Did I not mention that the injured guy should live?

Nice answer though :D


BTW - it's way way WWAAAAAAY easier than that. *snickers to self*
He might live...

KTC
06-14-2009, 06:11 PM
Crappy ones?

lol

Mr Flibble
06-14-2009, 06:11 PM
What, he's not quite dead?

Lol

Have a star for an inventive answer.

ReallyRong
06-15-2009, 12:32 AM
I may be missing something here, but if it were me I'd order all but two of the healthy troops to stop messing around with that damned rope, get with the green movement and stop cutting down those poor trees, and march across that free path pronto. But not in step, obviously. Then I'd order the other two to carry that injured one across, with special instructions that he is to be kept alive at least until they reach the other side.

Mr Flibble
06-15-2009, 12:47 AM
Ahem, the trees aren't tall / long enough to go over the ravine. And you don't have time to build a bridge a la MacGyver. :D

Wait you said stop cutting the trees? Er, what path are they marching across? The one that is thin air across a ravine?

Think simple

Think lateral.

Think being a Rupert in the Army.

aadams73
06-15-2009, 12:53 AM
Pfffft. Why aren't they scaling down the ravine with their bare hands like real men? Huh? Huh?

Pansies!

robeiae
06-15-2009, 01:15 AM
catapult?

regdog
06-15-2009, 01:22 AM
If you have standard issue supplies than you should have firearms, RPGs, land mines, hand granades and someone should have a flame thrower. Close your ranks and let loose with your fire power.

Mr Flibble
06-15-2009, 01:28 AM
Until you run out of ammo

Then you're dead. :(

ReallyRong
06-15-2009, 01:29 AM
Ahem, the trees aren't tall / long enough to go over the ravine. And you don't have time to build a bridge a la MacGyver. :D

Wait you said stop cutting the trees? Er, what path are they marching across? The one that is thin air across a ravine?

Think simple

Think lateral.

Think being a Rupert in the Army.

Well you started it! You said free path and I took that to be some kind of clever wordplay that meant that there was already a freely traversable path there. I need a drawing please. My last and final suggestion - which is also probably completely wrong - would be to use the chainsaw that you deliberately didn't tell us about but I can see lying on the ground, cut down some 20ft trees and use the rope to tie them together to create something that is say, 35 feet wide and drop this over the ravine. And why don't polar bears eat penguins?

Mr Flibble
06-15-2009, 01:37 AM
Well you started it! You said free path and I took that to be some kind of clever wordplay that meant that there was already a freely traversable path there.

No I just explained badly. My bad.


I need a drawing please. My last and final suggestion - which is also probably completely wrong - would be to use the chainsaw that you deliberately didn't tell us about but I can see lying on the ground, cut down some 20ft trees and use the rope to tie them together to create something that is say, 35 feet wide and drop this over the ravine. Sadly no chainsaw - or that amount of time. err, drawing, er....I'll get back to you.

ETA:

drawing

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n83/spinynorman_2006/lateral.jpg




And why don't polar bears eat penguins? They don't live on the same continent.

Ken
06-15-2009, 01:46 AM
... "calvaries don't turn tail, so fight to the last man, men, and save that bit of rope so we can lash the leader of the opposing army when we claim victory, or hang ourselves in sorrow if we fail."

robeiae
06-15-2009, 02:16 AM
Well, you could easily get a guy eighteen to twenty feet out, above the ravine, by having men lower a tree--using the rope--down at the edge. I guess you could shove another tree across it to get within five feet, then someone could take a run across the trees and jump. once on the other side, it's all over--except for the injured dude. I guess you could make a basket and run it across on the line.

But all this takes too much time, right?

I'm still thinking catapult...

ReallyRong
06-15-2009, 02:17 AM
They don't live on the same continent.

Nope - it's because their paws are too big to open the wrappers.

Hmm. I'm studying your drawing though. I'll get back to you, though it may be a while.

Silver King
06-15-2009, 03:35 AM
Going down the side of the ravine and finding a way across the river from below would seem like a faster means of escape than bridging the gorge.

Fingers
06-15-2009, 06:33 AM
standard type ropes have three main strands. take the three 35 foot strands and tie them together, use a couple of entrenching tools to make a grappling hook and toss it into the nearest tree. when all but the last two are across, tie the injured guy to the rope and haul him across.

Or just tie the now over 100 foot piece of rope, have everyone climb down into the ravine and make their getaway.



yer pal Brian

James81
06-15-2009, 06:47 AM
You turn to your men and say:

"Men, it's been an honor serving with all of you. If it's our time to die, it's our time to die. But if he we have to give these bastards our lives, let's give them hell before we do!" (credit: The Matrix Revolutions, btw)

And then you stand and hold your ground like men.

:D

Silver King
06-15-2009, 06:50 AM
...I need a drawing please.
And just like that, one is delivered. I don't know the answer to this problem, but I am very impressed by IRU's sketch of the terrain and the details outlined to help solve this conundrum:




http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n83/spinynorman_2006/lateral.jpg

Izz
06-15-2009, 10:07 AM
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n83/spinynorman_2006/lateral.jpg
35 foot of rope right? And a 30 foot wide ravine? And your drawing shows a tree nice and handy right on the edge of the other side. Tie something into the rope--like a gun, perhaps, or a couple of knives, as well as a stone for weight--hurl it across the ravine until it catches on the tree on the other side. Get one soldier across to test the weight and make sure the rope is secure. Use uniforms from one or two soldiers to make a sling that the unconscious soldier can be put into and then slide him across and everybody else can follow.

(that made much better sense in my head than it does on internet ether, btw)

or: climb the nearby trees, hauling the unconscious soldier up with you, and hide amongst the leafiness, hoping the enemy doesn't do a good job of looking up.

Bmwhtly
06-15-2009, 01:06 PM
It depends who the enemy is.

If this is a civilised war, the correct course of action is to lay down arms and surrender safe in the knowledge that your wounded'll be cared for and you'll be treated civilly until you're repatriated.

If, on the other hand, this is a Rourke's Drift situation... play dead.

Izz
06-15-2009, 01:08 PM
If this is a civilised war, the correct course of action is to lay down arms and surrender safe in the knowledge that your wounded'll be cared for and you'll be treated civilly until you're repatriated.Oooh, the old surrender trick. That's a good one!

aadams73
06-15-2009, 01:36 PM
Strip off, roll in the dirt, climb in the trees and pretend you're some weird missing link between monkey and men.

Elidibus
06-15-2009, 02:16 PM
Strip off, roll in the dirt, climb in the trees and pretend you're some weird missing link between monkey and men.

I loled IRL

But seriously. First of all, if I were in charge, I would've read Sun Tsu's The Art of War and not attacked if I didn't have a 100 percent chance of success. However, since I am the lieutenant and I did read the book and I have standard issue supplies, I would use a smoke grenade to signal the ambush troops that I ordered to surround the enemy. You see, our small force was just a diversion. Now that they are focused on us, our ambush troops can reap the benefits of a confused army and our combined forces will flank them into oblivion.

Sure, we had to lose some really good men. But that's one of the prices of war. With this battle won, we have turned the tides and can now easily advance into their capital.

What did I win? :-)

Button
06-15-2009, 07:18 PM
... "calvaries don't turn tail, so fight to the last man, men, and save that bit of rope so we can lash the leader of the opposing army when we claim victory, or hang ourselves in sorrow if we fail."

With your shield, or on it.

Mr Flibble
06-15-2009, 08:01 PM
*snickers*

Some good answers and I've repped a few gold stars. But you're all still making it faaar too complicated.


You are the officer. You give the order 'X'. Problem disappears.

aadams73
06-15-2009, 08:14 PM
Hmm, I'd go all Gandalf and yell, "Fly, you fools!"

Sophia
06-15-2009, 11:28 PM
I say, "You, there. You're promoted to lieutenant. I'm demoting myself."

And then the problem has disappeared for me. :)

Mr Flibble
06-16-2009, 12:48 AM
Elara is closest so far to my perfect answer.

Anyone else want to try for the chocolate before I spill the answer - and not coincidentally you all start hating me? :D

aadams73
06-16-2009, 12:52 AM
I think I'd give the order to desert.

Izz
06-16-2009, 12:53 AM
Mmm...dessert.

Offer the enemy soldiers rations topped with icecream.

JoNightshade
06-16-2009, 01:03 AM
Elara is closest so far to my perfect answer.

Anyone else want to try for the chocolate before I spill the answer - and not coincidentally you all start hating me? :D

Uhhh... "You're all honorably discharged?"

James81
06-16-2009, 01:04 AM
Elara is closest so far to my perfect answer.

Anyone else want to try for the chocolate before I spill the answer - and not coincidentally you all start hating me? :D

The anser is that there is no real answer.

Mr Flibble
06-16-2009, 02:05 AM
The anser is that there is no real answer.


Oh but there is...

Highlight below ( in case some want to still try)


'Carry on Sergeant'



Hate me don't you?

Izz
06-16-2009, 02:08 AM
Bleh. That's not an answer! :tongue

(but at least i got a gold star :D)

Vincent
06-16-2009, 07:19 AM
...

Elegant.

But my answer had a freakin' trebuchet.

Bmwhtly
06-16-2009, 11:54 AM
Oh but there is...

Highlight below ( in case some want to still try)


'Carry on Sergeant'



Hate me don't you?That's not a solution because you all still get slaughtered.

robeiae
06-16-2009, 03:43 PM
Oh but there is...

Highlight below ( in case some want to still try)


'Carry on Sergeant'



Hate me don't you?
Foul!

You screwed it up. This is what you asked in the first post:


You need to get your men across the ravine ASAP ( you have about ten minutes). You are on your own - no calling in the cavalry. What order do you give?

KTC
06-16-2009, 03:48 PM
might i suggest throwing robieaieiaieaieiaeiaiea into the air, a la skeet shooting target, and having everybody else make a run for it while he's being pounded into oblivion by enemy fire? might work.

calley
06-16-2009, 04:16 PM
I vote for the naked men in the trebuchet.

Mr Flibble
06-16-2009, 04:20 PM
Foul!

You screwed it up. This is what you asked in the first post:

Yes, I said what order do you give to get out of the situation? This one will get you out of the situation, and is most likely to keep you all alive :D

Because we all know who really runs the army, don't we?

Told you you'd hate me.


I vote for the naked men in the trebuchet.

At any other time so would I.

robeiae
06-16-2009, 04:25 PM
might i suggest throwing robieaieiaieaieiaeiaiea into the air, a la skeet shooting target, and having everybody else make a run for it while he's being pounded into oblivion by enemy fire? might work.
That's a reasonable answer...

Yes, I said what order do you give to get out of the situation? This one will get you out of the situation, and is most likely to keep you all alive :D
:(

Ken
06-16-2009, 04:43 PM
'Carry on Sergeant'

:rant: