-2
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Opal awoke with a start- exhausted in her trek, she had momentarily slipped into a dream of a hastily written and terribly vague puzzle that was based entirely too much on an improvised scene she had performed in college. She was glad to see that things in reality were at least somewhat different from the dream.

Opal and her guide Kimbe have been trekking through the jungle to the ceremonial cavern inside Mount Tarantoola, but have stopped to rest for the night. Just as Kimbe succeeds in starting a fire, the two trekkers hear the crack of a whip in the distance; they are being pursued by Whiplash McGrath, who is set on destroying Opal, Kimbe, and whatever they hope to find inside the fabled mountain. They won't be resting tonight.

The mountain lies in front of Kimbe and Opal, but between them and their destination are two furiously raging rivers, which they dare not wade through, as they are filled with leeches and piranhas of unhealthy sizes. A long-forming sand bar separates the two rivers.

In the glow of the fire, Kimbe can see what looks like four vines hanging over each river, but as he and Opal race to the closest riverbank, they see that this is not the case. Over the closer river there are only three vines, as well as a large snake, while the far river has only one vine and three snakes.

Snakes can be swung on in place of vines, but won't be happy about it, and must be scared off with the torch, an act which extinguishes the flame. They must move, but they also want to foil Whiplash's pursuit, not leaving any way for him to swing across safely.

Also to be considered is the following:

The trekkers have one match with which they can relight the torch. A lit torch is necessary to safely enter the cavern, the match is not.

SO

Can Opal and Kimbe reach the mouth of the cavern safely, and prevent Whiplash from doing the same?

Clarifications

  • Snakes act as vines, assuming you have the means (a lit torch) to scare them. They may also be scared without swinging on them.

  • In this iteration the vines cannot be burned. Each vine/snake will only support one swing of one person.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I am realising that with the way I initially interpreted the question they are too many trivial solutions. can you be more precise on how they use the vines to swing across a river? is a single vine enough to cross? what about the vines that are already on the sand side $\endgroup$ – user3453281 Apr 20 '15 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ Also I suppose we are meant to assume that Whiplash also has some sick kicks he doesn't want to get a bit wet? $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Apr 20 '15 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ Does anyone have a goat in this puzzle? $\endgroup$ – No. 7892142 Apr 21 '15 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ This was definitely an exercise in futility when I first wrote it (as is referenced in the puzzle itself), but that's what the unbridled nature of improv leads to: no rules, no planning, bad news for a puzzle. This has been largely reworked and should now be much less confusing and much less open-ended. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Oct 22 '15 at 15:45
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This problem has been changed significantly; this answer reflects the original.

I expect I am missing something but the way I read it this is technically true...

  1. They burn 3 vines on their shore.
  2. Kimbe swings to the sandbar.
  3. Opal swings to the sandbar.
  4. Kimbe burns 1 vine.
  5. Kimbe swings to the cavern shore.
  6. Opal swings to the cavern shore.
  7. They light the torch if it went out but it shouldn't have.
  8. They burn the remaining 2 vines.

This problem has been changed significantly; this answer reflects the revised question.

Assume they can light the torch from the fire and the torch cannot be thrown. This leaves only one way to remove all 4 vines/snakes from the close shore with the torch lit but the match is used. This leaves 2 snakes by the second river.

  1. Both cross: Kimbe by snake; Opal by vine; torch extinguished.
  2. Kimbe by vine returns to first shore and relights torch via fire.
  3. Kimbe by vine returns to sand bank with torch lit.
  4. Both cross: Kimbe by snake; Opal by vine; torch extinguished.
  5. Kimbe relights torch with the match and they enter the cave.

This assumes Kimbe accepts all the danger as he is the employee.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's what I was thinking as well. $\endgroup$ – No. 7892142 Apr 21 '15 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ either we are all missing something or it is a pretty terrible puzzle. way too many vines, pretty much any combination of swinging and burning would work. $\endgroup$ – user3453281 Apr 21 '15 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @kaine This puzzle was pretty much garbage when I first wrote it, but my own unwavering excitement wouldn't let me see it. It might still be trash, even with my revisions, but hopefully it at least smells a little better. And hopefully it's far less arbitrary. Feel free to either look again, or to completely write this off and forget about it. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Oct 22 '15 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @raisinghellyer This is still not quite clear. I can read the snake part in two ways: 1) You are able to scare snakes away with the torch and they are no longer swingable. They, otherwise, act as vines. 2) You must scare snakes with the torch to swing on them. Also it not clear if you can still burn vines and if they can still be only used once. Any combination of these I think I have a solution but which one depends on these answers. $\endgroup$ – kaine Oct 22 '15 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ @kaine Thanks for the comment and critique. I have edited the post to include clarifications. At this point, it seems unlikely that the question will be reopened, but I think that only prohibits anyone from providing a new answer. You should be able to edit your answer and run away with the check on this one. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Oct 22 '15 at 18:14
1
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kimbe swings (with the torch) to the sand bar, then plants the torch in the sand so it will stay lit. she swings back to the shore, then back to the sand bar with opal. they burn the (1) remaining vine and the (3) sand bar vines. then they swing across, leaving zero intact vine behind.

alternative

kimbe gives the torch to opal (I hope she can at least hold a torch) then kimbe swings to the sandbar and back, grabs the torch then they both swing to the sandbar. they burn all vines expect the last 2, then swing across.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh so they must swing on the same vine together.... I did not get that. $\endgroup$ – kaine Apr 20 '15 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ @user3453281 This puzzle was pretty much garbage when I first wrote it, but my own unwavering excitement wouldn't let me see it. It might still be trash, even with my revisions, but hopefully it at least smells a little better. And hopefully it's far less arbitrary. Feel free to either look again, or to completely write this off and forget about it. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Oct 22 '15 at 16:25

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