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Two farmers of similar size and build, one with a new red cart full of potatoes and onions, and one with an old red cart full of onions and potatoes, leave their farm on the first day of April each year.

The journey takes eight days with good weather and as many as fifteen days with bad weather.

Which farmer reaches the destination first, and why?

Maybe a little too abstract/lateral? Will soon find out (and hopefully improve it).

Hint/Clarification (in response to manshu):

The market is the same market. The distance is the same. Same sized cart.

Hint #2:

There was a BIG time gap between the first farmer and the second farmer reaching the market.

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    $\begingroup$ Should the first farmer have a new red cart? $\endgroup$ – Gordon K May 26 '16 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ The cart is important but it doesn't give you the answer on its own. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ Positions of the potatoes and onions in the cart is important? $\endgroup$ – lucas May 26 '16 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ errr... You didn't have to put that "Love the thinking process." in clarification :p $\endgroup$ – manshu May 26 '16 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Accidental. Removed :) $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:18

15 Answers 15

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One of the farmers is the father, the other is his son. Once the father is too old to bring his goods to the market, his son takes over (using his fathers old cart) Only one farmer arrives at the market each year. The father arrives first each year until his son takes over the annual duty, from then on he arrives first each year.

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    $\begingroup$ So who reaches the destination first? $\endgroup$ – CinCout May 26 '16 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ Perfect answer. (good point by CinCout though) So what did you think? Did you get it form just the clues in the riddle or do you think it needs more? $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ It was your comment on Shadowcats awnser. The question clearly said two farmers, so it would be missinformation if that was the right answer. I think there is enough in the original answer to get it. As CinCout asks the original question becomes a bit weird. Maybe if you change it to "who reaches the destination first each year" the answer would be only one reaches the destination each year $\endgroup$ – Mikey Mouse May 26 '16 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers as the Lord of Dark commented, leaving their farm "every year" could be changed to "each year". Each year implies they leave if they're able (Every year suggests they're cursed zombie farmers) $\endgroup$ – Mikey Mouse May 26 '16 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ I still don't get how the question makes sense with this answer. As @LordofDark commented on another answer, the question says: "Two farmers ... [modifying clauses] ... leave their farm each year." But in this answer only one farmer is leaving the farm each year. Am I missing something? $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell May 26 '16 at 19:41
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I think I've got it.

It's the same farmer - he starts with a new cart (say, in 1980), and is still making the annual journey many years later (say in 2016). But by this time the cart is old. So the one with the new cart technically arrives first by a great many years.

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  • $\begingroup$ SO close! Not quite but SO very close. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps it's the farmer's son/ someone else who trades roles with the farmer every year in the journey - so not the same farmer $\endgroup$ – Shuri2060 May 26 '16 at 10:16
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    $\begingroup$ question says "two farmers [...] leave their farm [...] every year". So there are two farmers every year $\endgroup$ – Fabich May 26 '16 at 10:24
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This depends on many things. First is if their destination is same. So the first point of difference is the distance between their farm and the destination. If the distance is same then it depends on the size and the condition of the cart. Larger size of the cart means more vegetables can fit in it. So it will be harder to pull the cart. And of course the cart with better condition will be more helpful. Here, I didn't assume that the new cart have better condition. If I assume it then the new cart have increased chances of reaching the destination. They might or might not take the same way to their destination. So it also depends on the weather they find on their way.

Another answer after the clarification of the question:

Farmer with the old cart reaches first because he will take his cart with the speed caring less about the cart than the farmer with the new cart. New cart farmer won't take the risk of breaking his new cart by driving in more speed.

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  • $\begingroup$ The market is the same market. The distance is the same. Same sized cart. Love the thinking process. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers Is the way to the market also same? $\endgroup$ – manshu May 26 '16 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ Yep. Getting there. Just need a little inductive reasoning. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers Added another answer $\endgroup$ – manshu May 26 '16 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ No. I'll add another hint. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:53
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The answer is

farmer with old cart will reach first.

How?

It is bad weather and there is a pond or river which they have to cross. Since it is bad weather, it has water rising above a level of carts. The old cart will have some holes through which water can get into. Since onions are at bottom (the order to put vegetables in cart is different) and these can float, it will be easier to pull the old cart and make second farmer reach first.

That's all I can think about.

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  • $\begingroup$ Clever. Not what I'm looking for. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers the answer or the explanation? $\endgroup$ – A J May 26 '16 at 9:50
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    $\begingroup$ Aren't people going to hate if I give the answer? o.o $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't water add more weight? $\endgroup$ – jaydm26 May 26 '16 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ i'm not sure, it depends $\endgroup$ – A J May 26 '16 at 10:06
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Lateral Thinking my friends! I always wanted to go ham on this.

Pretty sure the old cart gonna arrive first. These two farmers only difference is their cart and they way they did put the elements in it. But, even if one cart is new and the other is old, they can have the same speed. The thing is that one has a new cart, which implies he maybe has more money. This money is coming from somewhere, maybe more clients? So the new cart guy knows more people than the old cart guy. BUT, it happens that it is April fool's day as you mentionned! All the client of new car guy beeing fun people, they decide to attach fishes on the guy and on his cart, as a typical april fool. Now his cart weight more than the lonely old car guy. So the lonely cart guy will be faster on the road cause he has a lower weight, and therefore arrive first.

You can throw bricks on me if you want.

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  • $\begingroup$ This isn't the answer I'm looking for. And I'm asking specifically which farmer gets to the marked first, not which car. Hope that helps. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ if he is faster he reaches it first :) $\endgroup$ – RiddlerNewComer May 26 '16 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ Fastest first? Not necessarily. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:20
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The farmer who have a new cart reaches first. I think he always has reached first and has sold his goods more expensive than the other. And so, he has been able to buy a new cart.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not quite. They both leave at the same time each year. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:37
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Perhaps the old cart because:

If it rains, the older cart will probably drain the water because of holes and leakage, therefore there is less weight to carry and the farmer doesn't need to drain his cart manually. Moreover, potatoes cannot be harvested until july, onions however can be harvested late march. The juice of the rotten potatoes will probably leave the old cart pretty quick.

Perhaps the new cart:

the new cart may have a less hard time getting through the mud when it rains.

Perhaps none:

The first of april is meant to be joking.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope. And remember that I'm not asking which cart gets their fist. That's important. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 10:10
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I don't think I have the answer, but perhaps some things to note:

Perhaps there's a place between the farm and the market which one farmer needs to stop at.

Why would the farmers want to arrive at the market at the same time? Surely they'd want to arrive at different times so that they're not competing against each other for customers.

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  • $\begingroup$ They've no need to stop on the way and it wouldn't change the answer. There is no risk of the farmers competing with each other. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 10:16
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Reasoning:

Both carts are pulled by oxen. New cart is filled mostly with potatoes, with some onions. Old cart is filled mostly with onions, with some potatoes. Potatoes are much denser than onions, so the new cart, assuming both carts are very similar other than their age, weighs more. At least in the northern hemisphere, in moderate climes, April usually is a very wet month, so assuming the road they take is a dirt road, it would get very muddy. The heavier cart is harder to pull, so would take slower. However, both farmers sacrifice some potatoes to feed the oxen* and themselves. The farmer with the new cart started out with a heavier cart, but as the trip takes longer, the new cart becomes lighter as the journey progresses (and the potatoes diminish). The farmer with the old cart (and fewer potatoes) runs out of potatoes faster, forcing the oxen to eat grass and other things from the side of the road (which also forces the farmer to take longer stops), as they don't like the onions. This cart's total weight doesn't drop nearly as much as the new cart and rapidly loses the lead it had on the other cart.

Answer:

The farmer with the new cart arrives first!

PS:

I checked, it's okay to feed potatoes to cows, as long as they haven't turned green yet (the potatoes, not the cows).

I didn't read any other answers prior to responding.

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    $\begingroup$ I like it but It's just not 'lateral' enough. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ i've provided a modified answer, with (hopefully) a more 'lateral' thought process :D. $\endgroup$ – Spikee May 26 '16 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ The farmer that reached the market first did so by a big stretch of time. They were not racing, they both travelled the same distance with the same load of goods. It wouldn't matter if the goods were different or even if one of them used a different cart. The first farmer would still have gotten to the market first. But all of the similarities between to two farmers and their journeys are important. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers: Note the ´being forced to take longer stops´ part. That would cause a minor lead to become a very large gap, lagging behind. ;) $\endgroup$ – Spikee May 26 '16 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ Much larger than that kind of "lead" I'm afraid. Big hint: This isn't so much about the things that happen on the journey or what they take etc. Imagine that the two very similar farmers both travel at very similar speeds, over the same distance to the same place at the same time once per year. Why else then might one get to the end first? $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 13:33
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The farmer that reaches the market first is the one that do the journey without its cart.

:)

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  • $\begingroup$ They both take the cart. It's not a race. They have vegies to sell. Nice thinking though. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 26 '16 at 9:35
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I don't think the conditions of the cart matter. Both farmers are basically the same, so the strength does not matter as well. The potatoes and onions do not matter as well. Neither does the weather or the fact that it is April. The distance does not matter as well. I think all these details are red herrings. However, this reminds me of the ball problem in physics. The distance between the two points is the same, but the path the ball takes is different where one is curved differently to affect the momentum of the ball. Therefore, one ball reaches the point first while the other takes a longer time. Perhaps one farmer has to go uphill while the other farmer has to go downhill or something along those lines. The distance may be the same from the farm, but maybe one farmer took a different path.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very cool way of thinking. Both farmers would take the same path in this case unless the path changed over time for whatever reason. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 27 '16 at 7:44
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The old cart gets to market first.

Reasoning

Both the carts are red but the old one is faded whereas the new one is bright and shiny. Obviously the farmer lives on a farm and unfortunately that means that to get off his land he has to contend with his territorial bull. As they leave at the same the bull is enraged by the new cart and charges it. This means the farmer driving the new cart must wait until the bull is distracted before he can leave the farm. In some instances the bull probably even catches the farmer requiring a lot of time wasted fixing his damaged cart.

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  • $\begingroup$ So very far from the answer. The farmers both grow only onions and potatoes. Ruddy creative though. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 27 '16 at 7:39
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depends on the age of the two farmers. if one is way older than the the other one he will reach later than the young one.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, completely wrong. And yet thinking about the age of the farmers is probably a smart move. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 27 '16 at 7:48
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They both leave on the same day, same start point, same distance, same destination.

But there are 24 hrs in a day, the one that leaves first gets there first.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not far off, but who is the one that gets there first? $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 27 '16 at 7:46
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The farmer(s) arrive, arrived or will have arrive(d), at the same time or a time to be determined by correlation of "arrival" and "cart".

At some point in time prior to the existence of the new cart, the old cart had to have made the journey with the/a farmer to the market first.

Or

They arrive at the same time. The new cart and the old cart are the same. The new cart arrived first when it was new and the old cart arrived first when it was the new cart.

The big difference in time-to-destination is when you consider, or define, the cart(s) to be new or old and the time frame of its given arrival.

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  • $\begingroup$ You've pretty much got it with the first one but you should maybe use spoiler functionality? $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 27 '16 at 7:50

protected by Aza May 26 '16 at 22:41

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