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A rabbit saw 6 elephants while going to the river. Every elephant saw 2 monkeys going to the river. Every monkey has 1 parrot each. How many of animals went to the river?

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    $\begingroup$ As this is a popular puzzle you should at least point to the source or mention it. $\endgroup$
    – rhsquared
    Apr 6, 2018 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ I realize this puzzle is ambiguous enough to allow for many answers, but I'm surprised none of the posted answers were the obvious solution of 11: (1) rabbit saw (6) elephants, who saw (2) monkeys who carried (2) parrots. 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 11. $\endgroup$
    – SQLnoob
    Jun 17, 2021 at 13:05

9 Answers 9

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5

but there's no definite answer without a few assumptions:

1 rabbit
0 elephants (it is never said they are going to the river)
2 monkeys (assuming all the elephants saw the same monkeys)
2 parrots (assuming a monkey having a parrot means 'is currently in possession of')

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    $\begingroup$ Also hidden assumption: "All animals going to the river are mentioned in the text" and "a parrot being carried by a monkey still counts as 'going'". $\endgroup$
    – Cubic
    Apr 6, 2018 at 15:29
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    $\begingroup$ A small doubt: Dont you think the sentence "1 rabbit saw 6 elephants while going to the river" is ambigious. Its not clear if elephants are going to the river and the rabbit is sitting somewhere or it could be both are in going to the river or only rabbit is going to ther river while elephants are somewhere. I could see 3 possibilities. Am I right? $\endgroup$
    – Nagaraju
    May 20, 2020 at 9:01
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The answer is

Indeterminate

because

It is unclear whether or not the elephants were going to the river. I assume that they were not, but simply stating that "a rabbit saw 6 elephants while going to the river" tells us nothing about the location or direction of the elephants. Rephrasing "saw" to "met" would be somewhat less ambiguous (similar to the classic riddle "As I was going to St. Ives ...") that the elephants were travelling in the opposite direction.

also

We are told that the monkeys are going to the river, but we don't know how many monkeys there are. Did the elephants all see the same pair of monkeys (minimum 2) or did they all see separate ones (maximum 12)? There is no way to know based on the information given.

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  • $\begingroup$ Of course this is the right answer.   Do we know that all mentioned animals have perfect vision?  Do we know how many turkeys and weasels went to the river?    :-)    ⁠ $\endgroup$ Apr 6, 2018 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ A small doubt: Dont you think the sentence "1 rabbit saw 6 elephants while going to the river" is ambigious. Its not clear if elephants are going to the river and the rabbit is sitting somewhere or it could be both are in going to the river or only rabbit is going to ther river while elephants are somewhere. I could see 3 possibilities. Am I right? $\endgroup$
    – Nagaraju
    May 20, 2020 at 9:03
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I think the answer is

3

Given that

Neither the parrots nor the elephants are said to be going to the river (so 1 rabbit plus 2 monkeys).

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  • $\begingroup$ A small doubt: Dont you think the sentence "1 rabbit saw 6 elephants while going to the river" is ambigious. Its not clear if elephants are going to the river and the rabbit is sitting somewhere or it could be both are in going to the river or only rabbit is going to ther river while elephants are somewhere. I could see 3 possibilities. Am I right? $\endgroup$
    – Nagaraju
    May 20, 2020 at 9:03
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I fear I’ve overlooked something, but I believe that the answer is:

25

Breakdown:

\begin{array}{l,c,l}\text{Rabbit(s):}&1&=1\\\text{Elephants:}&1\times6&=6\\\text{Monkeys:}&6\times2&=12\\\text{Parrots:}&12\times1&=12\end{array} $$\text{Total: Rabbit(s) + Monkeys + Parrots} = 1+12+12=25$$ because the elephants were not going to the river.

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Further to the previous posts I think that the answer is:

At least 5 animals

because

We know that the rabbit was going to the river, the 2 monkeys were going there and each monkey had a parrot. But we don't know which way the elephants were going. That's why I think the answer should be at least and not exactly 5.

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I believe the answer is

13

Reason:

1 Rabbit
6 elephants saw 2 monkeys each, so 6*2 = 12 monkeys
It doesn't mention that elephants are going to the river, and even though the monkeys have parrots, it doesn't say they physically carry them to the river.

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I think the answer is

5

Because

A rabbit is 1. The elephants aren't going to the river, so we'll leave them out. Then there are 2 monkeys going to the river. Every monkey has 1 parrot, and there are 2 monkeys, so altogether they have 2 parrots, which are probably going to the river with them. So 1 + 2 + 2 = 5.

Note: got it wrong.

Every elephant saw a monkey. So let's restate this. 1 + (6 x 2) + (2 x 1) = 15.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please re-examine the final term of your equation (the part after the last +, before the =) and explain why you got an answer different from mine. $\endgroup$ Apr 6, 2018 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ OH, I see. The amount of monkeys changed, therefore the amount of parrots changed, making the sum larger. $\endgroup$
    – roxwize
    Apr 6, 2018 at 14:45
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I think that there's not really enough information for a single answer, but it's possible to construct a scenario where

There are any odd number from 5 to 25, inclusive.

For example, to get:

11

Imagine this:

In the picture below, the grey ovals are elephants, the red lines are the paths of 5 different monkeys (each holding a parrot), and the purple, dotted line is the path of the rabbit. Each elephant sees two different monkeys (heading to the river), and the rabbit can see all of the elephants. This means there are 5 monkeys, 5 parrots, and 1 rabbit heading towards the river.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Could also be even numbers and as few as three animals total. There's nothing to say that all monkeys were seen, and there's nothing that says the parrots were with the monkeys; the wording is "Every monkey has one parrot each". If I'm out at a restaurant and someone asks if I have any pets, I'm going to say "I have a cat" even though it isn't with me. $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2021 at 17:59
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rabbit: 1 + elephant: 6 + monkeys: 2 = 9

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