Escape from Kingdom


In a kingdom, King George did not allow any citizen to visit the world outside. Also, only a person with proper paperwork was allowed to enter or he was sent back. A wooden bridge was what connected the kingdom to the world. The king had appointed a sharpshooter who would check the every five minutes on the bridge to check. After checking, he would go back to his hut and return exactly after five minutes again. The bridge took 9 minutes to cross.

A merchant was able to escape the kingdom without harming the shooter. How?

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    There are two possible scenarios when the merchant reaches the bridge: The guard is at the observation post OR he is away. So, the merchant planned as follows: If the guard is at the post, the merchant would wait for him to return to his hut. On the other hand, if the guard is away, he would wait till the guard came to the post and returned again. (This is because, if the guard was already away, the merchant can’t know for how long he was away and when would he return (and find the merchant trying to escape).)

    Once the guard left for his hut, the merchant started over the bridge at his maximum speed. Just before the 5-min mark, he stopped, turned around and started moving towards the country at a slow pace. The guard who came back to the watch point at 5 min. saw the merchant coming towards the country and wasn’t bothered because he thought that he could check the ‘visitor’ (for necessary paperwork) when he reaches the end of the bridge, about to enter the country. Assuming that everything is safe, the guard returned to his hut. The merchant turned back again and resumed his escape. By the time the guard returned from the hut again to the watch point, the merchant had crossed the bridge and escaped.

    Viji_Pinarayi Expert Answered on 7th December 2022.
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