What would you do ? (13) The Puzzle

What would you do ?” used to figure on the cover of a boys comic called “Boys’ World”. This was a publication, obviously, aimed at boys and first appeared on January 26th 1963. There were 89 issues before the comic was merged with Eagle in 1964. The last issue of “Boys’ World” came out on October 3rd 1964.

I used to buy “Boys’ World”, and this was mainly for the front cover which always featured a kind of puzzle. It was called “What would you do ?” and was based on somebody being in what Ned Flanders would call “A dilly of a pickle”. Here’s Ned again:

The pale box sets the scene, and the task is for you to solve the situation.  Perhaps you might like to write your idea in the “Comments” section. Here’s the overall view:

Here’s that box enlarged:

So, just in case you can’t make out that rather blurred blue box, it reads, roughly:

“You are out on an African safari when the truck swerves off the road and sets off down a steep slope. Eventually, the truck is stopped when it hits a large boulder. But that isn’t the problem solved. What on earth can they ding-dong-diddily do to escape death? The slope they are on ends with a thousand foot drop. All they have is a rope, and without help, they cannot haul the truck back up the slope. Food and water is limited, and they cannot possibly walk all the way to their destination because of dehydration.  What can do to save themselves?”

Perhaps you might like to write your idea in the “Comments” section.



Filed under Africa, Wildlife and Nature

20 responses to “What would you do ? (13) The Puzzle

  1. GP

    You’re going to have to tell me. 😵

  2. Chris Divall

    Hmmm, tricky. There’s a rope wrapped around the front bumper, but it looks too short. However, there’s a bunch of supplies spilling out of the back of the pick-up, including a large spool of cable and a spade. Let’s assume the rock weighs at least as much as the truck, and let’s also assume the cable is long enough and strong enough to do the job. Now, unspool the cable and wrap one end securely around the boulder using several turns and run the other end up around the tree at the top of the slope and back down to the truck. Lash the cable around the rear bumper, cut off any excess length with a penknife (every adventurer carries one) and give it one turn around the drag cable. Leave it unfastened, do not tie. Then someone strong grips the loose end firmly while another uses the spade to carefully excavate the ground in front of the boulder and inch it down the slope while gently pulling the truck up the hill. If the rock takes off out of control or rolls over the cliff, then as soon as the truck reaches the top, let go of the rope. And there you have it!
    What do the Sherlocks of Sherwood think about that!

    • Having seen the official answer, and going by the Regulations, Terms and Conditions, it’s wrong.
      However, I think that that would work, so a very large “Well done”! Nobody, as far as I remember, has ever come up with a valid alternative solution as far as I remember.

  3. Well, Chris just wrote the answer I was thinking of. There are a lot of assumptions there, but likely it’s what the writers of magazine had in mind.

    Today, you’d just take out your satellite phone and call for help. Then a giant helicopter will pick up the truck and put it back on the road.

    • If you had the same answer in mind as Chris, then well done and congratulations. Perhaps he’ll share the prize with you.
      As for the giant helicopter, that might depend on the African country you are in. Personally, I would hesitate to trust my life to a Soviet-era flying crane that won’t have been serviced or repaired since Gorbachev was in power. If it turns up and looks American, French or British, though, you should be OK.

  4. I suggest setting fire to the truck in the hope that someone will see the flames and come to the rescue.

    • That is an excellent idea. Let’s just hope that the AA and the RAC don’t hear about it, otherwise that could form the basis of their Economy Relay Package, £10 annually, you always get home, but your car never does.

  5. No John. I’m with GP on this one.

  6. Chris Divall

    Great Scot! You mean there are rules? and there’s a prize?? Now I’m dying to find out the official answer and know if my A Level in ‘Applied Assumptions’, and the survival skills I learned from watching BBC’s “Now Get Out Of That”, were worth something..CD

  7. Well I think Chris’s answer is the basis of a vernacular railway, as the heavy object goes down, so the light object goes up. A very sensible idea indeed and one I cannot better. Of course there are some assumptions in that the person holding the rope can hold it whilst being pulled, quite a feat! I’d tie it to the jeep them cut it (with the every adventurer’s penknife) as you approach the top. The more weight you take out of the jeep the easier it would be so could the occupants empty the jeep before hand and hold the rope too.

    Failing that, I get the Too Gear team out as they seem to manage and sort every dire situation with relative ease.

    • Absolutely, although when everybody sees the correct answer, they may well be surprised to see that it is essentially quite a bit simpler than Chris’s solution. I would call out the Top Gear team as well, but only in the hope that I’d be there when Clarkson goes over the thousand foot cliff.

  8. Thanks for sharing!!… not sure if a winch is available so guessing, I am thinking tie one end of the rope around the tree, the other end either on the axle/tire or drive shaft (to act as a winch) and put transmission in gear and hope to winch the truck back enough for the truck to shift and the wheels catch and get back on the road…. 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and life is all that you wish for it to be… 🙂

    • Well done! Your suggestion is exactly the same as the official solution, although I think that one of the other solutions may well have worked. Yours, however, comes with a 100% guarantee from the writers of the magazine. Excellent work!

  9. A nail biting situation 🙂

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