What would you do ? (14) The Puzzle

“What would you do ?” used to figure on the cover of a boys’ comic called “Boys’ World”. This publication 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.

The front cover always featured a puzzle, called “What would you do ?”. It was based on somebody being in what Ned Flanders would call “A dilly of a pickle”. Here’s the situation:


The yellow 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 yellow box enlarged:

So…..it’s a raging forest fire, with roaring flames, and he’s cut off. There’s no water to save him, and no Superman, no Batman, not even a fireman.

So…..it’s one “Dilly of a pickle”. What can he do? Well, any bright ideas, write them in the “Comments” section.

First prize is a look at page 6, to see the last DINOSAUR on Earth.





Filed under Canada, Wildlife and Nature

26 responses to “What would you do ? (14) The Puzzle

  1. Depending upon density of the fuel feeding the fire and the speed at which it is apparently moving, I would drop to the ground, cover my head with my coat, pull my hands under my body and wait for the fire to race over me. Perhaps I will be lucky.

    • Well done, Allen! That’s half way to the solution.

      • The key issue is that he has “scant moments” to do anything. The image shows that the lumberjack has an axe that he could use to create a shallow trench in which to lie. He has, though, “scant moments”. If he had a water bottle with him, he could pour it on his coat, but again, he has “scant moments” and it most likely would do no good. If you have ever been around a forest fire or a fast-moving grass or brush fire, you would know that there is not much hope that he would come through the experience unscathed. His goal is to minimize the damage and only that.

  2. With what rime I have I would dig a pit as deep as possible, get inside and cover my head with that jacket. Cross my fingers very hard.

  3. I can better neither of the above

    • 3-0 to the commentators! Only a couple of somewhat nit-picking details are missing. The official answer wants to know how you would dig without a spade, and how you would stop your jacket smouldering or even catching fire.

  4. Chris Waller

    I would lie down flat on the ground (possibly try to dig a shallow trench with the axe?), pull the jacket over my head and hope that the fire moved over me very quickly.

    • That’s a correct answer, and has the correct solution of how you would dig without a spade. Well done, Chris! The only missing one is how you would stop the jacket from catching fire.

  5. GP

    I’d try to dig a hole as fast as possible and lay as flat as I could, hoping the fire would go right past me.

  6. Two options I see:
    First, take your communicator and have your star ship beam you out of there.

    Second, look for a place as close the center of the fire area you can get to with as little brush, trees, pine needles, etc. Then with whatever time you have kick away all flammable materials, scrape out a shallow area in the dirt, lie down and cover your head with a jacket.

    Modern fire fighters would have an emergency fire shelter with them that they could pull over themselves, but basically the process is the same, get down, dig if possible and cover.

    • The emergency fire shelter is a great idea, although definitely not as good as the star ship and being beamed out of the situation. Overall, though, a correct answer, so, well done, Andrew!

  7. The ferocious fast-moving wildfires we have these days don’t allow time for digging holes or clearing the area of trees or bush. Look forward to learning the answer to the puzzle.

    • Yes, I did wonder about that. In WW2 the firestorms created in Hamburg, Dresden and Darmstadt and then in Tokyo and any number of Japanese cities could not be resisted. In Hamburg, mooring posts in the river were burnt off level with the water, for example. I would imagine that the modern wildfires have much more in common with these events from history, then the forest fires of yesteryear.
      You can see from my replies to the other suggestions what the correct answer is, but I would agree with you, that modern forest fires may be a much more formidable opponent that what used to happen in 1963.

  8. I enjoyed reading all the comments and waiting for the solution 🙂

  9. Sadly I’ve left it too late to win first prize, but I would have said similar to those in the comments above. Perhaps though, with the addition of covering myself with soil if possible, an added layer of protection against the fire – a bit like those sand crab things.

  10. Thank you for sharing!!.. I don’t think depending on the coat would be the best, if for no other reason than it doesn’t cover the entire body… if time permits clear brush and then use the axe, and hands, to dig a shallow hole and cover oneself with dirt or if there is a depression nearby use it… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your troubles be less
    Your blessings be more
    And nothing but happiness
    Come through your door
    (Irish Saying)

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