Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
September 2022
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Bowling for Dollars

A man weighing 180 lbs. carrying 3 bowling balls weighing 10 lbs. each, approaches a large ravine. The only way to cross is a bridge with a weight limit of 200 lbs. The ravine is to far to throw or roll the balls across. How can the man cross the ravine in only one trip, with all 3 bowling balls?

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4 guesses to Bowling for Dollars


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  • Roolstar

    The classic answer is “JUGGLING”.

    Still, the laws of physics would impose some restrictions still. In fact if this 180 lbs man is juggling these 3 x 10 lbs balls (which by itself is no small feat), He will have to do it with a maximum of 1 ball in his hands at any given time. The classical juggling pattern (with 2 balls in the hands in each giving moment) would still collapse the bridge, as the force exerted to through the ball up will make it’s “apparent” weight slightly (or much) greater than 10 lbs. and the 200 lbs. limit is breached. In other words, he would have to invent a new juggling pattern, practice it and attempt his crossing.

    On the other hand, as we all know, the weight limits set for bridges (and elevators) are taking into account a margin of safety (sometimes as much as 10%) and given that 10 lbs is only 5%, I presume it will be safe to cross with all 3 balls in his arms.

    And before you say anything, I know I already said too much here, but bare with me a little. Depending on the design of the bridge (length, floor type…), a fairly good bowling player (and I’m only suggesting taht having that our guy has 3 bawling balls with him), should be fairly easilly able to roll them across the bridge before crossing himself.

    I rest my case.

    Okay, I admit, I have been watching a lot of Boston Legal these days :)

  • Roolstar

    and “…through the ball up…” in the above post should’ve been “…throw the ball up…”

    My mistake. Well, that and the inability to edit posts on this site as well.

  • Dude

    First off, never apologize for speaking up here at the RiddleDude. It’s an open forum for all members to discuss, throw out ideas and exercise our brains in a fun atmosphere.

    Second: I couldn’t have answered this better. The classic answer is “juggling” but the force of juggling three bowling balls would register the same amount of weight as carrying them, unless you juggled with two in the air at all times. As for the bowling idea, I believe that’s a good possibility, too.

    You M’lady, are today’s winner!!!
    Congratulations!

    (Oh, and if we’re going to get picky about spelling, I should have typed “too” instead of “to” as in “too far to roll the balls.” So, touché).

  • Murray

    He could diet and loose 10bs of his own weight before crossing a few months later