Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024

Start and End

Billy was on vacation last year on the island of Wazzup. Wazzup is a really peculiar shape for an island, it’s rectangular, 20 miles long and only 15 feet wide, and totally covered in trees! It has two tiny villages on it: Start and End. Unfortunately, a fire has begun at Start and is travelling toward End at around 1 mile per hour. There is also a wind which is blowing towards End at around 2 miles per hour. Now, Billy, who is at End, has no way of getting off the island, he cannot pass through the fire, he cannot put the fire out and there is no one to help him. How can he save himself?


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2 guesses to Start and End

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  • Matt

    Move to the middle of the island and start a fire (on the ‘end’ side of yourself). It will burn away from you; follow it. The fire that is closing in on you from the ‘Start’ end will get to the newly scorched earth and burn out. For your trouble, you will probably die of thirst / starvation; but at least you didn’t burn. 8-)

  • Dude

    You nailed it, Matt!

    The simplest method is to light a new fire about 1 mile from End. This fire will burn toward End (because of the wind) and when it reaches End, it will go out. Billy can then go to End, knowing that the main fire cannot reach him as his smaller fire has already burned all of the trees down.

    You’re today’s winner.