Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
September 2022
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Carve the Tree

A teenage boy smitten with a teenage girl in his high school freshman class makes his feelings known. Overjoyed at finding them reciprocated, he took a pen knife to a young hardwood tree in the vicinity and carved their initials within a heart five feet up on the tree’s trunk, as boys will do. They go back 28 years later. If the tree had added 35% to its height in the first fifteen years of his absence, 10% in the following five years, and two and a half percent in each of the ensuing eight years, how far up the trunk did they have to look to find the carving with their initials?

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6 guesses to Carve the Tree


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  • Dude

    Nope, not even close. Try again.

  • Julie

    Whacha talkin about Willis? A tree grows from the tips of each branch and not from the ground, so the initials would still be 5′ above the base, exactly the same height as twenty-eight years earlier.

  • Rool

    5 feet up.

    Maybe a bit stecthed though…

  • Dude

    Yes Julie, you are correct. My mistake on your first answer. Your second attempt explained it nicely. They will be at exactly the same height, which was in fact 5 feet.
    You are today’s winner!

  • I’m glad Julie figured it out, I was stumped, no pun intended lol. So heres another wood riddle I found that you might want to add: Wacky Wood