The Four Elopements : Solution


The feat can be performed in 17 trips.

We begin with ABCD (the men) and abcd (the girls) all on shore. The following chart is self-explanatory.

Shore Island Other side
1 A B C D c d   a b
2 A B C D b c d   a
3 A B C D d b c a
4 A B C D c d b a
5 C D c d b A B a
6 B C D c d b A a
7 B C D b c d A a
8 B C D d b c A a
9 D d b c A B C a
10 D d a b c A B C
11 D d b A B C a c
12 B D d b A C a c
13 d b A B C D a c
14 d b c A B C D a
15 d   A B C D a b c
16 c d   A B C D a b
17     A B C D a b c d
Note: There are other ways the puzzle can be solved in 17 trips. This solution is the most satisfactory in that it involves the fewest "gettings in" and "gettings out".




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