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riddles >> easy >> Easy: Willywutang & burning island
(Message started by: A.P. on Jul 25th, 2002, 7:39pm)

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Title: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by A.P. on Jul 25th, 2002, 7:39pm
This solution seems too simple to be right:

Willywutang can set a second fire, stay between the two fires, then move into the ashes left by the second fire. When the first fire gets there, there won't be anything left to burn.

It took me about 5 minutes to think of. Surely it can't be that easy?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & buring island
Post by ted shultz on Jul 26th, 2002, 1:44pm
I'm not so sure how your solution would work. If the island was long and skinny, how would Mr. WuTang cross over the 2nd fire burning towards him to get to the ashes. If he could do that, what would keep him from just crossing the first fire into its ashes?

BUT, I do have to admit my only solution isn't any better.
I came up with:
Because we are trying to "save himself from burning to death" and because he can't swim, Mr. WuTang could just drown himself. Arguably a less than ideal solution.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & buring island
Post by H. Lee on Jul 26th, 2002, 2:10pm
"willywutang is hanging out on a heavily forested island that's really narrow: it's a narrow strip of land that's ten miles long. let's label one end of the strip A, and the other end B. a fire has started at A, and the fire is moving toward B at the rate of 1 mph. at the same time, there's a 2 mph wind blowing in the direction from A toward B. what can willywu do to save himself from burning to death?! assume that willywu can't swim and there are no boats, jetcopters, teleportation devices, etc.. (if he does nothing, willywu will be toast after at most 10 hours, since 10 miles / 1 mph = 10 hours)"

The question is: "can willywu do to save himself from burning to death?!"

So my answer? He can drown to death.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & buring island
Post by Frothingslosh on Jul 26th, 2002, 4:58pm
The answer is to set a second fire. He doesn't even need a match
or lighter, since the current fire is moving slow enough that he can
get a light from it, bring it a few miles back and then start the new
fire. The assumption, (not stated very clearly here in this version
of the problem) is that there is a slight breeze so that the second
fire travels in the same direction as the first fire. So the second fire
doesn't head towards the first fire and trap him, it burns a dead zone
that he can step into before the first fire gets to him. This was apparent
in the version of the puzzle I heard years ago (which also gave him
some red hering items he had in his pockets as his only posessions,
no matches or lighter, so he had to go to the first fire to get that) but
has somehow been lost in the retelling. Just goes to stress how
critical the wording of these puzzles can be.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & buring island
Post by Peter Seebach on Jul 26th, 2002, 5:19pm
I figured, he can't swim, but he can wade, so he can just walk around the fire area.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & buring island
Post by Reikoku on Jul 26th, 2002, 11:23pm
The answer to this is something that has been done to control fires for a long time, called 'backburning'.  Paying attention to the way the wind is blowing, start a fire, then start a controlled second fire some distance downwind of it.  The two fires should move at approximately the same speed if you've done it right, and when the first fire gets to where the second fire started, it has nothing to fuel itself with and dies.  Pretty common in Australia: http://www.abc.net.au/landline/stories/s519888.htm.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by william wu on Jul 26th, 2002, 11:47pm

on 07/26/02 at 14:10:17, H. Lee wrote:
 The question is: "can willywu do to save himself from burning to death?!"So my answer? He can drown to death.

You're fired.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Ion Rush on Jul 27th, 2002, 2:35am
this riddle is left too open, there are multiple answers.

I think the intended answer is to walk a ways towards the fire, start a second fire behind you, then move onto the ashes as the first fire approaches.

so what if he can't swim, he can wade out at the farthest end so only his nose is above water

he can wade around the fire

he can use buckets of seawater to soak a safe zone

he can use buckets of water to put out the fire when it is still small.

he can piss on the fire when it is still small if he doesn't have a bucket

he can clear timber in the middle of the Island so the fire runs out of fuel. a small slow moving fire with only a 2 mph breeze isn't going to jump a 10 foot gap. this may take tools, but he only is barred having excape equipment.

or he can kill himself in a variety of ways so that he doesn't burn to death.

Title: Death by one of two fires
Post by Adam Hanig on Jul 27th, 2002, 9:43am
What happens if he sets a burn zone?  If he sets it to his east, he gets caught between both fires, and dies.  If he sets it to his west and east of the first fire, the new fire will still travel east via the wind, and the second fire will kill him.  The real question here is whether death by drowning or burning is worse.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by FireWilly on Jul 27th, 2002, 10:20am
* represents fire, o represents willy, .. is ash.

A ***___o_______ B
--- wind --->

willy now sets a fire:

A ****__o_*_____ B

as time progresses, both fires burn towards B

A ..****__o_**__ B

more time:

A .....****_o....** B

willy now jumps on the ashes from his fire and lets the original fire burn towards him:

A .......****...o...* B

Willy is safe on the ashes as the original fire goes out because there's nothing left to burn:

A .................o..... B

Unfortunately, now he starves.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by jmlyle on Jul 31st, 2002, 6:21am
I don't think that any one has explicitly said this yet, but the problem people seem to be having with the solution is that fire spreads, like a ripple in water. I have no doubt that a strong enough wind will be able to keep the fire moving in one direction, like a strong enough current can keep the ripples from actually going upstream (a little bit different, because, in that case, the ripples look like a doppler effect, with the source point travelling along with the current).

But again, I think that there is no way that a 2 mph breeze will stop fire from spreading upwind.

I don't see any problem with increasing the speed of the wind to make the problem more believable, though....

--jmlyle

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by James G on Jul 31st, 2002, 6:29pm
I asked my flatmate this one, and he immediately came up with a couple of ideas I haven't seen here:

Willy can't swim, but he's got 10 hours to learn.
Sometime within 10 hours the tide will go out.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by spoonboy on Aug 1st, 2002, 12:51pm
One other possibility - plenty of trees around, so maybe he can just build himself a nice raft...

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Logan P on Aug 1st, 2002, 8:28pm
Since the island is narrow and heavily forested there may be logs falling onto the sea during the fire and which could float towards the person. The wind is faster than the spread of fire so there's a good chance some logs might reach him before the fire.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Rhaokarr on Aug 2nd, 2002, 9:45pm
Surely the easiest thing to do would be to find a phone box on the island, have willy wutang go in and change into WillyWutangMan - Impervious to all forms of puzzle danger!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by rtremaine on Aug 7th, 2002, 6:48am
Couldnt Willy just dig a groove across the island width wise.

Or he could just burrow under the fire and come up on the side that has already been scorched. Assuming Willy can dig.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by James G on Aug 12th, 2002, 1:37am
The island is heavily forrested, it would be very difficult to dig through all the tree roots. (Although on the plus side, the tunnel is less likely to collapse.) And I don't know if carbon dioxide or smoke sinking into the hole might be a problem, but on a very narrow island, the hole may fill up with water.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Ali G on Aug 12th, 2002, 11:02am
Sadly, the point that everybody is missing here is perhaps the most salient of all.

Namely, what the f*ck was Willy doing "hanging out" on an island on his own in the first place?

Furthermore, I'm a little disturbed that so many intelligent people so casually dismiss the possibility of arson here. Willy was alone on the island, so how exactly did the fire start? Either intentionally or through his total ineptitude with camping fires, I think it's clear this situation is the result of Willy's own actions.

Willy is clearly some kind of neurotic loner whose only interest in life is to locate uninhabited islands. And then burn them down.

Frankly, I don't have time to waste on psychotic campers with a penchant for pyromania. To be blunt, the world would be a much better place without idiots like Willy.

Her's my solution to the problem; burn on the island, Willy, and long may you burn in hell.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by KT on Aug 22nd, 2002, 11:43pm
While it is possible that Willy may have indeed attempted to win a Darwin award by starting his own forest fire it could also have been started by lightning or a geothermal event and hence not his fault.  The theory that he could wade out neck deep also assumes facts not in the original puzzle. That it is possible to wade IE there is  sloping ground to the water.  Anyone who has been on the Oregon coast would know that the island may very well be surronded by sheer cliffs that drop hundreds of feet into deep water.  This of course would bring rise to the question how did he get there in the first place, but I digress.  If the island were surrounded by lovely sand beaches he wouldn't need to even get wet since sand does not burn.  He could simply wait it out on the beach.   This would save him from hypothermia.  ;D
In Lieu of a nice comfy beach, back burning is a good idea provided he doesn't have to stay long afterward since he will obviously die of exposure and starvation.  The only real problem with the back burn theory is the unpredictability of fire and wind.  If he back burns and the wind picks up or changes direction he would find himself in a pocket with no oxygen and die of smoke inhalation / asphyxiation long before he burned.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by ed soto on Oct 14th, 2002, 8:02am
the backburning concept sounds nice in theory, but if the wind changes directions or dies off our friend willy could be royally screwed. willy should not place his fate in the hands of nature.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by alibaba on Nov 9th, 2002, 10:33pm
He can simply put out the fire with the water around him as the fire had jus started. Nobody said he can't put out the fire.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by hobonic on Nov 23rd, 2002, 1:33pm
;D Willie has nothing to worry about, its a heavily frosted island the fire will not continue..........

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Sylvie Tsie on Nov 26th, 2002, 7:17am
On a lighter note, at least Willy Wutang no longer has to worry about the STDs.  If he spends one hour to realize, that if he can't put out the fire, he wil either die by burning to death, or if he survives starvation, or suffocation.  He'll have eight hours to have sex [without a condom] with three women.

Just a thought...

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by jeremiahsmith on Nov 26th, 2002, 9:34am
Maybe he'll still have time to get that letter with the cryptic address overseas, to tell his sweetheart of his imminent immolation. :D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by jon_G on Dec 3rd, 2002, 6:54pm
If he starts up a drug ring he can get the FBI's attention and they'll come and arrest him, at least he dies in prison with bubba wutang then drowning or burning.  ;)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by whisper on Dec 9th, 2002, 9:51pm
he could just jump in the water and drown. that way he wouldnt be burned to death. The guy is toast anyways. :-/

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by ADA man on Dec 13th, 2002, 12:13pm
This is too easy, If the fire is moving at 1 mile per hour, 5280 feet per 3600 seconds. He can dig a hole  and prepare for the fire to burn over him. He can hold his breath for 13.6363 seconds and the fire will have traveled 20 feet, leaving a 10 foot buffer on each side, or double the 13.6363 and make it a 20 foot buffer on each side. As the fire passes over him the tail wind will clear the atmosphere away from WillyWu. Anybody can hold their breath for 28 seconds......PROBLEM SOLVED......ADA man

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Murderer on Jan 4th, 2003, 2:54am
Who cares if WillyWutang burns, drowns or is hanged to death? What I would do is Murder him before anything else ;)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Jackal on Jan 7th, 2003, 1:40pm
he could ring the fire brigade, it doesnt say that he's on his own, infact 'hanging out' implies he's not.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by jmlyle on Jan 8th, 2003, 7:37am
He could teleport himself to the opposite side of the fire, and then he could use his super powers to stop the fire.

After that, I'm really at a loss as to what he could do.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by me on Feb 6th, 2003, 3:28pm
btw wouldnt standing on ash like some people are saying hurt a bit?  ::)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Feb 6th, 2003, 11:48pm
not if it has cooled down..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Smartass on Feb 8th, 2003, 1:14am
What are you guys idiots, First of all bush fires move very fast, alot faster than the question says, so Willy's got 10 hours to dig himself a decent hole  to cover himself with than if he clears the immediate area of any items that well catch fire all he has to do is cover himself when the time comes and he survives the fire.

If you think this is stupid, well just look at Australian bush fires quite a few people have survived by burying themselves in a shallow hole.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by drunksage on Feb 21st, 2003, 12:13am
Willy set the fire. He's chillin' at point A.  ;)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Kitty on Mar 24th, 2003, 3:04pm
Like most people said:

The question : "can willywu do to save himself from burning to death?! "

The answer: He has 10 hours to kill him self without buring to death.

Neway if he does the solution of making a second fire, there will do nothing left to eat so he will die  ;D

He can also try and signal to an nearby insland to save him.

And i m sure if his hanging out on the island alone it means he is a loner therefor no one cares if he dies. Why should we?  ;D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Icarus on Mar 24th, 2003, 3:51pm

on 03/24/03 at 15:04:35, Kitty wrote:
 And i m sure if his hanging out on the island alone it means he is a loner therefor no one cares if he dies. Why should we?  ;D

Because he runs a great puzzle site, of course!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Kitty on Mar 25th, 2003, 8:44am
Ok, ur rite! but i fink he clever enough to Know what to do.

And i still dont see why he is "hanging out" in the first place.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by dippynuts on May 2nd, 2003, 2:03am
actualy there are a couple solutions willywu can do
since the fire is going from point B to point A
all willywu needs to do is jump in the water and swim from point A to point B

if that is not possible the next thing willywu can do is
gather water wet a spot in between point A and B to make sure that it wont burn (which will prolly never happen) and start a second fire leaving an ashy spot where nothing can burn.

also i noticed that it didnt say wat he didnt have so if there was a fire he mite have a plane or boat so why not just leave the island?

but if that last possibility was ruled out willywu cant survive if the whole forest was burned down. due to the fact that he would have no resources to use to make weapons such as spears to get fish no wood to make fire even if he caught fish or shelter of any kind if there were a storm.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by riddler king on Jun 3rd, 2003, 8:01pm
you guys are thinking too hard. Willywutang knows that the water near the shore is only at most a few feet deep. He can wade in the water and wait till the fire stops. There is a problem about food so he will die anyway!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Bright eyes, Sad soul on Jun 6th, 2003, 9:02pm
From what I learned in my global science class, forest fires are a necessary part of nature if well under control.  I also learned that a forest fire only burns whatever is near the ground and most animals are able to escape from harms way bye finding somewhere to hide or by climbing the trees.  I don't remember reading that Willywu can't climb trees, so wouldn't him climbing a tree to avoid the fire and hang out there till it passes by.  If I was informed correctly in class, he should be fine that way.  He won't burn to death, starve to death, or drown to death.  I also think that tsetting a second fire would work too, but what do I know, I'm just a kid. :-/ >:(

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Icarus on Jun 6th, 2003, 9:47pm
Bright eyes - your teacher has not told you the whole truth. If the underbrush - the stuff close to the ground - is not very dense, or is fairly wet, then the fire does not get very hot, and stays low. The trees get their lower bark scorched, but can easily survive this. Pine stands tend to be healthiest if they undergo such fires on a regular basis (say every 20 years or so).

But that is only one side of the story. If the underbrush is dry and dense, the fire gets much hotter. It climbs to the tops (or crowns) of the trees and spreads rapidly in a great fireball. Nothing exposed to these "crown fires" survives. Animals are all killed, and even the heartiest of trees are destroyed. These are the killer forest fires that fire fighters battle every year in the Western U.S. (I don't know how things are in the rest of the world - what we have here is bad enough.)

Part of the problem we have is that for the first half of the 20th century, the Forest Service did not understand the role fire plays in a forest, in clearing out the underbrush. They fought all fires from the beginning and extinguished them as fast as possible. The result was that the underbrush got very dense. Because it is so dense, crown fires, that kill the whole forest, are now more common.

So if Willy is going to consider climbing trees, he better have a good idea just what he is getting into first. Even for a smaller fire, climbing a tree can be a chancy business. If you get caught in the smoke, you can suffocate just as easily as burning. (Most people killed in house fires die because of breathing smoke, not from the flames.)

Since the sharks around this island make wading or swimming a very dangerous activity in its own right, the backfire may still be Willy's best bet.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by nothstsmart on Jun 12th, 2003, 5:55pm
I think willywu is on the oppisite side of the fire, the riddle doesnt say that he is on side "B". Wu will not burn to death because its moving a way from him :P

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Zeke the Geke on Jun 19th, 2003, 7:31am

on 03/24/03 at 15:04:35, Kitty wrote:
 Neway if he does the solution of making a second fire, there will do nothing left to eat so he will die

Last time I checked, people don't eat trees anyway.  What else are you assuming is on the island with him?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Jun 19th, 2003, 9:25am
he could go fishing first, throw the fishes on the part he's going to burn, then afterwards eat cooked fish for the rest of his stay on the island (if he caught enough..)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by zack smtih on Sep 9th, 2003, 9:35pm
a island has to have a beach Duh, and sand cant burn, Duh!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Sep 10th, 2003, 12:43am
not all islands have beaches..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Anonymous Coward on Oct 27th, 2003, 10:26pm
For those that don't know, backburning moves towards the main fire, not away from. The fire creates an updraft due to hot air being lighter than cold.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Speaker on Oct 27th, 2003, 11:27pm
That may be true in some cases, but there is evidence that back burning would be successful. The evidence can be seen in that cinematic acme "The Gods Must Be Crazy II" in which the late N!xau playing a Kalihari Bushman character back burns to save his costars from a bush fire set by the bad guys.

Now, assuming that Willy is as smart as a Kalihari Bushman may be stretching the limits of probability, but would it be asking too much to suppose that he saw the movie?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Oct 28th, 2003, 12:09am

on 10/27/03 at 22:26:32, Anonymous Coward wrote:
 For those that don't know, backburning moves towards the main fire, not away from. The fire creates an updraft due to hot air being lighter than cold.
I think that depends on several things, mainly the distance between the fires, the force of the wind and the intensity of the fire. But it's a good point.
If the updraft from the original fire is big enough to affect the direction Willy can probably feel it. So he'll probably be able to decide where to set the fire to avoid getting caught between two fires..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by The Davinator on Nov 17th, 2003, 8:55pm
Obviously all that this man has to do is log onto the internet and read your guy's posts.  That's how it got here in the first place!  He's probably readin it right now.  He's got 10 hours for gods sake!
There has to be a simpler explanation then the whole backburning thing.  There has to be something in the puzzle about it.  Your not supposed to be creative in this, your just supposed to give the right answer.  There is probably only one answer.  What it is is unknown to me so, keep tryin!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Speaker on Nov 17th, 2003, 10:00pm
What could be more simple than backburning...

Perhaps he could exploit the rich deposits of amonium phosphates, then devise a delivery mechanism from bamboo which he could use to spray the fire. Thus saving himself and half the island.  ;)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Jim on Nov 27th, 2003, 9:50pm
The willywutang one is interesting.  The backfire is an obvious and probably most logical one.  However, I don't believe the riddle statement says where Willy is when the fire starts.  Perhaps it was his campfire that got away and he's already on that end of the island upwind of it.  Too easy, but isn't that what riddles often are?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Speaker on Nov 27th, 2003, 10:05pm
You are right. It doesn't seem to say specifically that Willy is on the island, only that the island is burning and that Willy will be toast within ten hours. So, maybe we could just say that Willy should stay off the Island. Or he should stay away from toasters.

Anyway, if the island is heavy forested, I wonder if backburning would work. He could call International Rescue. Then, the Thunderbirds could fly in and save him.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by aeongirrl on Dec 13th, 2003, 1:16am
well it seems to me that if the fire just started, and willy has been there all day hanging out, you know that all he has to do is put it out the way most guys write their names in the snow.......its moving at 1mph, and just started....so

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by rmsgrey on Dec 13th, 2003, 4:08am
I reckon he should slaughter a pig, cover his face with coloured clays, sharpen a stick at both ends, drop boulders on any distinctive sea-shells he finds, and then wait for the naval captain to show up just in time to save him from the consequences of his mistakes.

Or does that only work for choirboys?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by dack on Dec 16th, 2003, 9:04am
actually, I think that since the width of the island is small, that he could dig a trench that would fill with water and thus be a barrier between him and the fire.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Ren on Jan 18th, 2004, 11:27am
Why is everyone blaming those in favour of starting the second fire of the destruction of anything left in the island? The first fire would've burned all of the forest out, anyway.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by snaily on Feb 7th, 2004, 5:36am
Backburning is so not the answer. Most of these answers aren't the answer now that I think about it. The conditions of the riddle are that:

1) Willy is on the island (could be anywhere, so worse case scenario is that he is at point B).

2) The island is covered in dense jungle/forest (no mention on beaches, easily diggable dirt, or any shallow wading pool areas).

3) The island is narrow (in comparison to 10 miles in length, narrow width could easily mean 1 mile wide).

4) Willy "will" die in 10 hours when the fire crosses the island, at a speed of 1 mph (which may or may not be a constant speed).

5) Willy is apparently a normal man who is subject to the realities of life (such as getting tired).

6) Willy cannot be allowed to burn to death.

7) Why does everyone assume that Willy knows the island is on fire? It doesn't say that he's aware of the fire and now ready to jump into action. It just says that he's on the island and the island is on fire ... assuming he immediately sets about a plan in the first 10 seconds is a pretty hefty assumption.

Okay so the answers given were original, funny, interesting, but ultimately none hold any water. I'll explain:

Since we don't know where he starts on the island we have to allow for worst case scenario ... point B. Now at point B Willy is 10 miles from the fire. Ideally he would teleport to it, get a flaming stick, and teleport to a safe spot to light a second fire. Unfortunately our Willy has to actually move his legs. So Willy first needs to realize that there is a fire. This could take an unknown length of time like "x" minutes. Say he decides to try backburning. He first has to run through dense forest for nearly 10 miles minus how far the fire gets in the meantime. This could easily take an hour. But honestly we don't know how long the running would take. "x" minutes + "n" running time = how long to get to the fire (f). x + n = f. So how long is that? 2 hours? 3 hours? Who knows.

Then Willy, exhausted from running, gets a stick and ignites it for use in the second fire. Now he has to run back the other way keeping the flaming stick burning and not accidentally setting the jungle on fire along the way. It would suck to have 8 or 9 fires going by the time he got to the backburning spot. Now since he doesn't have any way of measuring how far he ran away he doesn't know how far he is from the fire when he sets the second fire. Assuming the stick is still lit. If it goes out he has to run back to get it burning again. He also doesn't know how long it will take for the second fire to turn the first few yards of jungle into ash and then cool down enough for him to walk on. The first fire goes 1 mph, but that doesn't mean the second fire will.

Also, we can't be entirely sure that the first fire is constant. Maybe it will burn slow at first, then blaze quickly through the center of the island, then slow down at the other end again. Depends on the vegetation, the wind, and the fire. So after wasting f time and running back to an unmeasurable point with flaming stick he has to successfully ignite a row of forest, it has to burn away from himself, it has to leave ash and cool down prior to fire A reaching him ... and even then he could die from smoke inhalation anyway. On paper it sounds logical (like all things do on paper) ... but in practice it's a plan that requires a lot of variables to fall into place. Fast runner, lots of stamina, knowledge of backburning techniques, luck, timing, and predicting the behavior of fire. My advice when using a plan like that is to consider just drowning yourself like a few people have said and saving your energy for the afterlife.

You can't rely on starting behind the fire at point A, since the riddle doesn't specify location. You can't rely on digging either. First off, some soil is so hard that you need to use special tools just to loosen the topsoil. Secondly, you'd be crazy to trust an aborigine shallow hole technique on an island that you don't know anything about. Third, if you dig a trench to stop the fire, what happens if the island is a mile wide? An object that is ten times longer than it is wide is still pretty narrow. A mile is a long way to dig without a shovel (or with one). And building a raft isn't something you can just "do" when you're born. That takes skill. Plus it might be hard cutting down trees with your fingernails and then carrying the heavy things down to the water only to realize you don't have any rope anyway.

Climbing a tree as one person said is risky. You could try drifting away on a log or wading in the water, but the water could be cold and you'd freeze to death. Actually, dying by drowning/freezing in the water or suicide (hanging self in tree perhaps) is the only thing that really satisfies the conditions of the riddle with constant results. Everything else requires a big "what if", amazing luck, or some sort of weird condition/preparation. So as far as I'm concerned the answer "must" be to just have him die some other way. In that sense it could be looked at as a trick question and a whole mountain of red herrings.

However, since finding odd answers (even if they don't really work) is part of the fun I'll through in a couple that Willy could try ...

a) Just wait at point B on the very tip of the island. When the fire is right in front of Willy he can close his eyes and hope he doesn't die ... thus meeting the riddle requirement ... if he got lucky.

b) Willy can run screaming like a banshee at the wall of flames, plunge right through them and keep running. Then he can stop drop and roll in a pile of ash until he's burnt but not "to death". Then he can dehydrate to death in a puddle of his own charred flesh (he'd die of thirst before starvation, and after being flash boiled that wouldn't take long).

c) Willy could train crabs or other marine life to harvest seashells from the bottom of the ocean floor and he could then use those shells to erect a wall across the island high enough that it forms an impenetrable barrier between the fire and himself.

d) He could always flag down a ufo.

At any rate, backburning is the non-thinkers answer. They hear it, it seems to make sense, so they repeat it. And eventually it becomes the "answer". It's actually more far-fetched than say ... having him summon a pod of whales to blow water onto the fire. At least that just requires a leap in imagination. The backburning requires that the guy be a marathon runner, a forest ranger, a master strategist in fire emergency, and also omnipotent (I guess he just spider-senses the fire from 10 miles away and knows exactly what to do in a split second).

Heh, I should probably just stop thinking about it now.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Feb 8th, 2004, 7:41am

on 02/07/04 at 05:36:43, snaily wrote:
 7) Why does everyone assume that Willy knows the island is on fire?
Because the opposite is less likely.
There is a two mile per hour wind, any halfdecent sized fire wouldn't be any problem to smell. Not to mention the smoke of a forest fire is a dead give away..

In either case, it doesn't matter.
What is asked is "what can willywu do to save himself from burning to death". He doesn't have to think up what to do, we do. So it doesn't matter how long it would take willy to figure out that there was a fire, nor how long it would take him to figure out what to do. It is up to us to figure out what he should do (and when).
If he ultimately can't/doesn't do what he has to do then that isn't our failure.

Quote:
 At any rate, backburning is the non-thinkers answer. They hear it, it seems to make sense, so they repeat it. And eventually it becomes the "answer". It's actually more far-fetched than say ... having him summon a pod of whales to blow water onto the fire.
Why is it more far-fetched? It has actually worked in the past for numerous people, unlike trying to summon whales..
But if you were to ever find yourself in Willy's situation and want to use that as your only option, go a right head.. Personally I'd rather see if any of the other, more likely options pan out..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by rmsgrey on Feb 9th, 2004, 7:22am
Why does Willy have to run to set the second fire? The average human can walk at a steady 3-4 mph in good terrain for longer than the 10 hours the island will burn. OK, so the island isn't good terrain, but walking at a leisurely 2mph, Willy can get from point B to the fire and back again in less than 7 hours, which means he can then burn a relatively small section near point B and have around 3 hours for it to cool off - and that assumes he has no other means of starting a fire to hand. OK, so it does assume he spots the large clouds of smoke pretty quickly, but even if you wait the 5 hours for the smoke to reach him (assuming no diffusion) he still has an hour left by the time he walks from point B to the fire and back again. If he has a means of starting a fire to hand (if not, how did the first fire get started?), then he can start a fire near point B and have 5 hours for it to cool off.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Feb 9th, 2004, 7:29am

on 02/09/04 at 07:22:46, rmsgrey wrote:
 (if not, how did the first fire get started?)
lightning.. Or maybe that dragon, though then Willy could go sit in one of the wells (not the seventh obviously, as it's guarded by the dragon, but the other six would work, well the first 5 as he needs a higher number well to counter the poisonous effect)..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by John_Gaughan on Feb 9th, 2004, 9:25am
You're evil, towr, combining two of the longest threads in this forum like that! On a totally different topic, we need a devil smiley with a red face and horns :-)

So if willywutang spills well water from the sixth well onto the fire, does the fire die from poison or asphyxiation?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by snaily on Feb 10th, 2004, 9:35am
Okay so the question doesn't say that Willy needs to know anything since it's being asked to us, so forget Willy, he's just a metaphor to illustrate the riddle anyway. Let's say that we were on this island. What would we do? How would it happen?

*sidenote -- if the riddles on this site are just to be answered simply and forgotten then the administrator would include the answers and it would say "island of death" ... "backburn" and done and done. it's my opinion that the reason no answers are given is that we are supposed to think the riddles out as much as possible and not settle for the obvious kindergarten answer*

Now it's easy for someone to say set a second fire, based on the fact that they read about it somewhere in a magazine or something. But if you were on the island is that what you would have faith in? My counter-points:

1) You aren't in a desert or in widely spaced jungle ... you are in a dense forest. If you picture being 5-10 miles from a fire and you are standing under dense treecover, do you really think you'd notice a fire any time soon unless the smoke was blowing right into your face? If not then there goes a lot of time.

2) If the smoke is blowing into your face then how do you plan to walk up to the fire, get a stick lit, then walk away from the fire and stand around for a couple of hours waiting for the 2 fires to burn out in such a way as to create a dead zone that you can stand on ... without dying of smoke inhalation?

3) Even if you walk back to point B and start the second fire and somehow coax it towards point A against the wind, you still just manage to get two fires worth of smoke in your face.

4) Yes "some" people have backburned in real life. But "some" people have also trained whales to spit water. Ever been to a sea-world show? Orca's are whales and they can do all sorts of stupid tricks. I'm being facetious (like the whole dying "must" be the answer thingy), but the point is that backburning requires knowledge to do, not everyone can just do it on the spot. If the island is 1 mile wide and you have no experience backburning how do you guarantee or even theorize that you would know how to do it properly just based on reading that "some" people did it somewhere? Maybe telling Willy to do it makes it easier, since we don't truly care if he lives or dies, but if your spouse/mom/dad/etc were on the island would you yell down to them "JUST BACKBURN, IT'S SO EASY" and feel confident that it would work just like that?

5) If you just ignore the reality of the situation and chalk it up to being a riddle ... then all riddles become trivial. You could solve any riddle easily. The 100 prisoners/lightbulb one could be solved by saying "the prisoners should just memorize each other's scent, then rub the lightbulb in your armpit at your turn and from the scent we can tell who's been here". If you ignore the physical impossibility of it then it works perfectly. Same thing with the island of death. Ignore the reality of the situation and you could just have Willy/yourself use clothe-fulls of water and slash-and-burn agriculture techniques to carefully monitor and control the spread of the blaze in coordinated steps until the fire burns in on itself and runs out of fuel. If you ignore the fact that you have no clue what that really means or how to really do it then sure ... of course it would work. On paper.

Really all of the answers are wrong, including the ones that I gave. Willy/you are/is going to die on the island one way or the other. The only way you fail the riddle is if you let him/you burn to death. Setting a second fire doesn't really decrease that chance a whole lot. Anything that mentions water is probably slightly better since at least they are trying to get rid of fire, not start more (smoke is the number one cause of fire related deaths fyi).

Of course I could be terribly mistaken and deserve to be whipped and beaten ... but ah well ... can't be right all of the time.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Feb 10th, 2004, 9:42am

on 02/10/04 at 09:35:51, snaily wrote:
 Now it's easy for someone to say set a second fire, based on the fact that they read about it somewhere in a magazine or something. But if you were on the island is that what you would have faith in?
Depends on the island.. I'd like to keep my options open, and at least consider it and not outright dismiss solutions that might work.
And personally, I can swim (though I'd rather stay dry)..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Feb 10th, 2004, 10:14am

on 02/10/04 at 09:35:51, snaily wrote:
 1) You aren't in a desert or in widely spaced jungle ... you are in a dense forest. If you picture being 5-10 miles from a fire and you are standing under dense treecover, do you really think you'd notice a fire any time soon unless the smoke was blowing right into your face? If not then there goes a lot of time.
There are several way's to notice a fire, it gives light, it gives smoke, it makes noise, and it sucks. Not to mention any animals fleeing from it. I really don't think noticing the fire will be any problem.
Either way, this is about what to do when you do notice it, because if you're caught off guard it hardly matters what you ought to have done..

Quote:
 2) If the smoke is blowing into your face then how do you plan to walk up to the fire, get a stick lit, then walk away from the fire and stand around for a couple of hours waiting for the 2 fires to burn out in such a way as to create a dead zone that you can stand on ... without dying of smoke inhalation?
That's a defeatist attitude.. Most people would at least try something to stay alive, even if the only option availible gives just a slim chance.
Also, neither fire has to be burned out to create a safe zone.. If you've got shoes it doesn't even need to cool down too much (it'll ruin your shoes perhaps, but that's the least of your worries)

Quote:
 3) Even if you walk back to point B and start the second fire and somehow coax it towards point A against the wind, you still just manage to get two fires worth of smoke in your face.
The 'backburn'fire doesn't have to burn toward the other one, if it goes the other way that will work just as well. It depends mostly on which way the air moves (the original fire may suck hard enough to counter the wind, and thus suck the second fire towards it, otherwise it is likely to follw the wind)

Quote:
 4) Yes "some" people have backburned in real life. But "some" people have also trained whales to spit water.
Not onto forrest fire. And they don't often have their whales handy when trapped on densily forrested island.
Summoning them is yet another, unlikely, story..

Quote:
 I'm being facetious (like the whole dying "must" be the answer thingy), but the point is that backburning requires knowledge to do, not everyone can just do it on the spot.
Ah, but Willy has infinite reasoning capability :P

Quote:
 If the island is 1 mile wide and you have no experience backburning how do you guarantee or even theorize that you would know how to do it properly just based on reading that "some" people did it somewhere? Maybe telling Willy to do it makes it easier, since we don't truly care if he lives or dies, but if your spouse/mom/dad/etc were on the island would you yell down to them "JUST BACKBURN, IT'S SO EASY" and feel confident that it would work just like that?
I surely wouldn't tell them to try summoning a whale..
If I could yell at them I'd either be trapped on the island with them, in which case I'd evaluate my options myself (unles sthey had some usefull insights) Or otherwise I'd be on a boat or island not far off the coast. If I'm on a boat and haven't tried to rescue them I probably want them to die, so I wouldn't yell any helpfull advise to them. If I'm on another island slightly off the coast they could swim there (like me, they can swim). And otherwise I could drag them over one by one (If I haven't forgotten how to swim dragging someone else along, it's been a while)

Quote:
 5) If you just ignore the reality of the situation and chalk it up to being a riddle ... then all riddles become trivial. You could solve any riddle easily. The 100 prisoners/lightbulb one could be solved by saying "the prisoners should just memorize each other's scent, then rub the lightbulb in your armpit at your turn and from the scent we can tell who's been here".
hehe.. that's a new one, Icarus should like that :P

Quote:
 If you ignore the physical impossibility of it then it works perfectly. Same thing with the island of death. Ignore the reality of the situation and you could just have Willy/yourself use clothe-fulls of water and slash-and-burn agriculture techniques to carefully monitor and control the spread of the blaze in coordinated steps until the fire burns in on itself and runs out of fuel. If you ignore the fact that you have no clue what that really means or how to really do it then sure ... of course it would work. On paper.
You can go overboard by making it too abstract, or by making it too 'real'. Either way you'd do better to take a walk outside, since riddles are obviously not for you..
Most of the solutions given here can work depending on the situation. Slight deviations in the assumptions/situation makes them work, and in that sense the solutions correctly solve the riddle. There's no reason to dismiss them because they don't cover the whole range of possible situations.

Quote:
 Really all of the answers are wrong, including the ones that I gave. Willy/you are/is going to die on the island one way or the other.
The longer he survives, the better the chance he will be rescued by a passing ship.. That's what most castaways wait for..

Quote:
 The only way you fail the riddle is if you let him/you burn to death. Setting a second fire doesn't really decrease that chance a whole lot.
I disagree with that. And your arguments are far from convincing. Comparing it to summoning whales doesn't make your case any stronger either..

Quote:
 Anything that mentions water is probably slightly better since at least they are trying to get rid of fire, not start more (smoke is the number one cause of fire related deaths fyi).
Most fire related deaths are inhouse, where smoke can't get away. In the open air it generally rises, as hot air tends to do..
And using water won't help much in a forest fire, unless you have a team of firefighters to back you up. You'd have to wet a large area to keep the fire from harming you (just heat-radiation can be fatal, it depends on how hot the fire is).

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Icarus on Feb 10th, 2004, 8:05pm

Quote:
 5) If you just ignore the reality of the situation and chalk it up to being a riddle ... then all riddles become trivial. You could solve any riddle easily. The 100 prisoners/lightbulb one could be solved by saying "the prisoners should just memorize each other's scent, then rub the lightbulb in your armpit at your turn and from the scent we can tell who's been here".

Quote:
 hehe.. that's a new one, Icarus should like that

An interesting variant, but still a version of the "everybody leaves a marker" solution, so no, it is not really new (of course, Snaily was not claiming it was).

Really though, an "easy" puzzle is not meant to be analyzed to death, with every twist of possibility demanded for a solution. These are not exercises in creating contingency plans, but rather problems that stretch your creativity by setting up situations requiring thought beyond your usual paths. Easy puzzles are generally only slightly off the beaten path, or even on it for a number of people.

That is certainly the case here. The backfire solution is not something many people think of immediately, but is fairly quick to pick up for an imaginative thinker - thus the easy designation is well deserved. Snaily, your complaints about this solution really are senseless - there is no assumption that forest is so dense that Willy cannot move with reasonable speed through it. Willy also does not need to run clear back to the end of the island before setting his backfire. In fact all he needs is to move far enough from the original flame that the 2nd fire will move on before the original gets there (and enough that suction from the first flame does not pull the second back).

Such backfires are far from unknown - they are one of the main tools in the forest and field firefighter's arsenal (though in their case, they must take care that the backfire is always controlled - otherwise it simply speeds up the destruction).

You can overanalyze anything - and I think this definitely qualifies.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by John_Gaughan on Feb 11th, 2004, 7:55am

on 02/10/04 at 10:14:59, towr wrote:
 Most fire related deaths are inhouse, where smoke can't get away. In the open air it generally rises, as hot air tends to do.

In a large fire it does not matter, there is so much fumes, heat, smoke, etc. that if you even get close you still may suffocate (but you are still better off than in a house fire).

I've never been close to a forest fire but I've heard that you can feel the heat and smell the smoke as far as a mile away if it is a big fire.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by aero_guy on Feb 19th, 2004, 2:37pm
Snaily had one good point in his rant, which was that you cannot just walk up the fire an pick up a flaming brand.  Unless you got to it when it was still tiny (and you could probably piss it out) you could not get that close.  Thankfully, however, a forest fire solves this problem for you by sending flaming bits far ahead of itself on the breeze.  You will find many small fires to poach off of before reaching the big blaze.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by lilmisspj on Aug 21st, 2004, 8:48pm

on 11/17/03 at 22:00:54, Speaker wrote:
 What could be more simple than backburning...Perhaps he could exploit the rich deposits of amonium phosphates, then devise a delivery mechanism from bamboo which he could use to spray the fire. Thus saving himself and half the island.  ;)

Anybody else remembering the old MacGuyver show?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by grandpa on Aug 21st, 2004, 11:51pm
No, but I do remember how Gulliver put out the fire in Lilliput ;D

I thought I was at a board for puzzles, but this has turned out to be a lively story-board!

Much needed comic relief for mighty minds, I suppose. :D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Speaker on Aug 22nd, 2004, 5:39pm
Hello Grandpa

When you say comic relief for mighty minds, do you mean that they "might be minds." Just reflecting on your comment about our use of our sense of humor.  :D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by jmlyle on Aug 24th, 2004, 9:57pm

on 11/17/03 at 22:00:54, Speaker wrote:
 What could be more simple than backburning...Perhaps he could exploit the rich deposits of amonium phosphates, then devise a delivery mechanism from bamboo which he could use to spray the fire. Thus saving himself and half the island.  ;)

on 08/21/04 at 20:48:52, lilmisspj wrote:
 Anybody else remembering the old MacGuyver show?

No, but I remember the Star Trek episode where Kirk defeated the Gorn with this. Off the top of my head, I believe the title had something to do with Tholians.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Speaker on Aug 24th, 2004, 11:35pm
Yes, but Kirk made gunpowder. I figure you could find some guano (bat/bird poo) which is high in amonium phosphates and make some kind of fire extinguisher because fire extinguishers use amonium phosphate. Then spray it through a bamboo pipe.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Willy on Oct 2nd, 2004, 6:59am
Heres my idea,

There is lots of forest right? So Willy can just get a few logs and stuff and make a raft, he has 10 hours! When he makes the raft, he sets it out to see, but not too far. Make sure he has a paddle and sits and waits for the rest of the time, when the fire is finished, it stops. Willy can paddle back to shore and live on the island again!

SIMPLE!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Jen11312 on Oct 12th, 2004, 5:46pm
it says heavily forested : meaning all he has to do is climb a tree wait for the fire to get 2 him then jump down to the ashes!!!!!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Icarus on Oct 12th, 2004, 6:17pm
That sounds more like the "good way to burn to death" answer to me. From the statement of the riddle, I get the idea that the trees are burning, so climbing up in one sounds like a good way to get caught up in the fire, rather than escape it.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by soma dhavala on Oct 16th, 2004, 1:23am
Wutang does need to do nothing. He is at point A, fire is spreading from A->B and wind speed is 2mph. If Wutang stays 0.1 inch behind point A, he doesnt have to care, fire anyway drft towards B, ;D
-soma

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by rmsgrey on Oct 16th, 2004, 10:49am

on 10/16/04 at 01:23:47, soma dhavala wrote:
 Wutang does need to do nothing. He is at point A, fire is spreading from A->B and wind speed is 2mph. If Wutang stays 0.1 inch behind point A, he doesnt have to care, fire anyway drft towards B, ;D-soma

If he's at point A, then he's got serious problems because he's standing in the fire...

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Speaker on Oct 17th, 2004, 7:21pm
Yes, but Mr. Wutang, young executive extrordinaire, learned how to do firewalking while he was at a leadership seminar on the British Virgin Islands (which is also where he met April Underwood). His firewalking skills are so advanced that he can not only walk on burning hot coals, but can also lie down in the coals and roll around like a VooDoo witch doctor. With these skills, Mr. Wutang is one of only seven people in the world (the other men and women are actually high-level VooDoo witch doctors) who are capable of withstanding the intense heat produced by island forest fires. Through a routine of bio-feedback, and deep meditation, he prevents the heat, flames and smoke from causing him any harm.

Not only does he not need to do anything (except the VooDoo that he do so well), he can actually walk from point A to point B (and back) with complete  impunity.   ;)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Grimbal on Oct 18th, 2004, 3:18am

on 10/16/04 at 10:49:47, rmsgrey wrote:
 If he's at point A, then he's got serious problems because he's standing in the fire...

He is in big trouble because in this case he obviously is the arsonist and is likely to be fined for such an act.  If he survives.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Three Hands on Oct 18th, 2004, 5:37am
I would have thought he was about to run into problems as to what to eat after the fire dies down, taking out the fruit trees that had been sustaining him thus far. Unless, of course, a naval officer happens to see the fire while cruising past, and so comes to pick him up ::)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by DuCkI3 Diethel on Oct 19th, 2004, 6:14pm
I was thinking that maybe willywutang is a bird...I don't know many birds that can swim, or need helicopters or other flying devies to fly... ;) ;D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Icarus on Oct 20th, 2004, 7:59pm
Odd - I know of lots birds that can swim, and lots that do need mechanical assistance to fly. One example for both: Penguins!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Maximus Arden on Oct 25th, 2004, 10:01pm
LMAO, i must admit it puzzled me at first... but looking at it you might notice a few things... First it never said WillyWu is there WHILE the fire is going... though it implies it it's not a stated fact...

Quote:
Willywutang is hanging out on a heavily forested island that's really narrow:
End Quote:

Willy is hanging out on a narrow island... ok?
No one ever said he didn't show up AFTER the fire...

Quote 2:

it's a narrow strip of land that's ten miles long. let's label one end of the strip A, and the other end B. a fire has started at A, and the fire is moving toward B at the rate of 1 mph. at the same time, there's a 2 mph wind blowing in the direction from A toward B.

End Quote 2:

This just states what the island is like... Who's to say he didn't show up AFTER the fire... Think about it in movie form... A fire swept the island, Willy showed up, and he's looking at the burnt island...

Now if you wanna get technical and say, Well it says a Heavily Forested area...

It grew back... It burned the island, trees grew back, willy arrived... truly Part 2/ Quote 2 has absolutely no relivance but to described the island Willy is on... The fire has no relivance to Willy, for willy wasn't at the island the time of the fire...

Willy wasn't at the island the time of the fire...

Simply put Willy started the fire from point A

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by John_Gaughan on Oct 26th, 2004, 6:22am
Willy is on the island. A fire starts on the island.

Sure, you could assume that he was on the island and the fire started a year or two after he left, but I think the intention is that he was on the island while the fire started.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Grimbal on Oct 26th, 2004, 7:14am
Is the water around the island frozen?  :)

Anyway, I think the "start another fire" is the intended solution.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Speaker on Oct 26th, 2004, 4:41pm
Sure, Grimbel, the intended solution. Well, we all know where good intentions lead. (don't we?)

To paraphrase, "The road to heck is paved with good intentions."

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by coolnfundu on Oct 26th, 2004, 11:55pm
Ok this may have been suggested before ...

How about going to the nearest shore and then walk around to the less dense area of trees and then wait for fire to come to you, enter the sea take dips (it helps if you can hold your breath), and wait for the fire to die down near your shore ... it is the same as say walking around the fire.  He would surely not be burnt to death then ... And I dont think it needs Einstenian brain to do either ...

How about using sand and water both to cut off an area or if he can do so then possibly cut enough trees to get a secluded area near the beach?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by melissa garrido on Nov 18th, 2004, 7:18pm
I THINK HE SHOULD JUST THROW HIMSELF INTO THE WATER AND DROWN. THAT WAY, HE DOESN'T BURN TO DEATH. IT DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT NOT KILLING WILLYWUTANG. HE HAS AN UGLY NAME ANYWAYS.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Carrie Ann on Nov 28th, 2004, 2:06pm
Everyone keeps saying that he can just build a second fire and stand in its ashes....however, the fire doesnt start and then just move...it spreads.....what makes people think that the fire will go out so that he can step there?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Nov 28th, 2004, 3:04pm
The fire goes where the wind blows. It does spread, but only in one direction.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by ole88 on Dec 3rd, 2004, 6:18am
If you read closely, you will see that there is a 2 MPH wind blowing from A toward B.  This would actually keep the fire burning in it's current direction.  Willywutang can walk over to the fire and light a branch (make a torch basically) and carry it back a couple of miles.  He can then light another fire and let it burn.  By the time the first fire gets to him, he will be able to step into the ashen area from the fire he lit and be safe as it will have burned a couple of miles away by that time.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Lewis Temple on Dec 4th, 2004, 3:51am
I think you are missing the obvious answer!

Pee Willy Pee!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Sjoerd Job Postmus on Mar 2nd, 2005, 8:04am

on 10/28/03 at 00:09:14, towr wrote:
 I think that depends on several things, mainly the distance between the fires, the force of the wind and the intensity of the fire. But it's a good point.If the updraft from the original fire is big enough to affect the direction Willy can probably feel it. So he'll probably be able to decide where to set the fire to avoid getting caught between two fires..

This gave me an idea:

If Willy actually sets the fire at a place where the draft does exist, and stays on the other side of it:

*****_*_W_
The new fire will actually go towards the previous one, as explained above
..****.._W_
And Willy is safe... Wait: We still have 3miles of forest! Hopefully some food too!

'..' implies burned down forest,
* is a mile wide fire
_ is still forest
W is Willy!

But, if the draft does not actually work... He's troubled anyway. He could, however, start the second fire, gather plenty of food for a year ( as a reserve ), and take it with him on the burned down side of the isle, while waiting on the first fire to stop. If he saves enough, he can even plant some new stuff, for the following years.

Now, if the fire would go both ways, he's in big trouble. I will assume the narrow island will imply he can't walk around the fire and stuff.

-SJ

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by jd on Mar 21st, 2005, 8:50pm
ap is right because of the direction of the wind the fire wont burn towards him itll burn away from him

Title: island of dumbass
Post by skull on Mar 25th, 2005, 10:45pm
wow this has got to be the worst puzzle out of them all. I wonder how you feel now that you are clever and all

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by AmEvil on Apr 30th, 2005, 11:02pm
ppl silly willy can perform the Rain Dance

;D

its sometimes easy to getaway with a puzzle givin silly reasons.... guys then i can claim willy is a Ghost  :P

-Am

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by morgan m on May 24th, 2005, 6:17pm
willywu can just take the water and put the fir out i mean come on how hard is it  :P

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by link talis on Jun 2nd, 2005, 4:14pm
All you suckers who keep saying "make a second fire a few miles aways" (which is the obvious answer), how many forest fires do you know of that burn down that quickly, in <10 hours (much less in a day)!  It's like a quicker way to die.  Moderator, make sure that the puzzle includes something like:

"...and a tree burns completely after about 2 hours" or something (to leave ashes), or use "weed : ) or brush or something else that burns fast.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by mcbill on Jul 4th, 2005, 3:52pm
Reminds me of a riddle I read a couple years ago. I hope this isn't already on the site, I haven't had the time to check it all out.  If it is I apologize and will try to make this as short as possible.
A man is stranded on an island, far from shore and surrounded by deep water.  He cannot swim.  Luckily he finds shelter and he can forage for food to sustain himself.  There is nothing on the island that he could use to build any sort of device to help him, yet he does escape the island alive and unharmed, without help from anything or anyone. And to me the kicker was  the last clue to the riddle--- he knew he was going to be able to get off the island and return safely home!
My point to all this is that there may be more than one answer to some riddles.  The precise wording  of a riddle is critical.  Often the wording used guides the reader to subtle asumptions that aren't necessarily true and craftily guide the thought process down the garden path.
Finally if the answer to this riddle is the same as this Williewutang dealie,  all the info about the fire and windspeed etc... is superfluous.  The wording of this riddle doesn't rule out the same answer to my riddle. By the way the answer to my riddle is already posted earlier, but was pretty much ignored!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by bushysquirrel on Dec 3rd, 2005, 4:51pm
Since willywutang is on a narrow island and has approximately ten hours to come up with a solution, all he has to do is dig a trench from one sie of the island to the other. The trench would fill with water from the ocean and keep the fire from consuming the entire island. willywutang now safe.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Dec 4th, 2005, 7:36am
I'm surprised no one thought of that before.
Depends on 'narrow' though. A few hundred meters is narrow for an island, but digging a decent trench that long (nevermind getting the trees out of the way first), would take more than a few hours..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by BNC on Dec 4th, 2005, 8:38am

on 12/04/05 at 07:36:57, towr wrote:
 I'm surprised no one thought of that before.

...

on 08/07/02 at 06:48:24, rtremaine wrote:
 Couldnt Willy just dig a groove across the island width wise.

on 12/16/03 at 09:04:32, dack wrote:
 actually, I think that since the width of the island is small, that he could dig a trench that would fill with water and thus be a barrier between him and the fire.

::)

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Dec 4th, 2005, 10:23am
What ...?
You expected me to look it up first?  ;D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Lozboz on Jun 19th, 2006, 7:23pm
ok, dig a trench across the island (shouldn't take long if it's a thin island). dig it deep (shouldn't be hard unless it has sloped edges in which case he could stand on the sand of the beach or wade in the shallow water). the water should fill the trench and the fire (being slow moving) couldn't jump it.

As to the problem of food after the fire, if the island has australian plants many should grow back because of the heat and smoke from the fire which is neccessary for native Australian plants to germinate/grow eg. Banksias.
The original inhabitants of Australia survived off the land even after bushfires.

Other than this i agree with the statement about the lack of detail in the riddle. It doesn't say what species of organism Willy is. Many animals and plants can survive bushfires, they don't "burn to death" they just burn a bit. If he's a banksia he might survive the fire AND end up with children!!!! ;D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Havvy on Sep 22nd, 2006, 10:05pm
I have a brand new solution.  This one assumes that Wil (for short) is wearing clothes and does not fear getting naked in the wilderness.

What he needs to do is take his shirt off, and than soak it.  Than, he needs to take off any bottom clothes and get them wet.  Of course, he needs to put them back on.  He runs through the fire and into the ashes.  There, he has a bigger chance of survival because he is wet, and than stops, drops, and rolls.  This also puts in another big if.  Is he next to A or is near B?

Otherwise, if you are on at most a 5*10 island (otherwise, it's not really wide), you are surrounded by soaking water that makes plants wet.

Finally, how'd the fire get started?  Mabey he had a sony battery inside one of the recalled computers?  Mabey he had only enough time to write the riddle.  lol.  That's more of a joke and wondering why there's a fire.

I still like the thought that Wil is a bird that CAN fly.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by graphia on Sep 24th, 2006, 4:35pm
And hey, if he ran through the fire like that he'd only have steam burns to 2/3rds of his body! :P

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Havvy on Sep 25th, 2006, 1:57pm
Well, if it's a very thing strip of fire he could probably get though.  I mean, can't you put your dry body through a fire for a few seconds?  He could also control how he feels the fire.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by lonewolf0510 on Oct 21st, 2006, 9:28am
It's easier than everyone is making it. First look that he's on an island with nothing around it to get off, so you have to ask yourself...How did he get there? He can't swim, but he can either walk or crawl. It's obvious there has to be a land bridge that made it possible for him to get there in the frist place. Just take the land bridge back to where he came from and he'll be safe and the island will burn until it reaches water and dies out.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by sofeffi on Oct 21st, 2006, 10:14am
If there was a land bridge, it would be a peninsula not an island

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by towr on Oct 21st, 2006, 12:43pm
Perhaps there is a sort of landbridge that's only available at low tide and is udner water at high tide.
Of course, with Willy's luck, the fire's durign high tide.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by sofeffi on Oct 22nd, 2006, 12:56am
maybe. He has 10 hours to wait for the tide to go out anyway :P

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Grimbal on Oct 22nd, 2006, 7:24am
Or he other way round:  He knows the tide will go up, flood the island and extinguish the fire.

Or another idea: he just felt the tremors of an earthquake and expects a tsunami.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by jenny on Dec 7th, 2006, 1:19pm
ok. so how did willy what's his face get on the island in the first place? think of that. to save himself from the fire, why not just walk across a bridge!!! ;D   duh

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by keyboardduder on Jan 19th, 2007, 11:22am
He Digs a hole. If he lit a fire to counteract the other fire, the island is heavily forested, it would start to seperate fires, decreasing his time to love.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Whiskey Tango Foxtrot on Jan 21st, 2007, 9:45am
What?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by armyone on Feb 20th, 2007, 2:03am
he starts a fire a mile from point B then waits until the fire consumes everything to B.  then he wait in the area that the second fire has burnt off

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by JiNbOtAk on Feb 20th, 2007, 8:29pm

on 02/20/07 at 02:03:07, armyone wrote:
 he starts a fire a mile from point B then waits until the fire consumes everything to B.  then he wait in the area that the second fire has burnt off

Hey..why didn't I think of that ??   ;D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Grimbal on Feb 21st, 2007, 4:27am
Is that island still burning?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by TV4Fun on Apr 7th, 2007, 7:59pm

on 08/12/02 at 11:02:47, Ali G wrote:
 Sadly, the point that everybody is missing here is perhaps the most salient of all. Namely, what the f*ck was Willy doing "hanging out" on an island on his own in the first place? Furthermore, I'm a little disturbed that so many intelligent people so casually dismiss the possibility of arson here. Willy was alone on the island, so how exactly did the fire start? Either intentionally or through his total ineptitude with camping fires, I think it's clear this situation is the result of Willy's own actions. Willy is clearly some kind of neurotic loner whose only interest in life is to locate uninhabited islands. And then burn them down. Frankly, I don't have time to waste on psychotic campers with a penchant for pyromania. To be blunt, the world would be a much better place without idiots like Willy.Her's my solution to the problem; burn on the island, Willy, and long may you burn in hell.

He can't be that much of loner, seeing as how he's been known to have sex with 3 women in one night.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by chad1 on Apr 9th, 2007, 6:02pm
couldn't willywutang simply dig a division ito the island so it would stop the fire before it reaches him?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Icarus on Apr 9th, 2007, 6:04pm
Only if he is a really, really fast digger!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by chad1 on Apr 9th, 2007, 6:41pm
he could dig it in the near the end of the island that way he would have at least 8 or 9 hours to dig since the fire is only traveling at one mile an hour. This would be plenty of time to dig

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Icarus on Apr 10th, 2007, 2:18pm
Across the entire island, clear down to sea level, wide enough to stop the fire from jumping the gap? Unless he's got some earth-moving equipment at his disposal, 8 or 9 MONTHS isn't going to be enough!

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by mrbahl on Aug 5th, 2008, 3:11am

on 07/25/02 at 19:39:43, A.P. wrote:
 This solution seems too simple to be right:Willywutang can set a second fire, stay between the two fires, then move into the ashes left by the second fire. When the first fire gets there, there won't be anything left to burn.It took me about 5 minutes to think of. Surely it can't be that easy?

I have a a problem with this solution. How can willy start a fire ? Forest fires are not like match stick fires that you can just go near one and get a burning peice and start another fire. They are so hot even going in proximity will burn you. Also according to the puzzle there seems to be no equipment with willy that he can use to start a fresh fire. also the wind is towards willy so even if he tries to go near the fire the smoke and ashes will choke him. I don't think this solution is possible.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by mrbahl on Aug 5th, 2008, 3:48am
I have the following solutions.
1) if the island is at sea level willy can stand in water or stand in sand. sand wont burn, and water will keep him safe from heat.

2) if the island is lot above sea level then he can hang by the sides of the island.

willy does not need to hang on to the edge for a long time. maybe only for 15-30 mins..and if he can clim toward point A he can cross the fire. The above will have to be the scenario the island is not at sea- level because the island is very narrow.

3) if the island is at sea-level but there are no beaches and only rocks
- even then he can stand on the rocks on the edge.
- or he can dig a trench but not accross the entire island.. just around himself kinda like this.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by hamzak on Nov 14th, 2008, 5:42pm
alright you have to remember he is on a island which has a beach which should contain sand and if you can't take the fire out with the dry sand you can put it out with the moist sand under it. Also he could wade around the water if he can't swim.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by rmsgrey on Nov 15th, 2008, 8:58am

on 11/14/08 at 17:42:46, hamzak wrote:
 alright you have to remember he is on a island which has a beach which should contain sand and if you can't take the fire out with the dry sand you can put it out with the moist sand under it. Also he could wade around the water if he can't swim.

Not all islands have beaches. You could have sheer rock cliffs on all sides...

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Grimbal on Nov 15th, 2008, 9:26am
Here is your "long and narrow" island:
http://www.friedrichs.us/Vietnam-Photos/3-192-T-HaLong-R.jpg
;D

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Fremont1 on Aug 2nd, 2011, 4:30pm
Willywu's location, A or B, is not identified in the scenario.  Therefore, Willywu may possibly be behind the fire since he started it.  The fire is blowing away from him.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Grimbal on Aug 3rd, 2011, 2:47am
But it says he will burn in 10 hours if he doesn't do anything.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by wolfmanjack on Aug 9th, 2011, 12:49am

on 07/31/02 at 06:21:12, jmlyle wrote:
 I don't think that any one has explicitly said this yet, but the problem people seem to be having with the solution is that fire spreads, like a ripple in water. I have no doubt that a strong enough wind will be able to keep the fire moving in one direction, like a strong enough current can keep the ripples from actually going upstream (a little bit different, because, in that case, the ripples look like a doppler effect, with the source point travelling along with the current). But again, I think that there is no way that a 2 mph breeze will stop fire from spreading upwind.I don't see any problem with increasing the speed of the wind to make the problem more believable, though....--jmlyle

That is what i thought when i first read this puzzle. I wondered what the 2 mph wind had to do with anything since it would not be strong enough to influence the direction of the fire. Anyone that set an additional fire would find himself trapped between the two fires. The riddle should state that wading around was impossible due to a sharp dropoff all around the island. in any case is there anyone who can't dog paddle? Or get a log to float on ?

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by wolfmanjack on Aug 9th, 2011, 12:56am
face it guys he is either going to drown or burn to death unless he has some tools to build a fire break. If it is heavily forested the trees where the fire first started would take longer then 10 hours to completely burn. No starting a second fire no ashes to stand on because the fire would not burn out by time the 10 hours is up. Find a log and get to floating.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by Noke Lieu on Aug 9th, 2011, 1:02am
Hello, wolfmanjack.

That's definately an approach. There is a degree to which this riddle is intended to be abstract, but by the same measure actually doing this does seem to work.

I like the point about a 2mph wind, it being a large forest, and it taking 10 hours to burn... perhaps the parameters should have been a little tighter...

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by wolfmanjack on Aug 9th, 2011, 1:42am
My kids play "what if" with me and they are always trying to figure out a way around what was presented instead of staying with the spirit of the question. I remember doing the same when i was a kid and I see most posters doing it here.  I would bet \$ to donuts that the OP's answer was based on wrong assumptions like the people posting about using a back burn. back burning works if the conditions are right but often go awry when the wind changes direction. Take the Yellowstone park fire several years ago that burned almost the entire park.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by danaz on Aug 12th, 2011, 12:38am
Will we ever find out the right answer? Or is it going to be kept secret till someone finds out.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by wolfmanjack on Aug 12th, 2011, 1:25am
maybe the OP does not know the answer and posted to find out LOL

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by farsing on Aug 12th, 2011, 4:42pm

on 02/07/04 at 05:36:43, snaily wrote:

I think the backburning is not as unrealistic as you think, although I suspect that it would burn towards him as well and in reality compound the problem. I think making use of the water implied by the fact that he's on an island is his best bet. Grabbing water from the surrounding water via homemade buckets or the like is probably his best bet. If he could find a small trench and widen it a bit and fill it with water, he might be able to continually douse any flames that start igniting the foliage around him as well as keeping him cooler (note that he could boil if he doesn't manage the flame directly around him enough, but it will prevent him from igniting). At any rate, Willy's in for a rough time.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by wolfmanjack on Aug 12th, 2011, 7:41pm
I would think that a large fire like this would also create oxygen problems for anyone trying to ride it out in a trench. The fire would consume massive amounts of oxygen as fast as it can be replaced.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by rmsgrey on Aug 15th, 2011, 7:24am

on 08/12/11 at 16:42:13, farsing wrote:
 I think the backburning is not as unrealistic as you think, although I suspect that it would burn towards him as well and in reality compound the problem. I think making use of the water implied by the fact that he's on an island is his best bet. Grabbing water from the surrounding water via homemade buckets or the like is probably his best bet. If he could find a small trench and widen it a bit and fill it with water, he might be able to continually douse any flames that start igniting the foliage around him as well as keeping him cooler (note that he could boil if he doesn't manage the flame directly around him enough, but it will prevent him from igniting). At any rate, Willy's in for a rough time.

Welcome to the Forum.

You might want to check your machine for viruses - somehow a spam link appears to have embedded itself in the quoted text of the post you quoted in your post.

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by guptaharsh18890 on Dec 28th, 2011, 10:54pm
yea .. thats true ..

Title: Re: Easy: Willywutang & burning island
Post by ektechno on Feb 2nd, 2012, 7:36am
The answer to this is something that has been done to control fires for a long time, called 'backburning'.  Paying attention to the way the wind is blowing, start a fire, then start a controlled second fire some distance downwind of it.  The two fires should move at approximately the same speed if you've done it right, and when the first fire gets to where the second fire started, it has nothing to fuel itself with and dies.  Pretty common in Australia (irrelevant link removed by moderator)