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Classic - Ant and Honey problem


Question

In a rectangular box, with length 30 inches and height and width 12 inches, an ant is located on the middle of one side 1 inch from the bottom of the box.

There is a drop of honey at the opposite side of the box, on the middle of one side, 1 inch from the top.

What is the shortest distance the ant would need to crawl to get the honey?

Here is a picture that illustrates the position of the ant and the honey.

post-52066-0-71867000-1339498071_thumb.p

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22 answers to this question

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Ok there's nothing falling down, right ? They're both inside the box and the honey isnt moving, the ant is. Can someone please explain how would the movement go with your 40inch path ? I simply dont get it. May be ok mathemathically (altho i dont see where you get 6+12+6 nor 1+30+1) but can you elaborate on the actual movement? Again floor and ceiling in the same path sorta dont make sence, it would be either one or the other from my p.o.v.

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That's exactly what I was going to say.....(but my picture wasn't as nice as yours and it wouldn't download)

But it is nowhere mentioned in OP that the box will be broken for fascilitating the ant.

I hope my logic given in Post # 13, may be the correct answer to this tricky puzzle.

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I undersatnd you people had got the answer... you are real genuises... but I would like to put here again explanation for others...

If the ant crawls 1 inch down, then 30 inches across the bottom, then 11 inches up, it will travel 42 inches. But this is not the shortest distance. The solution is found by unfolding the box and then finding the shortest path between the ant and the honey. There are actually 4 ways to "flatten" the box (shown here). But only one method corresponds to the the shortest distance as follows:

post-52066-0-59776700-1339573962_thumb.j

The 4th figure corresponds to correct answer: sqrt(322 + 242) = 4 sqrt(82 + 62) = 4 x 10 = 40.

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I undersatnd you people had got the answer... you are real genuises... but I would like to put here again explanation for others...

If the ant crawls 1 inch down, then 30 inches across the bottom, then 11 inches up, it will travel 42 inches. But this is not the shortest distance. The solution is found by unfolding the box and then finding the shortest path between the ant and the honey. There are actually 4 ways to "flatten" the box (shown here). But only one method corresponds to the the shortest distance as follows:

post-52066-0-59776700-1339573962_thumb.j

The 4th figure corresponds to correct answer: sqrt(322 + 242) = 4 sqrt(82 + 62) = 4 x 10 = 40.

Got it. Real good puzzle. Thank you.
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