U2 winner

The winner of the U2 math problem contest is Eric Taylor of Stockton, California. More importantly, I have to say that Eric is not one of my engineering buddies and is actually an attorney. Eric will receive the Starbucks gift card. I have reposted the problem and the answer Eric gave.

U2 has a concert that starts in 17 minutes and they must all cross a bridge to get there. All four men begin on the same side of the bridge. You must help them across to the other side. It is night. There is one flashlight. A maximum of two people can cross at one time. Any party who crosses, either 1 or 2 people, must have the flashlight with them.

The flashlight must be walked back and forth. It cannot be thrown and other tricks like that are not needed to solve the problem. The solution is simply a matter of allocating resources in a certain order. Each band member walks at a different speed. A pair must walk together at the rate of the slower man’s pace:
Bono: 1 minute to cross
Edge: 2 minutes to cross
Adam: 5 minutes to cross
Larry: 10 minutes to cross

Bono and Edge cross, Bono comes back (3 min so far)
Adam and Larry cross, Edge comes back (12 more – 15 total)
Bono and Edge cross again

They are free to play two hours of mostly crap sell-out songs and continuing to completely forget their roots


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