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Rickety Bridge

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Rickety Bridge

It is wartime and you are in the jungle. You are one of four soldiers trying to get back to your base after an ambush. 

You have to cross a very rickety rope bridge at night. The only weapon you have left among you is a knife which could be used to cut the ropes of the bridge once you cross it to prevent the enemy following you.

You only have one torch.

Whoever crosses the bridge needs to carry the torch with them so that they do not fall.

The bridge can only take two men at a time.

Some of your patrol have  injuries and will cross the bridge at different speeds. 

You have calculated that: 
you, the fastest can get across in just one minute; 
the second fastest will take two minutes;  
the third will take five minutes and 
the slowest will take a full ten minutes. 

The two soldiers crossing the bridge have to stay together to use the torch to guide their way and so will travel at the speed of the slower soldier.

The soldiers are being pursued and you have calculated that the enemy will arrive in just over 17 minutes. 

Can you get all of your patrol across by then or will you have to choose to sacrifice one or more?



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