Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Whims of Three Girls

3 girls, each with her father, go for a stroll. They come to a small river. One boat, able to carry 2 persons at a time, is at their disposal. Crossing would be simple for everyone except the girls. None is willing to be in the boat or ashore with 1 or 2 strange fathers, unless her own father is present too. How do they all get across?

I came across the above in a book of puzzles. It's an interesting exercise in modeling a game space and generating correct state progressions. I started working on a Haskell version with a friend but the full script is still well beyond my reach. Meanwhile, my Python version works reasonably well and BFS returns what appears to be a minimum-length solution in approximately 75 ms on my 2014 MacBook Pro.  This served as yet another lesson in the importance of modularity and testing to the end of writing code that's clear and correct. More practice required...