Problem-solving strategies

Work on one of the following problems, and describe your problem-solving strategy.

A. The Hobbit-and-Orcs Problem

A group of three hobbits and three orcs arrive at a riverbank, and they all wish to cross to the other side. Fortunately, there is a boat, but unfortunately, the boat can only hold two creatures at a one time. Also, there is another problem. Orcs are vicious creatures, and whenever there are more Orcs than Hobbits on one side of the river, the Orcs will immediately attack the Hobbits and eat them up. Consequently, you should be certain that you never leave more Orcs than Hobbits on any riverbank. How should the problem be solved? (Note that the Orcs, though vicious, can be trusted to bring the boat back!)

B. Truthtellers and Liars

You are visiting a strange country in which there are just two kinds of people – truthtellers and liars. Truthtellers always tell the truth, and liars always lie. You hail the first two people you meet and say, “Are you truthtellers or liars?” The first person mumbles something you can’t hear. The second says, “He says he’s a truthteller. He is a truthteller and so am I.” Can you trust the directions that these two may give you?

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