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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Puzzle Description
3.
Camel And The Banana Puzzle (Method- I)
4.
Camel and the banana puzzle (Method-II)
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is the camel and the banana puzzle?
5.2.
Why is it necessary to solve puzzles during an interview?
5.3.
What are some of the most typical puzzles posed during an interview?
5.4.
Is it common for software companies to ask for puzzles?
5.5.
Will puzzles be asked in interviews all the time?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Camel and the Banana Puzzle

Author Aditya kumar
0 upvote
Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
Speaker
Ashwin Goyal
Product Manager @
Interview Puzzles

Introduction

Puzzles are good exercise for the brain. They help in enhancing the cognitive abilities of the brain helping with Problem Solving and related skills. There are numerous types of puzzles; each one having a logic inherent to itself which helps in cracking it. A good puzzle well is actually like a good mystery that we may have read about or watched on TV. It has the finest of hints which help in reaching its solution.

The following article discusses one such puzzle so let's get right to it.

Puzzle Description

A person possesses 3000 bananas as well as a camel. The individual intends to convey as many bananas as possible over a 1000-kilometre distance utilizing just the camel as a means of transportation. The camel can only carry 1000 bananas at a time and consumes one banana for every kilometre travelled. What is the most significant amount of bananas that can be transported by camel alone to the destination (no other mode of transportation is allowed)?

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Camel And The Banana Puzzle (Method- I)

Let's take a look at what we may deduce from the question:

  • We have 3000 bananas in total.
  • The distance to the destination is 1000 kilometres.
  • There is just one means of transportation available.
  • At any given moment, a camel may carry up to 1000 bananas.
  • Every kilometre travelled, a camel consumes a banana.

 

With all of these considerations, we can conclude that no one will be able to transport any bananas to the destination since the camel will consume all of the bananas in route.

However, the idea is to have intermediate drop locations so that the camel may make multiple short treks between them.

We also make an effort to keep the number of bananas at each position at a multiple of 1000.

There will be two drop places between the source and the destination.

At the source, there are 3000 bananas. At the first intermediate point, there are  2000 bananas, and at the second intermediate point, there are 1000 bananas.

Illustration Image

  • Camels must make five journeys to go from the source to the Intermediate Point1, three forward and two reverse. We have a total of 3000 bananas to carry.
  • Camels must make three journeys from Intermediate Point1 to Intermediate Point2, two forward and one reverse. We have a total of 2000 bananas to transfer.
  • Finally, only one forward transfer from Intermediate Point2 to a destination.

 

Let's look at the total amount of bananas consumed at each stage.

  • Because the distance between the source and Intermediate Point1 is x km and the camel made five journeys, there are 5x between the source and IP1.
  • Because the distance between Intermediate Point1 and Intermediate Point2 is y kilometres and the camel made three journeys, there are ‘3y’ bananas between Intermediate Point1 and Intermediate Point2.
  • It's ‘z’ bananas from Intermediate Point2 to destination.

 

Now we'll try to figure out how far apart the points are:

  • 3000 - 5x = 2000. As a result, we obtain x = 200.
  • Since 2000 - 3y = 1000, we obtain y = 333.33, but here the distance is also the number of bananas, which cannot be a fraction, so we take y =333, and the number of bananas at Intermediate Point2 is 1001, so it's 2000 - 3y = 1001.
  • So, 1000 - x - y = z, or 1000 - 200 - 333 = z . Therefore, z = 467, is the remaining distance to the market.

 

At Intermediate Point2, there are now 1001 bananas. We must, however, leave one banana behind since the camel can only carry 1000 bananas at a time.

So a camel consumes 467 bananas to go from Intermediate Point2 to the target location. The number of bananas left is 1000 - 467 = 533.

So there are a maximum total of 533 bananas that may be exchanged.

Camel and the banana puzzle (Method-II)

The maximum number of bananas that may be transferred is 833 if the camel does not consume a banana while returning, which is when it does not have a banana.

Let's break down the journey of the camel into three sections. The camel initially takes 1000 bananas and travels 333 kilometres before dropping the leftover bananas (1000 - 333 = 667) at the first intermediate location before returning to the source. Similarly, the camel consumes 1000 bananas two more times and travels 333 kilometres and it puts the remaining bananas there. At the first intermediate level, the total number of bananas is 2001.

The camel again takes 1000 bananas and travels 500 kilometres before dropping off the leftover bananas (1000 - 500 = 500) at the second intermediate location and returning to the first intermediate location. Similarly, the camel takes 1000 bananas and travels 500 kilometres before dumping the remaining bananas. At the second intermediate location, the total quantity of bananas is now 1000.

Finally, the camel collects 1000 bananas and completes the last 167 kilometres of the voyage. As a result, the total number of bananas at the end destination is 833.

So, if the camel does not eat a banana on the way back, the maximum number of bananas that may be transferred is 833.

Check out this problem - 8 Queens Problem

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the camel and the banana puzzle?

A camel belongs to the proprietor of a banana plantation. He wants to get his 3000 bananas to the market after crossing the desert. His banana farm is over 1000 kilometres from the market. So he decided to transport the bananas on his camel. The camel can carry up to 1000 bananas and consumes one banana for every kilometre travelled.

Why is it necessary to solve puzzles during an interview?

In software engineer interviews, puzzles are a practical technique to measure your lateral thinking. It demonstrates to the interviewer your ability to solve problems in the real world and think creatively. These problems are especially popular with Tier-1 firms looking for applicants with more advanced programming skills.

What are some of the most typical puzzles posed during an interview?

Some of the most popular interview puzzles are:
Crossing the Bridge Puzzle
Heaven or Hell Puzzle
Three Mislabeled Jars
Gold Bar Cut Puzzle
Man Fell in Well Puzzle
Bag of Coins Puzzle

Is it common for software companies to ask for puzzles?

Since problem-solving is such an essential component of programming, all software company applicants are routinely put to the test using puzzle problems. As a result, it is rather usual in software businesses to require prospective candidates to solve puzzles during their interviews.

Will puzzles be asked in interviews all the time?

While most interviewers do not usually ask for puzzles, they are relatively frequent, and some interviews may even include specialized puzzle-solving parts. It's always a good idea to be prepared in case something happens.

Conclusion

In the above article, we discussed the Camel and THe Banana Puzzle in detail along with its possible solutions in detail. 

Recommended Readings:


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