(Moving Counter Problem
If a fleet of sixteen men-of-war were lying at anchor and surrounded by
the enemy, how many ships might be sunk if every torpedo, projected in a
straight line, passed under three vessels and sank the fourth? In the
diagram we have arranged the fleet in square formation, where it will be
seen that as many as seven ships may be sunk (those in the top row and
first column) by firing the torpedoes indicated by arrows. Anchoring the
fleet as we like, to what extent can we increase this number? Remember
that each successive ship is sunk before another torpedo is launched,
and that every torpedo proceeds in a different direction; otherwise, by
placing the ships in a straight line, we might sink as many as thirteen!
It is an interesting little study in naval warfare, and eminently
practical--provided the enemy will allow you to arrange his fleet for
your convenience and promise to lie still and do nothing!
Next: THE HAT PUZZLE.
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