# The Long Walk Home Puzzler is WRONG

I don’t understand your Station 1 and Station 2. There’s only one station he ends up at, he catches a 1 hour earlier train, gets to his normal pickup point an hour early, starts walking, and his wife picks him up as he’s walking:

"Anyway after work, he would leave and walk to the train station. He’d take the train, and his wife would meet him there, and they would drive home.

Well, one day, he decides to leave work an hour early. Even earlier than usual. So, of course he gets to the train station an hour early. So, rather than call his wife, he decides to start walking. It’s a nice day, so he starts walking in the direction he knows she will take to come pick him up. "

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He doesn’t walk from station 1, he rides the train from station 1

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Her drive had to be at least 10 minutes each way. He could have walked for 50 minutes and met her in the driveway. She wouldn’t have had to drive at all and they would be home 20 minutes earlier than normal.

He would have had to take the train that was scheduled an hour before the train he usually takes so he arrived at his destination an hour early. The puzzler didn’t make this clear, it assumes that the listener/reader interprets it this way.

If he didn’t walk he’d have arrived home at the same time he usually did. He only saves on his car travel time 10 minutes, during the return car trip w/his wife. He was a full hour ahead of his normal schedule when he arrived at the station, yet he only saved 20 minutes by the time he got home. So there’s 40 minutes to account for. He spent 50 minutes walking , and saved 10 minutes off the normal ride time home = 40 minutes.

This should be possible to do with standard algebra, using distance = rate X time. The distances and rates will cancel out in the end presumably.

One thing that further confuses this puzzler answer is a typo, where “he” is used instead of “she” a couple of times.

Well, I think the discrepancy is resolved. We have been working two different problems.
Choice #1: When he arrives to get on the train home, he is an hour early and there is no train. So he decides to walk.
Choice #2: When he arrives to get home, he gets on the earlier (by one hour) train. Instead of warning his wife, he just plans to walk towards home and intercept her on the route as she comes to pick him up. He knows that she won’t be leaving so early to pick him up, since she is not due at the station for another hour. (This interpretation leads to the 50 minute walking time answer.)

I am very glad to see the alternative interpretation.

lol … I didn’t even consider that was the meaning. But on re-reading the puzzler, I can see the wording is a little unclear & ambiguous and how your choice number 1 might be interpreted as the intended meaning. This sort of confusion is pretty common to us diy’ers who do our own car repairs and have to rely on repair manual wording. I recall one time I was trying to figure out a car problem that I thought was possibly caused by the computer not having the correct vehicle speed. When I consulted the repair manual about how the computer knows the vehicle speed, the manual explained in great detail how a speedometer works instead, but never how the speed info gets transferred to the computer … lol .

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Without knowing if the man could outrun a train on foot, it is impossible to come to a conclusion.

On the other hand, it is reasonable to assume the starting point for the walk is the same location he would normally be picked up by his wife.

I am glad that someone else also sees how the wording of the problem could be interpreted as Choice #1. Note, that the walker has a one-hour lead on the train, so he doesn’t need to out run it. Note also that since the charm of the problem is how little data is needed to solve it, this means that the train might be going only 5 miles per hour.

As I think about it more, this sounds exactly like what my wife and I do. I leave early but don’t call. But she finds out I left early, so she rushes to the grocery next to Station #1. She goes to the grocery and then sits in the Station #1 waiting for me to show. But I started walking just three minutes before that. Two hours later, we arrive home separately, exhausted and frustrated. I can’t print what happens next.

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When I see math problems in the puzzler, I just skip it.
I prefer car/truck problems, even tractor problems.
My nephew is the math person, and he does commute by train.

Actually, the solution used no math whatsoever, unless you think dividing 20 by 2 to get 10 is math. (Let’s call it arithmetic.) It was logic alone that led to the answer on both Choice #1 and Choice #2. My post at #18 shows a sample logic for Choice # 1.
The biggest hit that this was a no-math problem is that there is no data except 20 minutes.

I just delete any non-vehicle puzzlers.
Yup, we called that arithmetic, Florida calls simple addition and subtraction taught in Kindergarten or First Grade, math.

I guess Florida must have banned arithmetic, after they banned reading.

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Well, at least I got this week’s carburetor puzzler right.
Florida didn’t ban reading, just what you are allowed to read, including 23 books by my favorite author, Stephen King!

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There’s another similar Car Talk puzzler we’ve discussed here before. Two hikers decide to risk walking through a train tunnel as a shortcut, and partway through they hear a train approaching. One decides to run back to the entrance end of the tunnel, and the other decides to run forward towards the exit. They both just barely make it,and escape being hit by the train. I forget what’s known and what’s not known and what you have to figure out, but it is another of the minimum information puzzlers where it seems amazing you can figure it out with only the given information. .

I found the tunnel problem here:
https://www.cartalk.com/radio/puzzler/tunnel

Please show your work.

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