A boy goes and buys a one-piece fishing pole that is 6' 3" long. As he goes to get on the bus, the bus driver tells him that he can't take anything on the bus longer than 6'.

The boy goes back to town, buys one more thing, and the bus driver allows him on the bus.

He did not damage the fishing pole in any way.

What did he buy, and what did he do with it?

Normally a box is cuboid (or rectangular parallelopiped) in shape.

Accordingly, the fishing pole can be fitted along the long diagonal(D) of the cuboid shaped box to satisfy the provisions of the riddle, so that:

D^2 = L^2 + B^2 + H^2, (where L, B and H respectively denote the length, breadth and the height of the box)

Or, B^2 + H^2 = 75^2 - 72^2 = 441( since the maximum value of L is obviously 6 feet or 72 inches).

So, in general we can state that the dimensions of the box must be:

Length = 6 feet

Breadth = B inches

Height = H inches with the pair (B,H) satisfying the relationship

B^2 + H^2 = 441.

Consequently, the given puzzle seems to admit of an infinite number of solutions whenever both B and H are positive real numbers satisfying the said relationship.

*Edited on ***March 22, 2007, 10:18 am**