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Lovelorn Snail (Posted on 2003-11-27) Difficulty: 2 of 5
On Valentine's Day in 1996, there was a snail (his name is Herb) at the bottom of an empty well that is 30 feet tall. The well had run dry, but it had slippery, moss covered walls. So, during the day (he woke up at 6am), Herb was able to climb 3 feet up, but while he slept at night (he went to sleep at 10pm), he slipped back down 2 feet.

On what date did Herb get out of the well?

See The Solution Submitted by SilverKnight    
Rating: 2.8148 (27 votes)

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Solution solution | Comment 1 of 84
Valentines Day is 2/14/96, in that year.

Each day, he will go up a net value of 1 foot. So, he would go up in 30 days, on 3/14/96.

This is WRONG, for he will be go up 3 feet. If he is already out he can't slip back.

On the 27th day, the snail would be at the 30 feet point, but he isn't out yet, so he'll still sleep and fall down 2 feet. Thus on the 28th day, he'll be out.

Thus, the date is 27 days after 2/14, for 2/14 is also a day he goes up 3 feet and falls down 2. Remember, 1996 is a LEAP year, so in 15 days, it's 2/29, and there's 12 extra days left, so the answer is March 12, 1996.
  Posted by Victor Zapana on 2003-11-27 11:11:39

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