# 3 Policemen and 3 thieves had to cross a river using a small boat.

3 policemen and 3 thieves had to cross a river using a small boat. Only two can use the boat for a trip. All the 3 policemen and only 1 thief knew to ride the boat. If 2 thiefs and 1 policeman were left behind they would kill him. But none of them escaped from the policemen. How would they be able to cross the river?
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• May 19th, 2009

Let a,b,c are 3 policeman and 1,2,3 are 3 thieves (1 knows to sail the boat)
First of all a & 3 will go to other end, then b,c & 1,2 = a,3
a returns back and 1,2 will go to other end, then a,b,c = 1,2,3
1 return back and b,c will go to other end, then a,1 = b,c,2,3
b,2 will return back and 1,a will go to other end, then b,2 =a,c,1,3
c,3 will return back and b,c will go to the other end, then 2,3 = a,b,c,1
1 will return back and takes 2 with him to other end, then 3=a,b,c,1,2
1 will again return back and takes 3 with him and its over every body crossed
the river

#### hydsarema Profile Answers by hydsarema

• May 21st, 2009

Let p1,p2,p3 be  three policemen.
Let t1,t2,t3 be three thieves.t1 knows how to ride the boat.

p1 and t1 go at first. p1 is left at the other edge.
t1 rows back(does not escape as mentioned in the question)
t1 and t2 go second .t2 is left at the other edge.(if at all a policeman was taken 2 theives would be left with one policeman)
t1 rows back.
t1 and p2 go third and p2 is left at the other edge.(if at all a thief was taken 2 theives would be left with one policeman)
t1 and t3 go fourth and leave t3 at the other edge
t1 rows back
t1 and p3 go last

#### Marijke

• Nov 29th, 2015

Your answers fails, because you can never let the thieves outnumber the policemen on either shore.

#### Tommie

• Sep 29th, 2016

2 police in the boat, 1 police and 3 robbers hold onto the side

#### JOBI JOSEPH

• Jul 29th, 2017

Cant do the answer because if only one person (thief) can drive the boat then if he drops either one thief or police the other end then he doesnt have to come back to pick others and escape.