My new book, Rip It Up, is now available to pre-order on Amazon UK, and the book website is here.

So, to the puzzle…..

A man is stranded on an island covered in woodland and surrounded by cliffs. One day disaster strikes and a fire starts on the west end of the island. The wind is blowing from the west and soon the whole island will be burned, killing everything in its path. The man cannot put out the fire, so how does he survive it?

As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for the Kindle (UK here and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.

51 comments

    1. @Hugh Clever enough to answer the question, not clever enough to follow instruction of not posting your answer :S

    2. From his name, I’m guessing that “Hugh Janus” is deliberately trolling. It would be good if Richard could delete him comment as it’s rather spoiling the fun for many people.

      I’d heard this puzzle many years ago, and I remembered the solution before I’d finished reading the question.

    3. Hey! I was looking forward to reading Hugh Janus’s witty reply. Its been removed. You spoilers!

    4. Justin Case you didn’t notice, I suppose this Huge Janus is now calling himself Jack Cass.
      It’s good that the Rich Wise man Del Eats posts of this puzzle spoiler.

  1. I think I know, but I’m not sure if I’ve got the right answer. It took about 20 seconds. But I think that my “answer” is probably the wrong one.

    1. My thoughts exactly. What reason is there for him to survive the fire if nothing is left for him to live on? Poor guy.

  2. It strikes me that there are many answers, but I don’t think I have thought of the method Richard is implying. I’ll have to think about this one…

  3. The man is Richard Branson. He simply takes his private helicopter and leaves the island. His beard remains relatively unsinged (although it is hard to tell). Can you please buy a new bumper puzzle book for next week.

  4. I had a couple of ideas then read the spoiler, confirmed one of them and had a third…..someone with a big enough @%^#£*& could just blow it out

  5. Erm, how high / steep are the cliffs? Can our man swim? Are there any pools on the island (presumably if there’s fauna they’ll have to drink fresh water from somewhere)?

    Let’s just hope there’s a ship passing nearby which spots the fire and decides to investigate – after all, there’s only a limited time before the barbequed steaks go bad…

  6. How can something be “radically new”? Like, there’s a limit to how new something can actually be before it doesn’t even exist yet. The books exists. It’s just “quite new”.

  7. i am puzzled. the rules say As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

    does this mean

    a) never post your ans even on monday even if it is different from / better to richard’s?

    b) you can post what you think is richard’s ans now (because rule says not post YOUR ans)

    i have been told of here before for my interpretation of the rules so clarity is requested.

    and yes i have an ans provided puzzle is as stated (that fire starts in DAY not night)

    1. You can post alternative solutions on Monday… although as you’ve probably seen, if you have a satirical solution that you can be pretty darn confident won’t be Richad’s (e.g. the earlier one about jumping in your helicopter and flying away), you can post it now. I’ve also seen people give vague clues which would be recognised by someone else who knew the solution but would probably be completely opaque to someone who didn’t.

      However, posting sensible solutions (or what you reckon Richard’s solution is) on a Friday post is a definite no-no.

    2. mitfh,
      I think that the helicopter solution was a good one. It’s a good as the one Richard will post on Monday, anyway.
      Hugh Janus’ solution, although universally acknowledged as a spoiler (implying that people think it is correct), doesn’t work by the way.

  8. You’re telling me everything I’ve learnt about change is bullshit? That visualizations and stepping into them etc etc don’t work? Really?

    Hmmmmmm……………

  9. If you think I’m going to read your book, you’re dreaming! I might listen to it though… When will it be on Audible?

  10. I remember being given this puzzle when I was at school. Didn’t get it then, but remember the answer. Wonder if I’d got it as an adult if I didn’t already know the answer

  11. Township Assembly Established For Monday, Even with Road Excursion Reduce Pottsgrove commissioners canceled their very last community session on April 19. They are not probable to skip two inside a row, even when the board president is on an “international tour.”

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