Tom Hoofs it Home

Jul 06, 2009

RAY: Back in the old days when my brother used to work, his wife used to drive him to the train station and then he'd take the train and go to work. An hour later, he'd get on the train to come home.

TOM: Exactly! Right after lunch.

RAY: When he arrived back at the train station, his wife would meet him there and they'd drive home together.

Well, one day he decides to leave work early at 11 A.M. Needless to say, he gets to the train station an hour early. Rather than call his wife, it's a nice day and he decides to hoof it.

So he starts walking in the direction she'll be driving. And low and behold, he sees his wife coming up the road and she sees him by the side of the road taking a haircut. He gets in the car and they drive home and arrive 20 minutes earlier. Don't forget - she left home at the usual time.

TOM: Of course, she didn't know he was going to leave work an hour early.

RAY: The question is, how long was he walking before they met? Notice, there's no mention of how long she was driving, how fast he walked, what train he took, and what any of the distances were. How long was he walking before she picked him up?

RAY: Here's the answer: Tom was walking for 50 minutes before his wife picked him up. They arrived home 20 minutes earlier than usual, so by walking he saved 10 minutes of her travel time to the station and 10 minutes of her travel time home from the station. Therefore, he was walking for 50 minutes when she picked him up. It's as if he moved the station 10 minutes closer.

TOM: Pretty good of me, eh?

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