21 Comments


  1. Not 5. Only 4. You’re confusing “to” and “towards”. To indicates destination. Towards indicates direction but not destination. Only 4 are going towards!

    Reply
    1. giftourprecious giftourprecious

      Hi Patrick,

      1 rabbit saw 6 elephants “while going to” the river.
      “while going to” refers to an action in progress, hence
      the rabbit is still on it’s way towards the river.
      Agree?

      Reply
      1. Rob

        The answer could be 25. It doesn’t say if the rabbit saw the elephants as a group or individually. Because every elephant saw 2 monkeys. And were they different monkeys or the same 2 monkeys. Your explanation doesn’t make sense. My answer would be 5 or 25 because it lacks information.

        Reply
        1. giftourprecious giftourprecious

          Hi Rob,

          This is the tricky part of the question, whether the rabbit saw the elephants as a group or individually is not significant as compared to whether the elephants saw different monkeys or the same 2 monkeys.
          Let’s recap the statement “Every elephant saw 2 monkeys going towards the river.” The statement does not explicitly mention that “Every elephant saw 2 DIFFERENT monkeys…”, hence implicit rules apply and infer that the 2 monkeys are the same.
          Well, the question is worded on purpose to be tricky and that is the fun part right? :)

          Reply
          1. David

            What Rob is bringing up is that neither time nor distance are defined in the puzzle. The puzzle does not specify that the “saw” happened at the exact same spot in time. How long was the rabbit traveling? Were any of the monkeys or the rabbit traveling at the oblique? Were the monkeys traveling behind elephants and not seen by them, but seen by elephants on the other side of the river?

            Another flaw in this solution’s logic is the assumption that the elephants were NOT also going to the river. The rabbit, while traveling to the river, could well have seen six elephants, also traveling to the river.

            What you CAN guarantee is, at a minimum, is that one rabbit, two monkeys and two parrots are traveling.

          2. giftourprecious giftourprecious

            Hi David,

            Exactly! If the question does not explicitly mention time, distance, whether the monkeys were traveling behind elephants or any other further info, then that shouldn’t be part of the consideration as the solution right? That kind of assumption should fall under guesswork, imagination and possibility. 😉

            Well, since the question again does NOT explicitly mention that the elephants were going towards the river, hence NO assumption should be made that the elephants MAY be going towards the river.

            Yes, you are right, with the available information provided, what can be derived is that 1 rabbit, 2 monkeys and 2 parrots are going towards the river. :)

      2. Kendra Perry

        “Going to” can have DIFFERENT routes, maybe not just yet, but eventually..When “Towards” mean its in their path visually😕😕

        Reply
      3. Justin Stanley

        WHILE going to the river means that the rabbit’s destination IS the river…. GOING TOWARDS the river means that the direction they are GOING is TOWARDS the river…. you can walk TOWARDS something without that being where you are going.

        Reply
      4. Neal

        I agree with Patrick
        Since this is a play on words then we must pay attention to all words!!!
        The question is how many animals are going towards the river?
        The rabbit is going to the river. Not towards the river there for can not be counted. So that leaves 2 monkeys and 2 parrots witch is 4….. Seeing how it’s a play on words there can be no other right answer!!!

        Reply
    2. Sabrina

      Exactly! To and towards are completely different!

      Reply
      1. giftourprecious giftourprecious

        Hi Sabrina,

        According to
        http://www.dictionary.com/browse/to definition,

        1.
        (used for expressing motion or direction toward a point, person, place, or thing approached and reached, as opposed to from):
        They came to the house.
        2.
        (used for expressing direction or motion or direction toward something) in the direction of; toward:
        from north to south.

        Care to elaborate further on what you mean “To and towards are completely different”?

        Reply
  2. Peter

    The rabbit is going to the river, stating a specific destination being the river (the rabbit might not be at the river yet and going towards, but will be making its way there.) The monkeys and parrots are going towards the river and may not actually be heading to the river. The dictionary is splitting hairs and my logic is also splitting hairs.

    Reply
    1. Peter

      So in this instance going to the river is an intention.
      Going towards just indicates that the monkeys and parrots are traveling in the direction of the river, without saying absolutely that the river is the destination.
      Hopefully this is a better example of the difference as you can not look at to and towards separately. Cheers

      Reply
      1. giftourprecious giftourprecious

        Hi Peter,

        Thanks for the To vs Towards example and explanation.
        So does that mean you agree with the solution?
        Cheers :)

        Reply
  3. Robert

    Sorry but to and towards are 2 different things no matter how you spin it

    Reply
    1. Tim Conway

      Yes, they are two different things. But it doesn’t change the answer here. How can you go to something unless you go toward it?

      Reply
  4. Tim Conway

    The riddle says that both monkeys have one parrot in their hands. So how are you arriving at two parrots when the riddle clearly states that both monkeys are holding the same one parrot? If there were two parrots, then the riddle would either state, “Every monkey holds TWO parrots in their hands,” or more likely, ” EACH monkey holds one parrot in their hands.”

    EVERY implies the monkeys as a group.
    EACH would imply the monkeys individually.

    Reply
    1. giftourprecious giftourprecious

      Hi Tim,

      According to https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/determiners-quantifiers-each-every.htm ,

      EACH expresses the idea of “one by one”. It emphasizes individuality.
      EVERY is half-way between each and all. It sees things or people as singular, but in a group or in general.

      E.g.
      Every artist is sensitive.
      Each artist sees things differently.
      Every soldier saluted the president as he arrived.
      The president gave each soldier a medal.

      Refer to the 3rd example “Every soldier saluted the president as he arrived.”,
      it refers that each soldier is performing an action (salute) individually as a group.

      Vs “Every soldier saw the president as he arrived.” ,
      it refers that each soldier saw an external event (president) individually as a group.

      Hence, the same logic applies to this maths question.

      “Every elephant saw 2 monkeys going towards the river.” ,
      it refers that each elephant saw an external event (2 monkeys) individually as a group.

      “Every monkey holds 1 parrot in their hands.” ,
      it refers that each monkey is performing an action (holds 1 parrot) individually as a group.

      Agree?

      Reply
      1. Julie

        I agree with Tim. If you use the same logic applied to every elephant saw 2 monkeys then if every monkey held 1 parrot that would be only one parrot that every one of them held together right?… not “each”
        Monkey carrying a parrot.

        Reply
        1. giftourprecious giftourprecious

          Hi Julie,

          The logic applied is similar to the soldier example above.

          When an external event (every elephant saw 2 monkeys or every soldier saw the president) is observed,
          it implies that each observer saw an external object individually as a group, hence the external object
          observed can refer to the same object.

          However, when an action is performed (every monkey holds 1 parrot in their hands or every soldier saluted the president)
          individually as a group, each individual is performing an action individually (each soldier raise their own hand and point to
          their own head to salute or each monkey hold 1 parrot in their hands), hence when each monkey is performing an action
          (holds 1 parrot in their hands), the monkey is doing so individually (each monkey holds 1 parrot) as a group, hence 2 parrots in total.

          If it is true that the 2 monkeys are together holding the same 1 parrot in their hands, it will mean that each soldier raise their own
          hand and all the hands point to just one soldier’s head (the soldier’s head is analogous to the same 1 parrot) to perform the salute and that would just be weird. 😉

          Agree?

          Reply

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