Soviet puzzle: Campsite adventures

RBTH invites you to test your powers of observation and attention to detail, recall your camping experience and solve this Soviet puzzle.

We have already invited you to check your powers of lateral thinking by solving a Soviet puzzle. Here is another one!

Camping is traditionally associated with the spirit of adventure: living in a tent, cooking by the fire, singing songs to the accompaniment of the guitar in the company of close friends… But are you ready for it? Camping requires knowledge and skill: how to set up camp; how to make a fire with a single match, how to cook on an open fire, how to observe the necessary safety rules and, most importantly, how to leave the site clear of any litter!

It is essential to choose your gear right and to plan in advance what you may need during your outdoor adventure.

Now, imagining you are outdoors, take a close look at the picture below and be prepared to provide well-reasoned answers to several questions about it. Remember that the action in the picture takes place in the Soviet Union, so do not be confused by some details in it that may appear somewhat strange (like the ancient camera).

Source: Soviet Education MinistrySource: Soviet Education Ministry

1. How many campers are staying here?

2. When did they arrive: today or several days ago?

3. What mode of transport did they use to get here?

4. How far is the camp from the nearest village?

5. Where is the wind coming from: the north or the south?

6. What time of day is it now?

7. Where has Shura gone?

8. Who was on duty yesterday? (Name them)

9. What is the date today?

Answers: (to see the answers, highlight the text below)


1. Four: the duty rota has four names on it, there are four spoons and four plates on the picnic blanket.

2. Not today because a cobweb has already formed between the tent and the tree it is attached to. The person on duty today is Petya (Kolya is sitting next to the backpack with the letter K on it; Vasya is taking pictures because the backpack with the letter V (Russian: B) on it has a tripod in it; Shura has gone butterfly hunting).

3. By boat: there are oars propped against the tree.

4. It is unlikely that the campers have brought a live chicken with them, so there must be a village nearby.

5. On the trees the branches are longer on the south-facing side and shorter on the north-facing side. Now look at the fire: The flame is bending to the north. Therefore, the wind is blowing from the south.

6. Morning, since the shadow is falling to the west and the sun is shining from the east.

7. Shura has gone butterfly hunting. His butterfly net is sticking out from behind the bushes.

8. So, Shura has gone butterfly hunting; Kolya is sitting next to the backpack with the letter K on it. Another boy is taking pictures. In the center of the picture there is a backpack with the letter V (Russian: B) on it and a tripod in it. Therefore, the photographer’s name begins with the letter B – Вася (V – Vasya). By process of elimination, the person on duty today is Petya. Which means that the person on duty yesterday was Kolya.

9. The person on duty today is Petya. On the duty rota, there is the figure 8 next to his name. So, the date today is Aug. 8 because the watermelon season in Russia is August.



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