PUZZLOR

Picking the right campsite

John Toczek

puzzlor@gmail.com

Water, wood good; mosquitoes, swamps bad.

Figure 1: Water, wood good; mosquitoes, swamps bad.

Selecting the ideal camping site requires careful consideration of many factors such as the proximity to water, availability of firewood and protection from the elements. Your potential camping sites are shown in the corresponding map (Figure 1). The map consists of 64 sites each with varying characteristics, including water, wood, swamp and mosquitoes.

The quality of a site is determined by a points system. A site that contains water receives +3 points and a site that is near water receives +1 point. A site that contains wood receives +2 points and a site that is near wood receives +1 point. A site that contains a swamp is -2 points and a site that is near a swamp is -1 point. A site that contains mosquitoes receives -3 points and a site that is near mosquitoes is -2 points.

“Near” is defined as adjacent sites including diagonals. For example, site B5 is worth 1 point (based on +3 on water, +1 near wood, -2 near mosquitoes, -1 near swamp). Note that you only count points once for each type of characteristic.

Question:
Where is the best campsite?

Send your answer to puzzlor@gmail.com by Aug. 15. The winner, chosen randomly from correct answers, will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Past questions and answers can be found at puzzlor.com.

John Toczek is the senior director of Decision Support and Analytics for Aramark Corporation in the Global Operational Excellence group. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering at Drexel University (1996) and a master’s degree in operations research from Virginia Commonwealth University (2005).