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Even Martin Gardner Shared "Golden Oldies"

In one of his early "Mathematical Games" columns, Martin Gardner published this "oldie." It also was the first "Problem-of-the-Week" that I gave to my first classes of seventh and eighth graders in the early 1970s. Plus, I still share it with mathematics students today...in fact, even one month ago.

An old riddle runs as follows. An explorer walks one mile due south, turns and walks one mile due east, turns again and walks one mile due north. He finds himself back where he started. He shoots a bear. What color is the bear?

Note: Once you solve the color problem, your answer is not the only possibility. As Martin later wrote: "Can you think of any other spot on the globe from which one could walk a mile south, a mile east, a mile north and find himself back at his original location?"


Source: Martin Gardner, Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi, MAA Reprint, 2008, p. 24