As you may have noticed, yesterday was Easter. Our egg hunt was understated: we hid a couple dozen eggs in the field behind our house and set loose the kidsâ€¦ and hounds. And for whatever reason, the full-family bonus trip to the field broke loose something in what there is of our Labrador pupâ€™s developing brain. And as the two kids looked for eggs, Shaggy Chewbacca (the pup) streaked wildly through the scene. Sheâ€™s not much bothered by things in her way â€” trash cans, fence posts and the like â€” and certainly wasnâ€™t going to change her velocity for something as small as a 5- or 3-year-old.
Not once, but twice, Shaggy Chewbacca, the lovely newest member of our family, destroyed Leif. Going about 25 mph, dog hits kid, kid flies, and silhouetted against the sun go eggs of every pastel hue.
What I wonder is if two hits was unlucky, lucky, or exactly as it shouldâ€™ve been?
Imagine the egg hunting field as a 20Ã—20 grid. Two kids roam randomly through the grid at a square per 10 seconds. And Shaggy Chewbacca, the indecisively named wÃ¼nderhund, sprints through the grid once a minute during the 12-minute duration of the hunt â€” she effectively travels at light speed and so count her trips as taking zero time, like a laser. Hereâ€™s the tricky part: she always travels at 45-degree angles through the grid â€” as if drawing a straight line along the corner-to-corner diagonals through the â€œboxesâ€ of the egg-hunt. But she has exactly equal chance of taking any diagonal.
If she crosses a box with a kid in it, eggs and tears fly.
How many times in twelve minutes should she hit a kid?
Submit your answer to Geekdad Puzzle Central by Friday for your chance at a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate!
PS: we lost our kindergarten soccer game by only one goal this Saturday â€” thanks, puzzlers!
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