A commuter is in the habit of arriving at his suburban station each evening at exactly five o’clock. His wife always meets the train and drives him home. One day he takes an earlier train and arrives at his station at four o’clock. The weather is pleasant so instead of telephoning home, he starts walking along the route always taken by his wife. They meet somewhere along the way.
He gets into the car and they drive home arriving ten minutes earlier than they usually do. Assuming that the wife always drives with a constant speed, and on this particular occasion she left just in time to meet the five o’clock train, can you determine how long the husband walked before he was picked up?
Source: My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles, by Martin Gardner; Puzzle #8
Target Ages: All ages