Who is Going to Barker Street?
The Five Taxis Puzzle
I like puzzles but I'm not very good at them. To me the puzzle itself, like a magic trick, is merely mystifying. The real fascination is in seeing the explanation unfold. In my case somebody else usually has to do the unfolding.
To those of like mind I offer a charming little piece of taxi lore: the brain teasing puzzle entitled "Who is going to Barker Street?" plus a step-by-step solution.
The puzzle involves five taxi drivers who have to organize five drunken passengers. This never happens in real life of course.
I first saw the puzzle a dozen years ago, in 2000, and it was probably floating around on the internet years before that. The puzzle in fact predates the web. The earliest example I've found was published in a book by John Adair in 1985 (see background notes).
This web site consists of three parts: