Q: Two fifty foot ropes are suspended from a forty foot ceiling, about twenty feet apart. Armed with only a knife, how much of the rope can you steal?

S: Almost all of it. Tie the ropes together. Climb up one of them. Tie a loop in it as close as possible to the ceiling. Cut it below the loop. Run the rope through the loop and tie it to your waist. Climb the other rope (this may involve some swinging action). Pull the rope going through the loop tight and cut the other rope as close as possible to the ceiling. You will swing down on the rope through the loop. Lower yourself to the ground by letting out rope. Pull the rope through the loop. You will have nearly all the rope.

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