Napoleon and the Policemen

Napoleon has landed on a deserted planet with only two policemen on it. He is traveling around the planet, painting a red line as he goes. When Napoleon creates a loop with red paint, the smaller of the two encompassed areas is claimed by him. The policemen are trying to restrict the land Napoleon claims as much as possible. If they encounter him, they arrest him and take him away. Can you prove that the police have a strategy to stop Napoleon from claiming more than 25% of the planet’s surface?

We assume that Napoleon and the police are moving at the same speed, making decisions in real time, and fully aware of everyone’s locations.

First, we choose an axis, so that Napoleon and the two policemen lie on a single parallel. Then, the strategy of the two policemen is to move with the same speed as Napoleon, keeping identical latitudes as his at all times, and squeezing him along the parallel between them.

In order to claim 25% of the planet’s surface, Napoleon must travel at least 90°+90°=180° in total along the magnitudes. Therefore, during this time the policemen would travel 180° along the magnitudes each and catch him.

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