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Ignoring friction, if the elf weighs half as much as the man m, the net graviational force acting on the pair is gm/2 but the mass of the pair is 3m/2, so the man's acceleration will be g/3 instead of g ft/sec^2, which may be survivable - depends on the height of the tower. If not, use a heavier elf.
Or make it slightly plausible: the only other thing in the tower is a pile of sand and some sandbags.
Same escape ploy as before, but he removes the corpse's shoes. He now weighs just a pound or so more than the corpse, so his acceleration is very gentle indeed.
Quote from: alancalverd on 08/09/2013 00:40:02Or make it slightly plausible: the only other thing in the tower is a pile of sand and some sandbags.But then he could tie three heavy sandbags with the rope so there would be no need to throw a sandbag off the tower.
How about getting rid of the elf, talking towers, and other such nonsense, and just requiring the man to escape from a tower with nowhere to fix the rope. The only other object in the tower is his dead identical twin.