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The Hardest Brain Teaser on the Internet

The hardest brain teaser on the internet

In the earlier article we shared 67 brain teasers with answers. We also have a post with 5 interview brain teasers with answers. Today let’s take a look at the hardest brain teaser ever, as some people like to call it.

The “hardest logic puzzle ever” (originally published in 1996 by the Harvard Business Review)

The so-called “hardest logic puzzle ever” was originally published in 1996 by the Harvard Business Review.

Mathematician Richard Smullyan, with a nickname “the undisputed master of logical puzzles” given to him by former PhD student Bruce Horowitz, developed a very challenging brain teaser. Smullyan’s colleague, an MIT logic professor named George Boolos, called it “the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever” and you will see why.

If you want to put your new skills to the test, go ahead and give it a shot: 

You’re given the opportunity to communicate with three divine entities, which will be referred to in this brain teaser as A, B, and C. One of them always speaks the truth, one of them always lies, and one of them responds randomly with either the truth or a lie. They have a unique language that has never been translated by mortals, and though they can understand any language spoken to them, they will only respond with their own. Furthermore, the entities will only speak one of two words to you: “ja” and “da.” One of these words means yes and one of them means no, but you have no idea which is which. 

You may ask these entities a total of three questions, which they will answer in their language. Only one entity can be addressed with each question. Using this, find a way to determine the identity of all three of them. 

Before you start to brainstorm, take some time to consider various strategies that can be used to solve this brain teasers. Solving other brain teasers we shared will give you some clarity on some strategies used in solving brain teasers.

The brain teaser ever: Solution

If you are finding yourself strugling, remember that you are are not alone. It is considered to be the world’s most difficult brain teaser for a reason. However, it is not impossible to solve this brain teaser. What you need to know to solve this brain teaser is laid out in the riddle. This brain teaser requires purely logical steps.

Here are the 3 questions you need to ask, according to Nautilus:

1. To god A: “Does ‘da’ mean ‘yes’ if and only if you are True and if and only if B is Random?” (We supposed A said, “ja,” making B True or False).

2. To god B: “Does “da” mean ‘yes’ if and only if Pluto is a dwarf planet?” (We supposed B said, “da,” making B True.)

3. And to god B (True) again: “Does ‘da’ mean ‘yes’ if and only if A is Random?” Since B’s True, he must say “da,” which means A is Random, leaving C to be False.
You may find this 2008 paper helpful.
It claims it came up with the easiest answer to this particular brain teaser.
Now, remember that being the smartest person in the room doesn’t mean you are the most influential or the most successful person in the room. Also there are different types of intelligence. So if you strugle with this brain teaser don’t worry. It doesn’t meach that much if you solved it or not. Start practicing with other brain teasers we shared to help keep your mind sharp. And, most importantly, believe in yourself and your ability to figure things out when it truly counts.

What is next?

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