Can you solve the temple riddle? – Dennis E. Shasha


You’ve found the hidden switches, evaded the secret traps, and now your expedition finally stands at the heart of the ancient temple
inside The Lost City. But as you study the inscriptions
in the near total darkness, two of the eight graduate students
accompanying you bump into the alter. Suddenly, two whisps of green smoke
burst forth and the walls begin to shake. Fleeing for your lives, you come to a room you passed before
with five hallways, including the one to the altar
and the one leading back outside. The giant sandglass in the center
is now flowing, with less than an hour before it empties, and the rumbling tells you that you don’t
want to be around when that happens. From what you recall of your way here, it would take about 20 minutes to reach
the exit at a fast pace. You know this is the last junction
before the exit, but your trail markings have been erased, and no one remembers the way. If nine of you split up, there should be just enough time for each group to explore one of the four
halls ahead and report back to this room, with everyone then making
a run down the correct path. There’s just one problem; the inscriptions told
of the altar’s curse: the spirits of the city’s King and Queen
possessing intruders and leading them to their doom
through deception. Remembering the green smoke, you realize two of the students
have been cursed. At any time,
one or both of them might lie, though they also might tell the truth. You know for sure that the curse
didn’t get you, but you don’t know which students
can’t be trusted, and because the possessed students
may lie only occasionally, there is no guaranteed way to test
them to determine which are cursed. Can you figure out a way to ensure
that you all escape? Don’t worry about the possessed
students attacking or otherwise harming the others. This curse only affects
their communication. Pause the video now if you
want to figure it out by yourself! Answer in: 3 Answer in: 2 Answer in: 1 The first thing to realize is that since
you know you aren’t possessed, you can explore one of the halls alone. This leaves eight students
for the remaining three paths. Sending groups of four down just two
of the paths won’t work because if one group came back split
two versus two, you’d have to guess who to trust. But splitting them into one pair
and two trios would work every time, and here’s why. The possessed students might lie,
or they might not, but you know there are only two of them, while the other six will
always tell the truth. When each group returns to the hall, all of its members will either give
the same report or argue about
whether they found the exit. If a trio returns in total agreement, then you know none of them are lying. With the pair,
you can’t be sure either way, but all you need is reliable evidence
about three of the four paths. The fourth you can figure out
using the process of elimination. Of course, none of this matters if you’re
lucky enough to find the exit yourself, but otherwise, putting everything together
leaves you with three possibilities. If each group gives a consistent answer, either everyone is telling the truth, or the two possessed students
are paired together. In either case, ignore the duo. If there’s only one group arguing,
both others must be telling the truth, and if there are two conflicts, then the possessed students
are in separate groups and you can safely trust the majority
in both trios since at least two people in each
will be truthful. The temple collapses behind you as greenish vapors
escape from two of the students. You’re all safe and free from the curse. After that ordeal, you tell your group
they all deserve a vacation, and you just happen to have
another expedition coming up.

100 thoughts on “Can you solve the temple riddle? – Dennis E. Shasha

  1. i did it differently, so there’s 4 options to go through (cause the 5th is the altar). so you send groups of 3 down 3 of the 4 options and if all of the groups either all say no or don’t agree on yes, then by process of elimination you go through the 4th option. this solution would work better as if 2 of the people were possessed, someone else maybe would not believe you either

  2. That's simple use the torch to figure out which tunnel has the draft of air coming from it. Have a three person buddy system each alternating responsibilities the students will reveal themselves with a 2 against one testimony to the one cursed. Make your way down the wind drafted tunnel. Once the cursed students are identified place them in the middle of the group so they are monitored on both sides and get the f*** out of there

  3. Alternate solution. Go back to the alter chambers figure out which ones are cursed and sacrifice them by cutting out their hearts and eating them to attain they're power and appease the God king and queen

  4. I might be wrong, let me know if you think so. The solution says to IGNORE THE DUO IN EVERY SITUATION. But if everyone tells the truth including the liers, then you would be left with a 50% chance of the duo saying YES or NO. If the duo says NO, then you will live by going in the path left, but if they say YES, you will die by ignoring it.

  5. Just try and make everybody say: I am cursed. The cursed ones can't lie so they will say that they are not cursed, and boom ez.

  6. so you have 3 groups of people and in each one of these groups is 3 people. every one of the groups goes to their respective path, and once everyone returns you will know the location of the exit
    know how? because it's impossible to not know where the exit is after you do this.
    1st: there is 3 people in each group, so even if 2 of them lie the 3rd person of their group will know that the exit is there
    2nd: if neither of the groups found the exit, then the only thing left to do is to go on the path that no group went into

  7. You send:
    – 3 on one hallway.
    – 3 on the other.
    – 2 on the other.
    – You go on your own.

    If you find the exit, all good.
    If one of the groups of 3 finds the exit, all good.
    If neither you, or the groups of 3 find the exit, it's group of 2.
    If both you or one of the groups of 3 find the exit and the group of 2, the group of 2 are lying.

    Gratz.

  8. U can just go alone one way, send 3 the second way, and the other five to the third way, …u will trust ur decision, u will trust the five,s decision by majority and you will guess where the liars r by the decision of the five so u will know if the 3 are truthful or not…as for the forth way u will know all about when u finish the other three ways

  9. But what if you found the exit, return to the group to tell you found it, only to have the 2 cursed people being the pair telling they found the exit aswell. Why would the others trust you instead of the 2 cursed people. (Assuming the other people dont know about the curse)

  10. As an alternate solution, couldn't you have 2 students go down each passage and you remain in the middle. You tell them if they find the exit to not come back. If we are assuming that the students are in no danger going down the hallways (so all of them return if they find a dead end) and that the possessed can only affect communication (not movement) if the possessed get to the end and leave the temple then they won't be able to try to deceive the group. When everyone meets back up in the center the group that doesn't come back you know has the exit tunnel.

  11. Divide in 3 groups with each group having 3 people. If you find the path just don't comeback. Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

  12. Are the students blind? You could just ask
    "Who bumped the artifact?"
    If the two possessed lied, the other students will just pointed out
    "No, you two bump the artifact, because we saw it"

  13. What but i thought the cursed people only occasionally lied, you assumed they are gonna lie every time in your solution, no?

  14. I may have another solution.

    Since the malediction only affects communication, they can elaborate a strategy that doesn't involve communication at all.

    Let's say they do the strategy showed in the video before we knew about the malediction except that the red one stays behind and they had a consensus to say that the group that found the exit just stay outside and don't come back.
    The sub-groups go to their respective path and oh ? One group didn't came back ! The red guy that we know is reliable will see that, and lead the group to that path which is the right one.
    It doesn't matter if the sub-group that found the exit is made exclusively of cursed person(s) because staying outside doesn't involve communicating.

    (Now, there was technically a communication at the beginning of my solution, during the consensus. But it's clear that what the cursed ones say doesn't matter here. All of this is only possible if we maintain that the curse only affect communication AND that everyone wants to get out.)

    Does it seem correct to you ?

  15. There is another full proof solution I think. There are four paths to check. You go by yourself down #1. A group of 3 goes down path #2. A group of 5 goes down path #3. No one goes down path #4.
    My reasoning is that, since only two are infected/possessed or whatever, you can always trust the majority decision in the group of 5. Even if both possessed people are in the group of 5, the majority will be the truth. If there is no conflict between members of the group of 5, u know both possessed students are in the group of three. This would mean that you should believe the minority in group three when no one in group 5 disagrees. If someone in group 5 disagrees, then you know both majorities in the groups are telling the truth. If the majority of one group, or you, say that their pathway is the exit, follow it. If you deduce that none of them are correct, then the correct pathway must be #4, the one no one went down.

  16. See, what I would have done is divide the 9 of us in groups of 3, so each group would explore one hall, leaving one unexplored. If any of the teams found the way or didn't, they would just call us by phone, walkies or whatever. Then we would just follow the right exit without having to wait for the rest, fast, easy and 2019 friendly. They didn't say that there was no service

  17. I did it by sending two groups of 4 and then yourself down a path. You tell everyone to leave if they find the path. If you find the path, you come back to tell everyone and then you all go free. If everyone comes back then you go through the remaining path. If either two or no people come back from a path, you go down there. Doesn't that work too?

  18. There is another way possible…
    5 to one(5:0, 4:1, 3:2)…3 to another(3:0, 2:1, 1:2)…you take one… And leave one…

  19. They can’t be sure that you aren’t possessed. A better solution is to have 3 groups of 3 check three paths. The same logic applies when rooting out the possessed students and determining which path to take. If no group found the exit then it’s the one that wasn’t checked, plus there’s like a 25% chance you’ll have at least one of the possessed students in your group which will make it even easier to identify them.

  20. I just split the group of 9 into three and if none of them had the exit then it's the other one 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

  21. I’m right I just don’t have the same answer I thought there was going to be 3 groups and they would explore 3 ways and if they found it they would leave so when the others came back if they weren’t there they would know the way they went was right but if all 3 groups came back then the one that none went in was the right one and if the lier was in the group they wouldn’t be there to lie so this works too
    Try to prove me wrong I bet you can’t

  22. …..but what if two of them were in the same group, and both of them lie?
    how would you get solid proof if you choose the majority in groups of 3 if there are 2 who are cursed?

  23. C’est simple il faut faire 3 groupes de 3 et dire à tout le monde de sortir s’il trouve la sortie (en s’incluant dans 1 des groupes)

    Si un groupe revient avec seulement 1 ou 2 personnes alors la sortie est ici et ceux qui reviennent sont possédés

    Si les 3 groupes reviennent au complet alors la sortie est dans le 4eme tunnel

    En faisant des groupes de 3 on est sûr qu’au moins 1 personne ne sera pas possédé et sortira s’il le peut

  24. the problem with this answer is…
    what if two groups are arguing and one of these groups is the duo? you couldn't go by the majority. you would know that one of them is lying but you'd have no way of knowing which one. this would leave you knowing about your tunnel and two other tunnels, but one tunnel would be unexplored by anyone and the other by two people that disagree. therefore you wouldn't be able to know for sure which tunnel to use and you'd have to guess.

  25. I mean, we can also seperare and whorver finds the exit Just leaves. The group who doesn't come back is the one who found the exit

  26. I’m confused about the answer
    (Spoilers)

    What if both of the possessed ended up in the same group of 3? Then if they both lied then the one who was telling the truth would be deemed possessed and the lie would be what was listened to

  27. What if the two were paired together in a group of three and were lying while the one other person was telling the truth?

  28. Your solution have a hole, what if other didn't trust you, and there is impossible to let you go alone, cause other have prejudice to other people. My solution is to split into 3 group, each group has 3 person, using your analysis before, we can find the exit from one of the 3 way the group explored, but if we didn't find it, we still can choose the unexplore one, cause there must be one way to exit

  29. Ok, here's this problem
    You find out that one of the cursed child is in a group of THREE
    Yet a cursed child is in THE PAIRS

    Basically 50 / 50

  30. Alternate solution: split into 3 groups of 3. Each group explores 1 path. Only trust unanimous thoughts, and if nobody found the exit, go through the other exit. If 2 groups are unanimous, trust the majority, if 1, the minority. Much more simple.

  31. The answer is actually wrong. Consider this situation. The possessed students are in opposite groups of 3. Since the possessed students only occasionally lie, one of the groups of 3 that contains a possessed student may not lie. In this case there will only be 1 group in disagreement. this group will have 2 truth tellers and 1 possessed student. You will then ignore that path because you assume that group contains both possessed guys.

  32. But also……

    What if the two cursed people kiss?

    Basically the king and queen are married, so they could do some couple stuff.
    Nvm nobody could understand.

  33. There is another possibility
    If I say them not to go out if you find the way out and ask to come back if not ,then one group must not return as the curse only affects communication even if the cursed one sees exit they would obey me and go out so after all other groups returning we ll find out which group hasn't returned yet and we ll go in that path
    (Remember every takes same time to cover the distance and at the same velocity so every one will take same time to come to meeting place so next second we all meet we will go in to the path from which no one has returned !:))

  34. What do you do if… one group of non possessed kids says their way is right and a duo of possessed kids says their way is right what do you do?

  35. If 3 people of the nine (including you) went down 3 of the 4 paths, 1 of the members will tell the truth. If none of you found it then it must be the remaining path.

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