Can you solve the three gods riddle? – Alex Gendler

Created by logician Raymond Smullyan and popularized by his colleague
George Boolos, this riddle has been called the hardest
logic puzzle ever. You and your team have crash-landed
on an ancient planet. The only way off is to appease
its three alien overlords, Tee, Eff, and Arr, by giving them the correct artifacts. Unfortunately, you don’t
know who is who. From an inscription, you learn that you
may ask three yes or no questions, each addressed to any one lord. Tee’s answers are always true, Eff’s are always false, and Arr’s answer is random each time. But there’s a problem. You’ve deciphered the language enough
to ask any question, but you don’t know which of the two
words ‘ozo’ and ‘ulu’ means yes and which means no. How can you still figure out
which alien is which? Pause here if you want
to figure it out for yourself! Answer in: 3 2 1 At first, this puzzle seems not just hard,
but downright impossible. What good is asking a question if you can neither understand the answer
nor know if it’s true? But it can be done. The key is to carefully formulate
our questions so that any answer
yields useful information. First of all, we can get around
to not knowing what ‘ozo’ and ‘ulu’ mean by including the words themselves
in the questions, and secondly, if we load each question
with a hypothetical condition, whether an alien is lying or not
won’t actually matter. To see how that could work, imagine our question
is whether two plus two is four. Instead of posing it directly, we say, “If I asked you whether
two plus two is four, would you answer ‘ozo’?” If ‘ozo’ means yes
and the overlord is Tee, it truthfully replies, “ozo.” But what if we ask Eff? Well, it would answer “ulu,”
or no to the embedded question, so it lies and replies ‘ozo’ instead. And if ‘ozo’ actually means no, then the answer to
our embedded question is ‘ulu,’ and both Tee and Eff still reply ‘ozo,’ each for their own reasons. If you’re confused about why this works, the reason involves logical structure. A double positive and a double negative
both result in a positive. Now, we can be sure that asking
either Tee or Eff a question put this way will yield ‘ozo’
if the hypothetical question is true and ‘ulu’ if it’s false regardless of what
each word actually means. Unfortunately,
this doesn’t help us with Arr. But don’t worry, we can use our first
question to identify one alien lord that definitely isn’t Arr. Then we can use the second to find out
whether its Tee or Eff. And once we know that, we can ask it to identify
one of the others. So let’s begin. Ask the alien in the middle, “If I asked you whether the overlord on
my left is Arr, would you answer ‘ozo’?” If the reply is ‘ozo,’
there are two possibilities. You could already be talking to Arr,
in which case the answer is meaningless. But otherwise, you’re talking to either
Tee or Eff, and as we know, getting ‘ozo’ from either one means
your hypothetical question was correct, and the left overlord is indeed Arr. Either way, you can be sure the alien
on the right is not Arr. Similarly, if the answer is ‘ulu,’ then you know the alien
on the left can’t be Arr. Now go to the overlord you’ve determined
isn’t Arr and ask, “If I asked ‘are you Eff?’
would you answer ‘ozo’?” Since you don’t have to worry about
the random possibility, either answer will
establish its identity. Now that you know whether its
answers are true or false, ask the same alien whether the center
overlord is Arr. The process of elimination will identify
the remaining one. The satisfied overlords help you
repair your ship and you prepare for takeoff. Allowed one final question, you ask
Tee if it’s a long way to Earth, and he answers “ozo.” Too bad you still don’t know
what that means.

100 thoughts on “Can you solve the three gods riddle? – Alex Gendler”

1. weebs are annoying says:

Beat 'em up until they let you leave.

2. Junk Food says:

Both (as in eff and Teff) have their own reasons for saying let’s say “no” which prove that the hypothetical question is true. Just don’t combine them together if that makes sense. Or just pretend ur talking to only one of them and the other doesn’t exist. So let’s pretend we’re only asking the one who says truth , “If I were to ask you whether 2+2=4, would you say no?” The one who says truth would say, “No, I would not say no as I would say yes to that question (2+2=4)” Then that basically means by saying no, the one that says truth is essentially saying that 2+2 is 4 (REMEMBER pretend that there’s only the one who says truth in the room). And if you were to ask that question to the one that lies, he would think: as I am the liar I would say that 2+2 doesn’t equal to 4 as that is a true statement, but because I would say no to 2+2=4, when given the question on whether I would say no to that question, the true statement is yes, so I have to lie and say no. (REMEMBER just pretend that in this moment, there’s only the one who says false stuff in the room, because if there is only one who says false stuff in front of you, by replying no, and following his train of thought, we know that he’s saying 2+2 does equal to 4. ) Therefore it doesn’t actually matter who we ask cause both of them have their own reasons and train of thought that prove that by saying no, 2+2 is indeed 4.

3. Yuqi says:

It's one thing to figure out the riddle…

And it's another to understand it.

4. Ronald Matos says:

Me: (solves riddle)

Dog: (breaks artifacts and makes overlords angry)

Me: FML.

5. helen delos santos says:

I would rather use google translate, lol

6. Nietzsche's Ghost says:

But what if the alien in the middle is Arr? This solution seems to work only if you assume that the alien in the middle is either Tee or Eff. It's a 2/3 shot, but not a certainty.

7. Jasmine Elmyraaa says:

My brain actually hurts

8. Planet Arcade says:

This was soooooo easssy

To Watch

9. AwsumSauce says:

I can't believe this is harder than my math test

10. T.J. Crossin says:

This video only addresses half the riddle. You still don't know what artifact to give to what overlord. Maybe the artifacts are labeled and that wasn't mentioned is all I can think.

11. Titanic says:

"Crash Landed"
*Nose of the rocker is only slightly crumpled and it landed upright.

12. Hill Rosabella says:

whew~ i thought i was the only one on earth doesn't understand a thing. :)))

13. שאול לחי says:

So can you ask 3 question or 4?

14. Jackson Seeto-Lee says:

#teamtrees

15. Amir Allon says:

But what if the first alien is Arr?

16. Macbook Noob says:

“If I asked you if you are Eff, would you answer Ozo?”
Monster says Ozo, is Eff
Or
Monster says Ulu, Is Tee
“Is it a long way back to Earth?” Tee says Ozo
“Too bad you still don’t know what Ozo means”

Bruh, you pretty much revealed what Ozo meant

17. Achilles Demanwel says:

Why not ask a math question like is 1+1 2 if tee who always tells the truth will say yes in alien language then you will know which one is yes in alien language and know whick is know in alien language see my idea is to go up to tee and ask him or her or it whats 1+1 then when he or her or it will tell you ulu or ozo either way then you will know what ulu means and ozo means

18. Queen Elizabeth says:

Why don’t you just ask if ozo means yes. If they reply ozo, then ozo means yes. If they reply ulu, then ozo means no. Boom you know what they mean now 💥

Jk that won’t work

19. E Sern Tee says:

My first name is Tee lol

20. - khushi says:

will you go out with me ?

21. Vidya Nimkar says:

can some one explain this to me behd

22. milky cooki says:

Step 1: Confirm you have green eyes
Step 2: Ask them to fix your ship
Step 3: Leave.

23. cuscus06 says:

Now that you answered the riddle answer the answer

24. Kid Playz says:

omg when did you get so smart

25. xXArmageddon1382Xx says:

my brain hurts

26. xuyen nguyen says:

i do not understand

27. Maya Ancona says:

Me: Mind blown
Also me: I don't get it

28. Cube_creeper says:

Did you figure out what they said?

"Well ulu but actually ozo"

29. Sayani Talukdar says:

Solved it after a year.

30. Skull Crusade343 says:

'Cause I'm like yes and no
Wait, I don't know
I think I'm dying
Hold up, I'm invincible

31. KT LoveBTS says:

I’d just start thinking about how me and my dog can live in this new planet at that point.

32. captain aloof says:

UwU whats this

33. Sydney Matheny says:

Me: can I just hug them all and call it a day

34. epicgamerNS says:

i l o s t m y b r a i n

35. Nelda Goodwin says:

-plus| is +

36. ben beebe says:

How to figure out what ozo and ulu means ask tee "is ozo yes?" Is he says ozo then ozo means yes in he says no it means no

37. Marcus Puglisi says:

Just lay them all down and see who picks what up

38. Arcana IX says:

Wait, I translated every word except yes and no?! How did I not translate that?! How did I even read the inscription!?

39. Yousef Yahia says:

anyone remembered joe Friends " first u lied and then u lied about lying and then u lied about lying about lying " Scene at 2:10

40. Flarbargason says:

I thought the goal was to figure out what artifact goes to which alien.

41. Diptesh Pal says:

Wow! I was misled by 1st condition! Each question to any one Lord! What does it mean? Can I question the same Lord twice?is it? Then I just let my time wasted by thinking over it.

42. quang huy tran says:

I think that complex anwer is the same to my simple one
1, do you talk the truth? Both T and F say yes (ozo or lulu)
2, do you tell the lies? Both T and say no ( lulu or ozo )
1 and 2 -> R
3, is this R? T say yes, F say no

43. Frizzy Bizzyinc says:

Step 1: conform that you have green eyes…

44. Unikitty Nugget says:

Who ACTUALLY tries to solve these riddles??

45. Aby Jose says:

Fact:- You can interchange the order of the 2nd and 3rd questions and still get the same answer.

46. ItsAqua #1 says:

Why do you know the language but not know the difference between yes and no… like maybe you should’ve learned it more

47. KaelKnight says:

If you asked tee if the middle his rrr then you would know the meaning of ulu and ozo cause his answer would mean yes or no based on whether the middle is or is not in correlation to it

48. Big Deebo says:

If we established who Tee is and then we ask Tee if he would respond OZO if we asked if the center alien is Arr and Tee says OZO then we know the middle alien is Arr. You explain this in the video. If that’s the case, doesn’t OZO mean yes?

49. DonKeYoiNK says:

To find out ozo and ulu, i used duolingo

50. hanfan26 says:

But even with the solution, isn’t there still not a 100% chance of it working? 1/3 of the time you’ll ask the first question to the wrong lord, and half of that 1/3 the answer will mislead you. So it’s the best solution yeah but not guaranteed

51. Rainbow Crafter says:

Brain mellfuntion….. Error 378

52. Cryolophosaurus ellioti says:

I already saw this riddle but with Pokémon lol

53. CJ Llanes says:

If Arr answered the same as Tee and Eff then you won't know who Arr is among them

54. Pinhead Larry says:

I still don't get it after 2 years

55. Doodle dragons Toucans says:

Just ask which ones are which and ask if the gift that you are guessing is there’s or not and wait this wouldn’t work at all I am sorry for being a dummy

56. Nyarlathotep says:

True awnser: Choose me, i dont require any of these stuff, just worship and become a star spawn.

57. Panda Bear667 says:

"You and your team" A human and a dog
"Excuse me, WhAaAaAt?"

58. Lâm Chấn Vũ says:

what if the first alien we ask is arr? i still wonder

59. J.Y. K says:

What person in his right mind would have a last name like smullyan or boolas

60. Video Game Music says:

Could you just say anything addressed to a lord and know then? For example:
"Tee, do you have a father?"
Whichever one answers is Tee.

61. Bun Boy says:

Can’t you use a fact question? Like , “oh ,do you have 4 legs?” And randomize for each overlord. That would work too? Would it not?

62. morris warachi says:

Si afasali mninyonge bas!

63. Ps4 _Harky says:

Ask 1 alien 2 questions and if one says ulu the 2 times then ask the opposite one then if the other alien says the other answer then you should know witch is witch elemineting the other one BOOM
(Edit) or just ask "raise your hand if your so and so

64. sign543 says:

I can’t even keep up with the damn narrative explaining it! 😆

65. Admin NoRDM says:

I saw this two years ago and gave up on trying to understand it. Today I looked at the text on paper and finally got it Jesus Christ I'm dropping out of college.

66. m o says:

I think it's his voice crack that's giving me 'lost braincells'

67. Mandy says:

When you figure out an entire language but can’t figure out yes and no

68. Bruno says:

What if we asked each one of them, one at a time, "Are you Eff?", we'd either get 3 No's, or 2 No's and 1 Yes from Arr, because Tee would truthfully say No, Eff would lie and say No. Thus you'd know what Ozo and Ulu each mean. Then ask each of them if 2+2=4, you'd either get 2 Yes's and a No, or 2 No's and a Yes, in which case, the only person saying No would be Eff, or the only person saying Yes would be Tee, either way you now know what Ozo and Ulu are, and who Tee or Eff is, and can use them to figure out the rest.

69. lukagamerTV 123 says:

i somhow solved it difrentli😂😂

70. RyanHung says:

I think I’d rather live on the planet instead of losing all my brain cells.

71. Theoneandonly2019 says:

No, The 3 QUESTIONS I WOULD AK THEM ARE:
1. Is there a McDonald's anywhere here? (cuz eating a Big Mac helps me think better)
2. Would you like back ur artifact?? Since he says ozo or err and I don't understand him I'll just take it for myself
3. Also is there something called as Dr.peppers in ur world???

72. Alice Dillon says:

"A double positive always equals a positive."

yeah, right.

73. TS Fame says:

Teded: Ozo or Ulu

Me, a r/noahgettheboat member: owo aw uwu

74. Caitlyn Fang says:

I have a question, why would a LITTLE girl and a LITTLE dog be on a spaceship ;-;

75. wiwi kawaii says:

I just answered this right yet i never took a great mark in philosophy….
And that's a riddle

76. John's Stick Animation Channel says:

If 2+2=4 say ozo

77. Nicholas Oliveira says:

I know!! you ask if they are lying.

78. Isabel Alexander says:

me, having never got one of these before: yeah i could try the world’s hardest puzzle

79. Emza 89 says:

the hardest logical question is whether 2+2 is fish or 4.

80. Emza 89 says:

my solution:
give the red torch to the red one, the yellow to the yellow, and the green to the green. easy.

81. Colonel Cornelius Cornwall says:

I feel that this is what people that took a foreign language in school are reminded of when they speak to someone from that country

82. Nicole Bailey says:

Wait, how do YOU know which artifact goes to which alien

83. Orion D. Hunter says:

Ozo sounds yes-like to me

84. Writer 911 says:

Aish… Mola!!

85. William Henry Tanza says:

“Too bad you still don’t know what that means” + that expression

86. Austin Le says:

Just match the colours

87. ganesh tummala says:

hey what if middle one is RRR so everything will be changed

88. JustReapin says:

Sounds too similar to owo and uwu

89. Xylan Yuri Corpuz says:

I just decided their names by their appearance😂😂😂

90. Juwan Choe says:

The strang thing is that i clicked the video thinking i would understand it 😆

91. MerlowProductions says:

How many people known which alien is which,and know ozo is yes and ulu with no

92. Astro Boii says:

Ahhhhh…. I Lost You Guys At 0:17

93. 야숙오, 탑 야스오의 정점 says:

3:33에 '티'나 '오조'에게 질문을 한 것이 아니라 '티'나
'에프'에게 질문을 한 거에요

94. Bella Cela says:

Who can say everything else but the two most simple words?

95. *icy* -hot- says:

Id just ask are *insert color of skin and see their responses

96. BlazePlayz YT says:

4:30
What do you mean you don't know what it means?
Did you just forgot how you did the riddle?

97. Gao Industries says:

Alien Lords: get me my artifacts!
You: No, I don't think I will.
Alien Lords: I am inevitable
You: I can do this all day

98. MemeLORD 666 says:

Title: Can you solve the three gods riddle?
Me: no

99. Jiayi Li says:

You're asking four questions…
1: the hypothetical queston
2-4: 3:11