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


7,519 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Your expedition finally stands at the heart of the ancient temple. But as you study the inscriptions in the darkness, two wisps of green smoke burst forth. The walls begin to shake. The giant sandglass begins flowing with less than an hour before it empties, and a rumbling tells you that you don’t want to be around when that happens. Can you use math to escape the temple? Dennis E. Shasha shows how.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Much of this educator’s work concerns a mixture of logic with educated guesses. This educator teaches a class called Heuristic Problem Solving in which students face puzzles every week and write computer programs to solve them. Some of those students have turned those puzzles into two or more people computer games. A few of those games even include an Artificially Intelligent opponent!

Please visit this site: doctor ecco, create an account and try the games. These three games might be a good place to start:
Gravitational Voronoi, No Tipping, and Pandemic. Are you all set with those? Try more if you like!

Like paper and pencil challenges? This logic book might just be what you are looking for: The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco. If you like that book, take a look for any logic book by Raymond Smullyan. Try some of his logic puzzles and enjoy!

Love riddles? TED-Ed has more for you, take a look at these three lessons:
Can you solve "Einstein’s Riddle"? - Dan Van der Vieren
The famously difficult green-eyed logic puzzle - Alex Gendler
Can you solve the prisoner hat riddle? - Alex Gendler

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Dennis E. Shasha
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Director Outis
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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