Skip to main content

Can you solve the three gods riddle? - Alex Gendler

12,731,179 Views

9,061 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

You and your team have crash-landed on an ancient planet. Can you appease the three alien overlords who rule it and get your team safely home? Created by logician Raymond Smullyan, and popularized by his colleague George Boolos, this riddle has been called the hardest logic puzzle ever. Alex Gendler shows how to solve it.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Find the original paper by George Boolos here. The riddle belongs to a category of puzzles known as Knights and Knaves, many of which can be found in Raymond Smullyan’s classic What is the Name of This Book? For a more in-depth look at these riddles, you can read this overview of the assumptions and possible paradoxes in different versions of the puzzle, or learn more about the law of excluded middle.

Don’t forget that TED-Ed has more riddles! For more fun, start with these three:
Can you solve the river crossing riddle? - Lisa Winer
Can you solve the counterfeit coin riddle? - Jennifer Lu
Can you solve the frog riddle? - Derek Abbott

Next Section »

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 Alex Gendler
  • Director Outis
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

More from Math In Real Life