Can you solve the passcode riddle? – Ganesh Pai

Can you solve the passcode riddle? – Ganesh Pai


In this dystopian world, your resistance
group is humanity’s last hope. Unfortunately, you’ve all been captured
by the tyrannical rulers and brought to the ancient colosseum
for their deadly entertainment. Before you’re thrown into the dungeon, you see many numbered hallways
leading outside. But each exit is blocked by
an electric barrier with a combination keypad. You learn that one of you will be allowed
to try to escape by passing a challenge while everyone else will be fed to
the mutant salamanders the next morning. With her perfect logical reasoning,
Zara is the obvious choice. You hand her a concealed audio transmitter
so that the rest of you can listen along. As Zara is led away, you hear her footsteps echo
through one of the hallways, then stop. A voice announces
that she must enter a code consisting of three positive whole numbers
in ascending order, so the second number is greater than
or equal to the first, and the third is greater than
or equal to the second. She may ask for up to three clues, but if she makes a wrong guess, or says anything else, she’ll be thrown back into the dungeon. For the first clue, the voice says
the product of the three numbers is 36. When Zara asks for the second clue, it tells her the sum of the numbers is the same as the number
of the hallway she entered. There’s a long silence. You’re sure Zara remembers
the hallway number, but there’s no way for you to know it, and she can’t say it outloud. If Zara could enter the passcode
at this point, she would, but instead, she asks for the third clue, and the voice announces that the largest
number appears only once in the combination. Moments later, the buzz of the electric
barrier stops for a few seconds, and you realize that Zara has escaped. Unfortunately, her transmitter
is no longer in range, so that’s all the information you get. Can you find the solution? Pause on the next screen
to work out the solution. 3 2 1 You’re worried about the fact that you
don’t know Zara’s hallway number, but you decide to start
from the beginning anyways. From the first clue, you work out all of
the eight possible combinations that come out to a product of 36. One of these must be right,
but which one? Now comes the hard part. Even though you don’t know which number
you’re looking for, you decide to work out the sum
of each combination’s three numbers. That’s when it hits you. All but two of the sums are unique, and if the hallway number had matched
any of these, Zara would have known the correct
combination right then and there without asking for the third clue. Since she did ask for the clue, the hallway number must have
matched the only sum that appears more than once in the list: thirteen. But which of the two combinations
that add up to thirteen is correct: 1,6,6, or 2,2,9? That’s where the third clue comes in. Since it tells us that the largest
number must be unique, 2,2,9 must be the code. When night falls, you and the others
escape through hallway thirteen and rejoin Zara outside. You’ve freed yourselves through
math and logic. Now it’s time to free
the rest of the world.

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69 Replies to “Can you solve the passcode riddle? – Ganesh Pai”

  1. “Your resistance group is humanity’s last hope. Unfortunately you have all been captured”

    Shows three people getting kidnapped. Hmm yes “GROUP”

  2. The 2.3k dislikes are from the people who would fail us all or didn't even understand the riddle even when they were wrong

  3. Ummm… I'm pretty sure that the passcode pad only had one-digit numbers… So shouldn't that ALSO eliminate some possibilities?

  4. I thought Zara just asked for the 3rd clue so she could help the other 2 out, not because she didn’t yet actually know

  5. Me: (solves riddle and escapes with teammates)

    Us: (get captured and are about to be fed to the giant lizards)

    Me: FML.

  6. When you are super proud that you just solved a riddle but then see in the comments that this was supposed to be the easiest😑

  7. Lets suppose code was 1 4 9 and Zara got it with the second clue, but still asked for the third to help you out? I think the riddle has its flaws

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