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Can you solve the wizard standoff riddle? – Dan Finkel

Can you solve the wizard standoff riddle? – Dan Finkel


You’ve been chosen as a champion
to represent your wizarding house in a deadly duel against
two rival magic schools. Your opponents are fearsome. From the Newt-niz school, a powerful sorcerer wields a wand
that can turn people into fish, but his spell only works 70% of the time. And from the Leib-ton school, an even more powerful enchantress wields
a wand that turns people to statues, and it works 90% of the time. Lots are drawn, and you’re chosen
to cast the first spell in the duel. The Newt-niz magician will go second, and the Leib-ton enchantress third, after which you’ll repeat casting in
that order until only one of you is left. The rules of magic duels are strict, and anyone who casts out of
order immediately forfeits the duel. Also, to prevent draws, the rules stipulate that
if everyone’s still standing at the end of the first round, you’ll all be turned into cats. Now, you must choose a wand. Your wizarding house presents you
with three options: the Bannekar, which binds
one target with vines and casts effectively 60% of the time, the Gaussian,
which turns one target into a tree and works 80% of the time, and the incredibly rare Noether 9000, which banishes one target
to a distant mountaintop and casts perfectly 100% of the time. Your opponents are masters of strategy,
as well as sorcery, and you know they’ll make the choices that
maximize their own chances of success. Which wand should you choose and what strategy should you employ to have the greatest chance
of winning the duel? Pause the video now if you want
to figure it out for yourself! Answer in: 3 Answer in: 2 Answer in: 1 You reach for the Noether 9000 first. After all, it makes sense to enter
the duel with the most powerful wand. But before you pick it up, you consider
what would happen. As the most dangerous wizard, you’d also be the target
of the other two magicians, and you’d need to take
care of the most dangerous of them first. But afterward, there’s a 70% chance you’d
be struck down by the remaining wizard. That’s trouble. Maybe it’s better to take the Gaussian. It works 80% of the time, which means you wouldn’t be a target
until the enchantress was incapacitated. But if you succeeded in transforming her, you’d probably be turned
into a fish immediately after. If you transformed the sorcerer, the enchantress would almost
certainly turn you to stone. It would really be better if you missed. And that’s when you have an idea: what if you took the Gaussian,
then missed on purpose? Then, you would wait for the sorcerer
to attack the enchantress, and you’d have an 80% chance
of winning against the sorcerer. It’s a good idea, but there’s a problem; the sorcerer could also pass his turn and the enchantress, knowing that
she couldn’t pass without becoming a cat, would cast her spell on one of you. And since you’re the most dangerous
between you and the sorcerer, you’d be the target. And that’s when you see
what you really need to do: take the weakest wand, the Bannekar,
and miss on purpose. Now the sorcerer knows that
he’ll be targeted by the enchantress and he’ll have to try to turn her into
a fish to avoid being turned into stone. Seventy percent of the time he’d succeed and you’d have a 60% chance
of winning the duel at the beginning of the next round. If he fails, chances are he’ll be
turned to stone and you’d still have a 60% chance of
winning the duel against the enchantress. There’s a slim 3% chance
you’ll all be turned into cats, but when everything’s accounted for, you have better than even odds
of winning with this strategy. And that’s the best you can do. Here’s what the probability of winning
for the different strategies looks like. Who would’ve thought
that the best way to take your shot would be to throw away your shot?

Comments (100)

  1. Sign up to be emailed the solution to the bonus riddle: https://brilliant.org/tededpoisonapples/! Also, the first 833 of you who sign up for a PREMIUM subscription will get 20% off the annual fee. Riddle on, riddlers!

  2. All of the wand and school names are rewritten versions of famous mathematicians.

  3. Potterheads anyone?

  4. I cover myself in vines as a defence mechanism, iLL MAKE THE VINES A CAT

    And take care of him and feed him.

  5. Idk if someone else also said this, but if you use the 100% wand you could make one of the wizard’s wand disappear, one of the wizards won’t be able to do anything. Now the other wizard has to attack the wand-less wizard or else it’ll be the wizard with no wand’s turn, and the game would be stuck. So since the wand-less dude dies, you get to zap the other dude.

  6. But there’s still a 40% chance that you could miss your second shot

  7. I like how passing wasn't mentioned until during the solution

  8. its red:
    green: 60% change of dying
    red: 40% change of dying
    (thats what i think dont be mad if im wrong)

  9. The master strategy is

    Don't participate in such a dangerous game

  10. 4:15
    TedEd: puts a hamilton reference in the video
    Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-

  11. You use the bannekar to cover most of your body with vines, to the poitn where you can still move, now it is difficult for them to they turn you into a statue or into a fish. Done.

  12. If you were playing Fire Emblem and had an x<60% for hitting the enemy you would miss… unless you crit, but that’s another video. ???

  13. Just pretend to be sick and not worry about becoming a cat/fish/statue

  14. Ok this is the worst riddle

  15. Found one with 97% success rate:

    Take both Banneker and Noether 9000. Miss the Banneker first, then sorcerer kills enchantress, then aim Noether 9000 at at sorcerer. 3% failure (all turn into cats)

    There is no rule to only take one wand, and you can just hide the Noether 9000 so the others won’t know.

    EDIT: If you have climbed Mt. Everest, you can just hit yourself with the Noether 9000. This guarantees a win:

    1. If sorcerer kill enchantress, you climb down mountain and hit sorcerer
    2. If sorcerer fails, enchantress kill sorcerer, you climb down mountain and hit enchantress
    3. If both fail, stay on mountain. Only those in stadium will get turn into cats
    4. If sorcerer passes turn, stay on mountain. Wait for enchantress to hit sorcerer, then climb down mountain and hit enchantress (and if she fails, stay on mountain and you win)

  16. I found the answear in like 30 sec (didn't count it, I estimated). I gotta admit that the riddle is badly explained. It should have been stated that you can miss. If you can't miss it is still better to take the worst wand and try to attack master wizzard though.

  17. Ted ed: who knew the best way to take your shot, was to throw away your shot.

    Hamilton fans everywhere: SOUND THE ALARM!!!!

  18. https://youtu.be/mmkCS5eA4f8

  19. Use the bannker and miss on purpose

  20. this is gayer than 2 dudes making out

  21. Sees Hamilton reference

    Chokes on chicken nuggets

    "DID I JUST SEE *HAMILTON*?"

    fangirls over this

  22. What if we did the branches on ourselves and covered ourselves with the wood. Therefore they can’t kill you on their first shot and you would have the lowest chance so wouldn’t be a primary target. Bam the fish guy would have a 60% to kill the statue person and if he attacks you would still have the branches to protect you if it works. Bam u win. It says bind, not kill

    Btw im 12

  23. TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT??

  24. Just cast out of turn and be disqualified. Rather be disqualified then risk your life in a duel

  25. Try this riddle with a 10 sided die.
    It turns into a nice small game.

  26. This is easy.
    I’d choose the Noether.

    When the tournament begins, I cast my spell on both of them. They said we couldn’t cast out of order, but they didn’t say we could cast multiple times in our turn. Therefore, I win the duel, following the rules.
    mic drop

  27. The official rules state you win if you're "the last wizard standing"

    Kill the fish one, and once you've been turned into stone, you just wait until the other wizard dies of old age or sits down, and you win (as you've been standing that whole time)…

  28. Walk over and beat up the first wizard, then the second. You haven't targeted a wizard with a spell, and therefore it can't be either of their turns yet. Once they're incapacitated, you're the last one standing, and you win.

  29. This channel is so genius. I love that they put animation for the explanation. It brings curiosity to every children around the world. Cheers!!.

  30. But what if none of them properly work

  31. just use the noether wand on both opposing wizards, if anyone tries to do anything about it just use it on them too.

  32. are you trying to tell me that the enchantress is the White Witch from Narnia!!

  33. this sounds like the triwizard tournament lol

  34. Nice Hamilton reference.

  35. Simple you use the %100 wand go for the statue girl and hope the other guys spell fails

  36. Triwizard tournament lol

  37. It’s the red apples bc there’s only a 1 in 5 chance that you’ll die, but the green one has a 1 in 5 chance that you’ll SURVIVE ( i think ?)

  38. Host: alright no missing on purpose
    Me: YEARS OF ACADEMY TRAINING WASTED

  39. Nobody
    Chandler from Mrbeast:
    Failing to win

  40. Both bowls have equal probability of survival 70% both

  41. This makes think about Hamilton

  42. Dont take a wand, shove the other two down to the ground, and you're the only one standing 🙂

  43. If you can't go out of order then take the 100% wand. Take out the red wizard. If the yellow one goes she is DQ'd for going out of order. No where did they say once a wizard is eliminated their turn was forfeited.

  44. I choose you pikachu

  45. I is not thrown away mah shot

  46. 4:15
    I AM NOT THROWIN AWAY MY
    SHOT XD

  47. if the 100% sends them to a mountain 100% of the time then just send yourself and cast it on them from the mountain because its 100%

  48. turned into a cat? now I can finally understand my cat!

  49. I need a Glass Staff

    To cast shield

    It decreases their chances by 25%

  50. I was too lazy to think of the different possibilities but I only thought of using the weakest one lmao and then I stopped at that.

  51. Is it just me or is this a remake Of the GOBLET OF FIRE from Harry Potter!!

  52. Me: (solves riddle)

    Crowd: (backs me up into a corner with everyone holding weaponds who are about to give me a beatdown)

    Me: FML.

  53. This reminds me of fairy tail

  54. Pokemon but hella confusing.

  55. My immediate response was ”take the teleport staff and teleport yourself away” and it’s not even considered in the video… DISAPPOINTING!

  56. Well I say I would have pick noether 9000 which has a 100% success rate but that too obvious and predictable they would want you to pick that one.

    Now the bannekar just turns you into a vine which you can break apart which is not going to hold you or eliminate anyone

    Now the gaussian turns you into a tree rendering you to a complete halt and with an 80% success rate. With this I can hide behind the tree and cast my spells on my next turn this gives me cover which adds defence torwerds my win, And chance to win. So this will be my pick!

    The rules didn't say or specified how we can use the magic rods.

  57. The best way is to miss

    there's a tax for that

  58. 4:37 then I won't eat it

  59. Damn it I got it wrong I thought you should take the 100%
    Take out the yellow and then hopefully the red will miss and boom (but I got it wrong 🙁

  60. Are you talking about the triwizard championship in Harry Potter cuz Harry Potter won that
    So

  61. The more you know?⭐️

  62. i confidently will try this strategy for wizard deadly battle

  63. And if you eat the red bull

  64. I wouldn't mind being a cat

  65. honestly? I'd rather be a cat lol. Roam around carefree. But yeah that makes sense. To those who are whining about how missing on purpose is "key information they shoulda told us", this is a logic puzzle. you have to figure that out yourself. It never stated in the rules that you can't. It's called thinking outside the box.

  66. when did ted-ed ever say that the other wizards had to know your probibility of your wand? Disguise your noether 9000 to the bannekar, and win the match!

  67. It would be better if would be the tri wizard tournamens.

  68. How do the wizards know how powerful your wand is tho

  69. For everyone saying that missing on purpose wasn't stated (or if you couldn't), the best strategy without missing on purpose is still the one picking the bannekan wand because it will have 40% chances of missing, more than the other two

  70. Ted eds are just Big slide shows

  71. I answered correctly unexpectedly !!

  72. Just freakin' use Avada Kedavra

  73. Uses Uno reverse card

    Me:I Win

    Also me:There is no Uno reverse card So dies

  74. Gandalf has entered chat

  75. I wasn't really paying attention but then I heard "throwing away my shot" then a Hamilton Logo, I was like It's my time to shiinnnee

  76. What they found funny that no one in the comment section even mentioned is that who's to say that they know what percentage your wand and the treat level it stands for. I would rather schools give away their advantage like that?

  77. I chose the right wand but I assumed that you had to target someone and did not consider that you could miss on purpose. So, I assumed that the best strategy was to choose the Banneker and target Leib-ton.

  78. For the apple riddle, I calculated the probabilities for both and you have a 70% chance of survival no matter which basket you choose.

  79. Duel ? But they are 3.
    Duel is between 2 people or parties.

  80. I would have chosen the strongest wand. Then I'll banish the magician whose turn is after me to a far off place. Now, the second magician won't be able to attack since he is far away… And if the third one attacks, she'll out of turn

  81. 4:14

    AND I AM NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT

  82. PLS someone figure out the answer
    Reply if you know
    like so it goes up to the top

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