Tag Difficulty – Medium

Medium difficulty brain teasers and puzzles

Giant Cat Army Riddle from TED-Ed

In Dan Finkel’s TED-Ed video, he shares this math puzzle, paraphrased as follows:

Dr. Schrödinger is creating an army of giant cats for villainous purposes. Your team of secret agents has located his lab, but needs to get through his unusual security system.

The system displays a single number, and has three buttons that control this number:

  • Add 5
  • Add 7
  • Take the square root of the displayed number

Goal: make the numbers 2, 10, and 14 show on the display, in that order.


  • The display starts at 0.
  • It’s fine if other numbers are displayed in between 2, 10, and 14, as long as they appear in that order.
  • The system will malfunction if any number is displayed more than once.
  • The system will malfunction if any number greater than 60 is displayed.
  • The system will malfunction if any fraction/decimal is displayed.

How can you achieve this?

(Sorry, the giant cat army has nothing to do with the puzzle.)

Source: Dan Finkel and TED-Ed

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Boy or Girl Paradox

The “boy or girl paradox” is a well-known brain teaser by famous puzzle-maker Martin Gardner. It’s popularly considered a “paradox” because (1) it has a highly unintuitive solution, and (2) its ambiguous wording meant either of two solutions could be valid solutions.

This is a rewording of that brain teaser to eliminate some ambiguity from that original question:

Out of all families with exactly two children, we randomly pick one family that has at least one boy. What is the probability that both children in this family are boys?

Assume only for the purposes of this puzzle that a child can only be a boy or a girl, and that either possibility is equally likely.

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Two Envelopes Paradox

The two envelopes paradox is a famous brain teaser of sorts, and not a true paradox. The problem is generally posed like this:

You are given a choice between two identical envelopes. One envelope contains some amount of money, and the other contains twice that amount of money. There is no way to distinguish between the two. However, when you choose one of the envelopes, before opening it, you are given the option of switching to the other envelope. Should you switch?

Why is this sometimes called a paradox? Well, if you choose to switch, you have a 50% chance of doubling your money, and a 50% chance of halving your money. If the amount of money in the envelope you initially chose is M, this reasoning suggests the expected amount in the other envelope is (2M + 0.5M) / 2 = 1.25M. This is more than M, so you should always switch.

But that would suggest once you’ve switched, you’re in the same position you were before you switched, so you should switch again. What is the problem with this reasoning?

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Honkai Star Rail Dissatisfied Cycrane Truth and Lie Riddle

In Honkai: Star Rail, one side quest takes you to solve a number of puzzles involving cycranes, including one fun and tricky Dissatisfied Cycrane truth and lie riddle!

“I either can only tell the truth, can only tell lies, or must say a lie after a truth. You can only ask two questions, and then I’ll ask for your answer.”

—Dissatisfied Cycrane
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Honkai Star Rail Ministry of Education Quiz Answers

Ministry of Education Quiz

Honkai: Star Rail is the latest mobile game by the creators of Genshin Impact, and shortly into your gameplay, you’ll run into the Ministry of Education quiz as part of your daily quest. Over the course of multiple daily quests, you’ll run into a mix of math and logic puzzles – here are the Honkai Star Rail Ministry of Education quiz answers, with explanations!

Honkai Star Rail Ministry of Education Quiz Answers

Part 1 Question 1

Which are there more of: prime numbers, or natural numbers?

  • Prime numbers.
  • Natural numbers.
  • The same.
  • What are prime numbers?

Click to show answer to Part 1 Question 1

The same.

To answer this, you need to apply the principles of set theory, which is usually taught in university level mathematics classes. In short, both prime numbers and natural numbers are infinite (but some infinities can be bigger than others), and infinite in a way that every prime number can be matched to exactly one natural number (1st prime number is matched to 1, 2nd prime number is matched to 2, etc.).

The full explanation involves more set theory jargon.

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The Monty Hall Problem Explained

The Monty Hall Problem

You are on a game show in which there are three identical doors, one with a car behind it and two with goats behind them. You must pick one door, and you win if that door has the car behind it.

After you pick a door, the host of the game show always opens a door you didn’t choose that has a goat behind it. This leaves the door you chose and one other remaining door, and you are given the option to switch your choice to the other remaining door.

Should you switch or should you stick to your original choice? What chance of winning would that give you?

The History

The Monty Hall Problem is a classic probability puzzle, named for its similarity to the game show “Let’s Make a Deal”, which was hosted by Monty Hall. The problem was made famous when Marilyn vos Savant answered it correctly in her column in a popular magazine, and thousands of readers wrote letters to the magazine arguing her solution was wrong!

The solution can be counter-intuitive, so give it some thought and then scroll down to see the Monty Hall Problem explained.

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7 Matchstick Equation Puzzles

In matchstick puzzles, you are presented with an incorrect equation made using matchsticks, and you must move 1 or more matchsticks to turn it into a valid equation.

You must use all of the matches, and you are not allowed to make an inequality symbol such as ≠, ≥, >, <, or ≤.

In each of these 7 fun matchstick equation puzzles, move exactly 1 match to fix the equation:

1 plus 2 equals 8

Click for Solution to 1 + 2 = 8

7 + 2 = 9

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