The Theft Protection

Myths and Facts About Identity Theft


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?

100 thoughts on “Can you solve the wizard standoff riddle? – Dan Finkel

  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. The real crime about this riddle is being given the set of rules and completely ignoring one of them. There is a rule that says, "after the FIRST round, they will ALL be turned into cats and they will ALL lose." There is a restriction on the number of turns, then, where the number of turns is limited to only 1. The solution of the riddle involves more than one turn, that is to say, it requires you to miss, have the other wizards take their turn at casting a spell, and then you go AGAIN. The solution is breaking one of the riddles' rules initially put forth. I would imagine that the moment the wizard decides to miss, his turn is over until the NEXT round. However, that is not the case as we can see here. He misses, the others take their turn, and he goes again all in the SAME turn. So when exactly does the turn end? In any case, either the wizard goes TWICE in the same turn, or he goes again on a different turn, and BOTH of these scenarios are misleading. One of the scenarios breaks the rules outright, while the other does not make it clear when a turn begins and ends. This is a bad riddle, terribly written.

  3. My answer was correct, but I did it for another reason. One of the rules are if you cast out of order, you forfeit, so if you choose the first wand, the 2nd wizard would be unable to cast a spell since he’s wrapped up, leaving the 3rd sorceress to have to cast and be forfeited from the tournament

  4. This makes no sense. It’s like if I said,

    “A car is going 80 miles per hour and the brakes are broken. You’re also locked in the car and have no tools in the car. How do you stop it?”

    And then the answer was, ”tHe cAr wAs aLmOsT aT eMpTy aNd rAn oUt oF gAs!!1!11”

  5. I wouldn't say that this is a bad riddle, but they stretched the unintuitivity a bit much in their "correct answer." I still find it interesting that the weakest wand is a good choice at all.

  6. If you choose the red bowl and eat two apples, meaning there are 20 different combinations of apples you could eat (5×4, total number of apples x apples you can choose with your current apple). Since there are 2 safe apples, and 3 unsafe apples, there is a 14/20 chance you will live, or 70% chance.

    I don’t have time to calculate the green bowl 🤪

  7. Green apple bowl is safer bet.
    There is 5 apples you have a 60% chance of getting a safe apple and a 40% chance of getting a poisonous apple.
    If your first apple is safe then your second Apple ( only 4 apples left) you have a 50% chance of getting a second safe apple or 50% for poisonous.
    -if your second apple is poisonous then on your 3rd Apple you have a 66.7% of a safe apple, but if your second apple is safe then it doesn’t matter what apple you eat because 1 Apple isn’t enough to kill you.
    If your first apple is poisonous then on your second apple you have a 75% of a safe apple and then on your third a 66.7% of a safe apple.
    Red bowl has the highest probability of you dying

  8. Green bowl:60% safe 40% poisonous3/5
    Red bowl:40%safe 60%poisonous2/5
    Eat 3 for Green Bowl2/5 R
    Eat 2 of Red Bowl3/5 R
    (Gb)3/5 x 2/5=(Rb)2/5 x 3/5
    So theyre both the same

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 🤓👍🏽

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    Hamilton fans everywhere: SOUND THE ALARM!!!!

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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)…

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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 😂)

  21. 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.

  22. 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%

  23. 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.

  24. Me: (solves riddle)

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

    Me: FML.

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