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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100 thoughts on “Can you solve the passcode riddle? – Ganesh Pai”

  1. Justin Y. says:

    Bruh what if Zara wanted to double check her answer just in case?

    Also, who said you get one chance to enter a code? If there's only 8 things that multiply to 36, just go to the right door for each one and enter it.

  2. me smart says:

    These guys were cruel enough to feed you to the salamanders…
    They know your team is good at math…(Why are you here if you didn't at least try to work it out ?No offence)
    Still they let Zara a chance at freedom.,,

  3. Noah Bernstein says:

    how did i solve the einstein one but not this one….

  4. Luna White says:

    2:18 Is me when my math teacher announced that we have a quiz in class and I forgot to study XD

  5. Ya Oi OII says:

    It’s 1 w e

  6. kawesome 248 says:

    BlackHair's long braid is like a tail.

  7. Oof says:

    Lesson :

    Don't be a hero so you don't need to solve riddles that involves math and logic

  8. Oof says:

    "Described as the most easiest riddle"

    me : Ya don't say?

  9. ree ree says:

    it should ave been 2 3 6 2*3 is 6 6*6 is 36 36 is the largest number it happens once

  10. joo-hyun's narwhal says:

    title: can you solve–
    me: n o

  11. Lilly Lou says:

    "i like pumpkin pie" 😂

  12. Pokefan Alolagaming says:

    Mutant salamanders?
    What about mutant poop balls? Thats way more interesting.

  13. Kevin Kou says:

    First TED-Ed riddle I ever solved….. Noice!

  14. Jamela Scipio says:

    My name is Zahara

  15. emily ford says:

    why am i so proud of myself for figuring this out

  16. Zave Crave says:

    2 2 9 ?????

  17. jordane studies says:

    3 X 3 X 4 could be correct :C

  18. Vijay Vellaithambi says:

    I assumed the digits could only be 0-9 (like a typical number pad). Luckily the solution still fell within that so I still got it right. 😅

  19. Mr. Nice Man says:

    Dude this is so easy compared to your other ones!

  20. Mega says:

    How am i gonna find out the answer when i cant even understand the actual question??

  21. Sarah Bennett says:


  22. Esau Gonzalez says:

    I swear some of these problems have plot holes or strange logic.

  23. Nguyễn Quốc Trung Đức says:

    This is the only riddle I can solve in 3 mins

  24. Winston Churchill says:


    Or not

  25. Hello World says:

    The right answer is a question..

    What do you mean? An African or European swallow.

  26. Saladon89 says:

    these arent mathematical riddles, its more like pay attention to the details and the wording, he says the 3rd number is unique which means the first 2 numbers are the same, and the sums of 2 combinations r the same, but no duplicates in any way for the 3rd number

  27. pabsra says:

    Sugar…spice…and everything nice… These were the ingredients chosen to create this riddle. But Professor YouTube accidentally added an EXTRA INGREDIENT to the concoction….ADVERTISING TIME.

    And that’s how the profitable inter-web WAS BORN!

    Who else gets it?

  28. Drew008 says:

    I actually got this one right! This is the first time I have 😀

  29. Aayush Kekade says:

    This was ez

  30. Mike Rosa says:

    I worked to 2x3x6 and settled.

  31. Boris Gomez says:

    I got it right

  32. BunnyOfDeath ! says:

    2 2 9 in hallway 13

    i’ll check once i finish the video lol

  33. Prada Gabriel says:

    You said the numbers are in ascending order. That means a<b<c. Then how can the numbers be 2,2,9 because that means 2 numbers are equal and they are not in ascending order. Am i getting something wrong ?

  34. Trung Do says:

    “You freed yourselves from math and logic, now it’s time to free the rest of the world”
    Sounds like when you have just passed Math test

  35. Durnel says:

    It's 229 I think
    Edit: Yay first Ted ed riddle I solved

  36. Mohammed Yakub says:

    What if she forgot the hallway number

  37. gENeTic Games and Movies says:

    Yay I got it right

  38. Nick Atropos says:

    Compared to the others this one was really easy. Just basic math and logic. The others are confusing and weird.

  39. Black Collar CrossFit says:

    uh ted ed there is error you made with script

  40. KrisTine carr cruz says:

    Yey! Finally got one right 😂

  41. Jk’s Hair says:

    Tomorrow’s my regents exam and I’m watching this ok,,,

  42. Art Boman says:

    These riddles are full of antiwhite racism if you look at the character portrayals episode to episode

  43. Master Brain says:

    02:45 that's mistake you were telling 3 digit passcode but 3 of them are of 4 digits

  44. TheBecooltv says:

    i dont get it?? this riddle only works if the answer is 13?? if it would be 3 3 4 = 10 and zara would never ask for the 3. clue the two in the dungeon would be screwed? even with the clue the lagest number must be unique the 4 in 3 3 4 is unique

  45. Anki Power says:

    Who else got it?

  46. Just Here says:

    I got it right! Lol yes

  47. Steak Chang says:

    Ant-man to the rescue

  48. Paarin Shah says:


  49. Kakashi Hatake says:

    "In this dystopian world, you and your resistance group-"
    Shows 3 10 year old kids. Me: Seems legit.

  50. Hamza Raja says:

    I got it with a fluke 😂

  51. Lars Zell says:

    But how did zara know it wasn't one of the other codes that didn't add up to 13?

  52. NoonCat says:

    “A concealed audio transmitter*

    its poking out her hair like a sticc

  53. ninoska corominas says:

    I did it! i did it!

  54. Jj Mn says:

    Ηι ποοπ σήμερα. Ψοπς αρέσει ψομινγ

  55. Pulkit Sardana says:


  56. Pulkit Sardana says:


  57. Vishnu Gupta says:

    Way too simple!!!!!

  58. Kool Games says:

    Math + Logic

    Lock me again please!

  59. Joshua Reynolds says:

    Meh just call da avengers or da justice league

  60. Đơn Lê Trần Giản says:


  61. Stranger things love says:

    Jeej, my first self- solved riddle😁

  62. Nafis Faiq says:

    Okay I think it’s in hallway 16 and I think the code is 1-3-12

    Edit: I’m wrong😥

  63. mark lovie de la cruz says:

    i don't got the right answer HAHA!

  64. JW_Cat says:

    Finally I’ve actually solved a Ted Ed riddle.

    I feel accomplished

  65. Niiue says:

    just move the transmitter lololo

  66. Mohamed Khelfane says:

    Zara is selfish

  67. Dallin Stuart says:

    Zara DESTROYS dictators with MATH and LOGIC

  68. Bilim Adresi says:

    I solved

  69. Raphael Chen says:

    Illusion 100
    Sneak 100

  70. Potato Server says:

    The only riddle so far that i was able to answer….

  71. Amy tails Goo!! says:

    Lol my name is zarrah just spelt differently 😂

  72. Turtle Master 24 says:

    2 2 9

  73. BakaYukki says:

    To the one who said zara should have answered wrong on purpose so she could get thrown back to the dungeon… how did you know that zara will be thrown in the same ground / floor / spot as the others?

  74. Mohamad Fahad Cader says:

    I still dont get it why 13. 🙁

  75. José Teixeira says:

    i dint know that people could fly

  76. Ridhi Raman says:

    Cudnt the answer also b 148?

  77. ZANTA says:

    I'm losing my brain

  78. Saharsh Singh says:

    What if she entered a different hallway with other things being same. Then the other two were damned

  79. Nicholas Faustas says:

    I swear to god, they just take math problems or lessons and add elements to make it a ‘riddle’.

  80. Mein Feish says:

    Can you all just not solve the riddle by coming to the salamander? You will be pushed up to the salamanders and fly.

  81. The girl with the unexpectedly long name that has nothing to do with her profile pic says:


  82. naa saavu nen sastha neekenduku says:

    If those heroes can't fight with the salamanders how can they save the world

  83. 33LB says:

    yay, i finally solved a ted-ed riddle.

  84. Gia Bảo Phạm Đức says:


  85. Andrew Spivak says:

    Who else never does the riddle and watches just for entertainment😂

  86. Pedro González says:

    42? Hmmmm…..

  87. Ness lopez says:

    ::((((( cmon! it says the SUM of the 3 numbers no number x times :S , also TTnTT what’s the meaning of “unique number” 😭

  88. Zeena Saleh says:

    This was …..

  89. Phillip Shukhnov says:

    To under

  90. Shanna Jarea says:

    I would’ve just been dragon food 🤷🏿‍♀️

  91. Ntombizodwa Pretty says:

    I got it right😂

  92. Mumflr Fumperdink says:

    Welcome to the very first riddle I've solved. I'm happy.

  93. axanstru says:

    I did the riddle, kinda ez tbh

  94. SassyLlama Boi says:

    Bruh if you had superpowers just blast out of the dungeon smh

  95. Nijhum Pori says:

    I didn't even get the riddle.

  96. The B Boi says:

    If I were Zara, I’d just ask for the third riddle just to give my partners more information

  97. Username checks out says:

    Same as mathematician riddle. Also, is 229 an ascending order?

  98. Hope Infinite says:

    Finally a puzzle I managed to solve. YAYYY💀

  99. InMyBassMent says:

    There’s another riddle that follows the same method but presented in a harder way:
    2 mathematicians are talking and one creates a bet for the other that he can’t figure out the age of his three daughters with the following information:
    -The product of their ages is 72
    – The sum of their ages is the number of the house across the street
    “It’s not possible” says the mathematician
    – The eldest likes chocolate
    “Got it” says the mathematician
    What are the ages of his daughters?

  100. Radical Rainbow says:

    Meh i solved it in 3 mins only because 2x2x9=36

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