A nice little puzzle with a rather important point

herman-22OK, so I’m not going to say too much today, but will instead point you towards a rather nice little puzzle that has been presented by the New York Times. It is not hard and is in fact a rather easy puzzle. They explain it as follows …

A short game sheds light on government policy, corporate America and why no one likes to be wrong.

Here’s how it works:

We’ve chosen a rule that some sequences of three numbers obey — and some do not. Your job is to guess what the rule is.

We’ll start by telling you that the sequence 2, 4, 8 obeys the rule:


Obeys the rule

Now it’s your turn. Enter a number sequence in the boxes below, and we’ll tell you whether it satisfies the rule or not. You can test as many sequences as you want.

… and so the fun begins, you get to form a hypothesis and you can then test that hypothesis as many times as you like. Once you are ready, you can then click another button to find out if your hypothesis is correct.

Now what makes this rather interesting is that it is really all about how we (humans) think and solve problems. I’ll not reveal the punchline, but rather will simply encourage you to give it a go.

So there are two options for you …

  • Hey yes, I’ll play
  • No time right now for puzzles, just cut to the chase and please explain (be warned, once you read it will spoil the puzzle) – if so, then just under the puzzle you will find a small link to bypass it.

To take part …

===> click here. <===

As an aside, Barry Nalebuff, a Yale professor and game-theory specialist, suggested this problem and helped them to put it in a larger context.

2 thoughts on “A nice little puzzle with a rather important point”

  1. Lol I got like 8 no’s before I got it. It tricked me in the fact I tried every complex/ abstract correlation I could think of because I thought they were trying to be tricky :p (hands on a clock, ect)

  2. Is it ok to feel proud by the fact that not only I got the answer right, but I did what was supposed to be done?

    It’s the small victories that count.


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