Are You One of the 2% Who Can Solve “Einstein’s Riddle”?

It’s sometimes called “Einstein’s Riddle” because, according to legend, Einstein invented it as a child. Others say that the puzzle was actually designed by Lewis Carroll, best known as the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (Carroll was also a logician.) Where did this brain teaser originate? We’re not really sure. Perhaps it was a 1962 issue of Life International magazine.

In any event, “Einstein’s Riddle” is a good test of your mental agility. They say that only 2% of the population can solve the problem. The TED-Ed video above will walk you through one version of the riddle. If you don’t want any assistance, you can find other versions online.

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Comments (5)
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  • Carney says:

    Thanks for sharing Open Culture!

    Okay Ted ;-) so I just solved this in 20 minuets and I am no genius. There is no way only 2% of the population could solve this because there are only 5 houses and that means that automatically 20% of the population will be able to guess the answer.

    I loved that this video tricked me into solving the problem by claiming that Einstein had invented the riddle, good video and I”ll share it so that I can too trick someone into using their brain.

    The real answer here is that you can show the population that they too can use logic, and how do you do that? By making the argument “who could resist tackling a brain teaser by one of the smartest people in history?”


  • FrostBurn says:

    Guessing is not the same as solving (you won’t know if you’re correct), and also, it wouldn’t be 20% that guess it correctly because there are two questions 20% each, but someone can guess the first right and the second wrong, 20/100 x 20/100 = 400/10000 which is 4%, so not quite 20% :P

  • Soumik says:

    I solved this question in 10 mins…woohoo

  • God says:

    I solved it in 12 minutes.

  • Jesus says:

    I solved it in 10 minutes. In my head.

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