Lia Koltyrina/ShutterstockLooking to put your critical thinking skills to the test? Look no further. We have a word puzzle that is sure to stump even the most masterful logicians. Presh Talwalkar, a former student of economics and math at Stanford, designed and posted this word game to his YouTube channel, MindYourDecisions. And if you solve it, you just might be a total genius. (Better yet, solving this puzzle could mean you’re qualified to be an astronaut.)
Let’s get started! Imagine that these six words have been written on a chalkboard: cat, dog, has, max, dim, tag. Three students—Albert, Bernard, and Cheryl—receive a piece of paper with a different letter written on it. Each letter is included in the secret word, which is one of the words on the board. The students need to determine, using logic, what the secret word is.
Their teacher asks Albert if he knows the secret word. After looking at his letter, Albert says yes. Bernard takes a moment to think, and then says yes, he also knows the secret word. Cheryl is the last to say yes. Which one is the secret word? Read on to find out the answer. (Need a brain boost? These mind exercises can improve your memory.)
At first glance, this problem might leave you scratching your head. But don’t peek yet! We’ll give you a hint: Pay attention to the order in which the students solve the word game.
The secret word? If you answered dog, congrats! Your solution matches Talwalkar’s. However, a few logicians are getting technical online; they claim that the word could also be cat, too. Some even believe that the puzzle is impossible, given the information provided. To see one way of solving it, watch the video below. And those who disagree with the answer can add their two cents to the debate in the comments.
If you got the correct answer on the first try, you’re probably a word wiz. Take your skills to the next level by finding how many triangles are in this image.