“Three gods, A, B, and C, are called, in some order, True, False, and Random. True always speaks truly, False always speaks falsely, but whether Random speaks truly or falsely is completely random. You must determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking three yes-or-no questions, and each question must be posed to exactly one god. The gods understand English but will answer all questions in their own language. In their unknown language, the words for “yes” and “no” are “da” and “ja,” in some order. You do not know which word means which.”
We’re willing to bet that your brain feels pretty busted at this point. If you’re ready to throw in the towel and hear the solution, we won’t tell! Here are the three questions you should ask, according to Nautilus: 1. To god A: “Does ‘da’ mean ‘yes’ if and only if you are True and if and only if B is Random?” (We supposed A said, “ja,” making B True or False). 2. To god B: “Does “da” mean ‘yes’ if and only if Pluto is a dwarf planet?” (We supposed B said, “da,” making B True.) 3. And to god B (True) again: “Does ‘da’ mean ‘yes’ if and only if A is Random?” Since B’s True, he must say “da,” which means A is Random, leaving C to be False. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re still a little confused. You can start sorting out the solution with this 2008 paper, which claims to have the easiest answer to the brainteaser.