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Can You Solve the Frog Riddle?

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In this riddle from TED-Ed, you're in a sticky situation. You're stranded in a rainforest and have accidentally eaten a poisonous mushroom. To survive the poison, you need to lick a very particular frog. But which frog is it?

You can watch the video below for more details, or read this description. The problem is simple: You are poisoned and you know that a particular species of frog produces the antidote, which will cure you if you lick it. But to make things more complex, you know that only female frogs of the species have the antidote—males do not. In this frog species, males and females look identical but males have a distinctive croak. (Males and females also occur in identical proportion in this species.) In one direction, you see a single frog. In another, a group of two frogs sitting together.

From the direction of the two frogs, you hear that distinctive "male frog" croak. Uh-oh! One of those two is definitely male.

As the poison sets in, you have to make a logical decision. You need to find a female frog with the antidote. Are your odds better going toward the group of two (one of which is definitely male), or toward the single unknown frog? And what are those odds, anyway?

Note that in this riddle you are not guaranteed to survive. You're just trying to take your best shot.

So which to choose, and why?

Watch the video below for a discussion of the problem and how the math stacks up behind one of the choices.

For more resources, consult this TED-Ed page. Once you've solved it (or if you've given up), you might also be interested in this related math problem.

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Can You Figure Out How Many Triangles Are in This Picture?

Time for another brain teaser. How many triangles do you see here? A Quora user posted the image above (which we spotted on MSN) for fellow brainiacs to chew on. See if you can figure it out. We’ll wait.

Ready?

So, as you can see, all the smaller triangles can combine to become bigger triangles, which is where the trick lies. If you count up every different triangle formed by the lines, you should get 24. (Don’t forget the big triangle!)

Some pedantic Quora users thought it through and realized there are even more triangles, if you really want to go there. There’s a triangle formed by the “A” in the signature in the right-hand corner, and if we’re counting the concept of triangles, the word “triangle” counts, too.

As math expert Martin Silvertant writes on Quora, “A triangle is a mathematical idea rather than something real; physical triangles are by definition not geometrically perfect, but approximations of triangles. In other words, both the pictorial triangles and the words referring to triangles are referents to the concept of a triangle.” So yes, you could technically count the word “triangle.”  (Silvertant also includes a useful graphic explaining how to find all the pictorial triangles.)

Check out the whole Quora discussion for in-depth explainers from users about their methods of figuring it out.

[h/t MSN]

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This Puzzling Math Brain Teaser Has a Simple Solution
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Fans of number-based brainteasers might find themselves pleasantly stumped by the following question, posed by TED-Ed’s Alex Gendler: Which sequence of integers comes next?

1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221, ?

Mathematicians may recognize this pattern as a specific type of number sequence—called a “look-and-say sequence"—that yields a distinct pattern. As for those who aren't number enthusiasts, they should try reading the numbers they see aloud (so that 1 becomes "one one," 11 is "two ones," 21 is "one two, one one,” and so on) to figure the answer.

Still can’t crack the code? Learn the surprisingly simple secret to solving the sequence by watching the video below.

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