An Explanation & Solution To the Prisoner Box Riddle

TED-Ed educator Yossi Elran provided an explanation and solution to the prisoner box riddle. In Elran’s version of the problem, ten band members are locked up, and have to find their own instruments in a series of ten mislabeled boxes. Each member can only open five boxes, and they must go one at a time with no way of communicating with each other.

After explaining the problem, Elran gives viewers a chance to pause the video and try to solve it for themselves before revealing the solution that gives the band the best chance of success.

Your favorite band is great at playing music…but not so great at being organized. They keep misplacing their instruments on tour, and it’s driving their manager mad. Can you solve the brain-numbing riddle their manager assigns them and make sure the band stays on their label? Yossi Elran shows how.

Glen Tickle
Glen Tickle

Amelia's dad. Steph's husband. Writer, comedian, gentleman. Good at juggling, bad at chess.