‘Survivor’ Season 42: The Triangle Puzzle, Explained

Survivor Season 42 brings 18 contestants back to Fiji for 26 days of brutal gameplay. And host Jeff Probst promised more twists and turns this season than fans ever saw previously. The season 42 premiere features a challenging triangle puzzle that almost costs two tribes their machete, flint, and pot. Here’s what happens with the new Survivor triangle puzzle challenge.

[Spoiler alert: Survivor Season 42 spoilers ahead regarding the premiere, “Feels Like a Rollercoaster.”]

‘Survivor’ Season 42 premiere introduces new twists, and 1 is within the first 5 minutes

'Survivor' Season 42 cast members walking toward their camp
The cast of ‘Survivor’ Season 42 | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Similar to Survivor Season 41, Survivor Season 42 is full of twists and turns. The season begins with 18 contestants and three tribes — Ika, Vati, and Taku. And the first twist of the season starts off immediately.

The first twist involves one contestant from each tribe running to grab a paddle. When all three contestants reach the paddles, they have a decision to make. They have the option of each grabbing a paddle and returning to their tribes, or, all three contestants can work together for a secret advantage. To get the secret advantage, the three contestants have to untie 20 knots — but they have to decide to participate together.

Then, to cover their tracks from the rest of the cast, the three cast members who untie the knots are provided with mud and fake blood to cover their bodies.

“To cover your lie, spread mud and fake blood over your body to prove how hard you worked to get your paddles,” the twist states. “You’re only moments into the game … and you already have your first big opportunity.”

What is the triangle puzzle, and what is the answer?

The Survivor Season 42 triangle puzzle is the next twist to take place after the paddles. Two tribes in Survivor Season 42 have a decision to make: “Savvy” or “Sweat.” They can either complete a puzzle (savvy), or they can choose one member of the tribe to spend four hours filling a barrel with water using one heavy pan (sweat).

Both Vati and Taku tribes decide to try their hand at the puzzle — and that’s when the triangle puzzle is introduced. The puzzle shows a number of triangles within one larger triangle. The tribes have to count how many triangles are within the puzzle in total.

So, what is the triangle puzzle answer? There are 51 total triangles in the puzzle — and both teams guess correctly. Due to their correct guesses, the tribes receive a machete, flint, and a pot.

Jenny Kim leads her tribe to victory on the ‘Survivor’ Season 42 triangle puzzle

Jenny Kim completing a puzzle on 'Survivor' Season 42
Cast member Jenny Kim on ‘Survivor’ Season 42 | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Jenny Kim of the Vati tribe in Survivor Season 42 pulls through with the triangle puzzle. When the puzzle is first introduced to the tribe, her fellow tribemates think they have the answer immediately — but they are wrong. As a creative designer, she knows the puzzle is a lot more complicated than it looks at first glance. Thanks to her intelligence, she figures out the number of triangles within the puzzle.

Jenny also helps her tribe win immunity during the first challenge, as she assists in completing the puzzle. She’s certainly a player to watch moving forward.

Survivor Season 42 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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