Puzzling Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for those who create, solve, and study puzzles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The question reads: From the given pattern, What comes in place of '?'

enter image description here

share|improve this question
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The answer is


It looks like:

0. Triangle from 4 figures rotates in the square anti-clockwise.
1. "S" goes around anti-clockwise, from one corner to another corner.
2. "Square" goes along main diagonal (from TopLeft to BottomRight and back).
3. "Triangle" goes along second diagonal (from TopRight to BottomLeft and back).
4. Other figures appear to chosen randomly. May be there is some pattern I do not see, but it doesn't matter, since 2 and 4 leaves us with only one possible answer, which perfectly agrees with all 5 patterns.

share|improve this answer
3 is not a distinguishing feature for the answers, because all answers have the square in the center. A distinguishing feature would be that all squares contain figures at most once. That and your 2 are sufficient to justify the answer (4). – Rhymoid Jun 29 '14 at 14:37
@Rhymoid, I agree on the distinguish point. I fixed it. About justification point - it is enough to mention that all figures has triangle and S signs to chose between given 4 options, but any number of patterns are not enough to fully justify any answer, induction can not be justified. Therefore it is better to have as many as possible patterns. – klm123 Jun 29 '14 at 14:43
That's the difference between constructing answers and eliminating non-answers. Which one is better is definitely up for debate, seeing how different schools in (formal) logic are divided over a similar issue. – Rhymoid Jun 29 '14 at 17:57
(3) isn't a discriminating feature, but it gives weight to (4). – Florian F Nov 26 '14 at 22:47

I also answer (4) but I'd like to define the reason in another way.

It appears to be a control structure in the patter, formed by: a 'triangle', a 'square' and a 'S'.

This 3 signs form a triangle where:

  • 'S' is in a corner and rotates anti-clockwise,
  • the central vertex is 'square' or 'triangle', alternating,
  • the third vertex of the triangle-structure is occupied by the remaining sign.

Figure number (4) is the only one validated by this pattern. (1) and (3) don't show a 'S' and in particular the (1)'s 'triangle' is not where it were supposed to be. (2) shows two 'squares' and no 'triangle', quite strange.

share|improve this answer
Keeping the 'S' criterion, and noting that the triangle cycles along the rising diagonal also limits candidates to number (4). – Laurent LA RIZZA Oct 10 '14 at 13:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.