I came across this puzzle in the subreddit r/puzzles, gave it a try, and couldn't solve it. It seems like no one else could either.

Reverse image search found it on a site called IQ certificate, so I'm assuming that is the source.

I'm really curious, would appreciate if anyone can shed some light on it for me.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Is this a multiple choice question? $\endgroup$ – Prince Deepthinker Aug 8 '20 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yea my bad, I edited it with the multiple choice, thanks for noticing $\endgroup$ – Barsloai Aug 8 '20 at 18:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ These "IQ test" sites are mostly a ploy to get your phone number so they can charge you for some service that you do not want. or if you score low enough enlist you to help a "Nigerian prince" for a hansome if ficyicious reward. Don't expect quality $\endgroup$ – Jasen Aug 9 '20 at 9:13

I will go for the top-left because

Think of the game Set. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_(card_game).

The horizontal lines in rows and the vertical lines in columns follow the rule "all counts equal or all counts different".

The top row has 2-2-2 horizontal lines, the middle row has 3-1-2, the bottom row has 1-1-? which must be 1-1-1. The missing square has 1 horizontal line.

The left column has 1-1-1 vertical lines, the middle column has 1-2-3, the right column has 3-2-?, which must be 3-2-1. The missing square has 1 vertical line.

The only choice with 1 horizontal and 1 vertical line is the top-left one.

PS: A maybe simpler but equivalent formulation can be given as:
The number of horizontal lines in rows and vertical lines in columns is always a multiple of 3.


The middle column of squares has on each square 4,4,4 rectangles and 2,2,4 squares respectively.

The right column of squares has 4,4 rectangles and 8,5 squares respectively. If we add to that column the top right coloured square then we have for the three squares of that column

4,4,4 rectangles on each square and 8,5,5 little squares for each.

Here is another interpretation:

First we replace the question mark with the first coloured quadrilateral from the third column. Then we count the straight lines contained in each quadrilateral to obtain the results shown in the drawing below.


  • $\begingroup$ Who defines what's a square? According to you, you only count it as a square when there is no additional lines crossing it.. However if that is the case the first column doesn't follow your pattern and in general it seems like it's a very unlikely as it ignores other factors like position and even there is not seems to be a clear pattern in the rectangle's numbers.. Nice try though, I personally have also explored this route of counting squares and etd c quite alot $\endgroup$ – Barsloai Aug 8 '20 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ To me your drawings are made from rectangles and squares. I based my answer on this fact. Additionally, I based my conclusion on the second and third columns. Counting the lines inside the three squares yields inconclusive results. I hope this is helpful. $\endgroup$ – Vassilis Parassidis Aug 9 '20 at 1:54

Answer could be bottom middle because if you look at the rows the last shape of each row, the horizontal lines are equal to the number of the first shapes horizontal line take away the second shape. Where they overlap you take away. Now this gives you the bottom 3 options. But the last of the top row the sum of the vertical lines is the bottom left overlapping with the middle middle and the last in the middle row it is top middle to middle left so the bottom row last shape must be top left plus the bottom middle to get the vertical lines. Just to add the combination is always from left column plus right column.

  • $\begingroup$ Following your logic of taking the first and second draw on each raw and cancel out any horizontal lines that overlap, would not give you the third draw in the second raw.. As well as if you take the bottom raw and following this logic you'll actually get all the bottom answers and not bottom middle and top middle like you said.. Good try though $\endgroup$ – Barsloai Aug 8 '20 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ It is the number of horizontal lines $\endgroup$ – Prince Deepthinker Aug 9 '20 at 20:58

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