This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #2: IQ Puzzle Parody

I'm stumped with the IQ test question below. Can anyone give me a hand so I can prove how smart I am? Which of the three options is correct?

IQ test puzzle grid

  • 14
    $\begingroup$ I usually don't upvote puzzles until I see (or find) their solutions, since I can't tell how good the puzzle is. But in this case have a +1 just for the title & prose. $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ How exactly is solving this for you proving that you are smart? $\endgroup$
    – gnasher729
    Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 9:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @gnasher729 See my comment on your answer. This is all part of the parody :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 9:55

1 Answer 1



the lines and central dots are pigpen cipher, spelling out MASYUPUZ[Z/L/E]. So this is a Masyu logic puzzle.

But we can't get very far:

Trying to solve this as a Masyu doesn't give too much. So we'll need to use the three options. masyu partially solved

Let's look at option B first.

masyu, broken
First we deduce the red segment above, then the yellow, then the two cyan segments -- and now we can't satisfy the white circle on the edge. Contradiction!

Of the remaining two options,

C is just A with an extra circle - so I'll go ahead assuming it's A for now. Either C will break, or the puzzle won't be unique without adding C's extra circle.

First, some basic deductions get us this far... masyu partially solved ...then, the two circles in R7 can't be horizontal...

masyu with more solved
...then, the segment with the pink square above can't be drawn, because it would create a loop in the entire lower-right area of the grid...
masyu, even more solved
...then, the rightmost end in R2 can't go down, or the bottom endpoint would have no way to escape. Also, the white circle in R5C3 can't be vertical.
masyu, almost finished

And finally,

the remaining white pearl can't be horizontal or we'd be forced to complete the loop.
masyu finished
(And, as expected, the extra white circle from option C would make the puzzle impossible.)

So the correct answer is option A, giving a Masyu puzzle with the solution above!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (I went about several things here in ways that were more complicated than necessary - it's just the order I happened to notice deductions. I could've put the white circle in R7C9 before doing anything else, and I'm sure that "no way to escape" deduction could've been done much more simply by approaching it 'from the other side'.) $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ my guess was the same, but clearly I didn't expect the explanation to be .... this.... uhmm , I don't even have the word to describe it, here just have a +1 .... aaand now I feel stupid after reading this whole page, question answers and the tags $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 10:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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