On a recent math test, I had the following question showing a series of six images. The answer was one of the five options A, B, C, D, or E.

Puzzle image

Can you tell me what the correct answer is? And can you tell me what field of math the test was on?

  • $\begingroup$ +1 just for the interrobang. $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2022 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


You should answer this test with:

B. But hang on, there are no options associated with these 5 letters...? That's because it's the letters themselves we need to consider! So our answer is literally the letter B.

Why? Because this test is in:

Topology, and we are expected to consider the number of holes in each object.

If we do that, we see we have:

Pretzel = 3 holes;
Straw = 1 hole (not 2, note);
Button = 4 holes;
Ring = 1 hole;
Symbol = 5 holes;
Target riddled with bullet-holes = 9 holes (several of the original bullet-holes have joined together, note).

Note that we have a pattern here:

These numbers are the first digits of pi: 3.14159... This means our next answer needs to represent the next digit of pi, which is '2'. Which of our options here has 2 holes? Why, that would be the letter B!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I am sure, that your reasoning is correct. I just thought that there is a much easier solution... when looking at your numbers, then the number 2 is missing... and that could meen that the second letter is the answer... but of course this would have nothing to do with maths... $\endgroup$
    – Tode
    Oct 11, 2022 at 7:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Tode But then that wouldn't explain the entire puzzle. For example, (in addition to the mathematical nature of the setting) why there is a '9' in there (which would mean that 5, 7 and 8 are also 'missing'...), why two 1's but only one of each of the others...? Unless it can explain the whole presentation of the puzzle, it wouldn't really be a satisfying solution... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 11, 2022 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ ^ Correction to comment above: "6, 7 and 8", not 5... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 11, 2022 at 12:18

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