I stopped by Carl Gauss's house for a cup of tea last week, and noticed this peculiar painting which he had hanging above his fireplace. I can't quite figure out what it means. Can anybody help me?

Gauss's Painting

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hm... looks like a chessboard, but I can't see any pattern in the doors - the only thing I see is the suns being arranged in the pattern of a knight's possible moves. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ Added this to the Fortnightly Challenge $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ All I have figured out is that it is definitely not a magic eye $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Deusovi There is a pattern in the doors - just look them from the center formed by the suns... and extend the board at least from top, right and bottom ;) $\endgroup$
    – kamenf
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:53

3 Answers 3


Given that

Starting with a knight at F5 the suns are reachable in one move, the shoes in two, the trees in three and the doors in four.


Five would be a hive (in a mnemonic peg system)

  • $\begingroup$ "sun, shoe, tree, door, ..." try listing them out loud. $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @f'' guess that's what you mean? Still not an answer is it? $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Yep! That's right. $\endgroup$
    – knrumsey
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ Ah. Okay. I was thinking that, perhaps, since Carl Gauss was in the shoe business, for a while, that it was a reminder, in the morning, to put out the shoes, turn around the (wooden) open/closed sign, and unlock the door, for business. :) I hope there's no beehives in that process, though. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 21:43

Updated answer:

Morning routine
At first, the knight reaches the sun (he starts as just "the [k]night"), beginning of his morning. Then, he puts his shoes on and proceeds out the door to... fight the good fight?

Going off of Beastly Gerbil's answer,

The pictures are in circles around that one square. Maybe the sun is that square, and the suns are Mercury and the doors are Venus, and this is a representation of the center of our Solar System?

  • $\begingroup$ Very nice idea but how do you explain the trees and shoes? $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil Space between orbits? I considered maybe the shoes or trees could be Venus and the doors could be Earth, but those are also inside Mercury's orbit, if so. Also, there's no real sun... I was just going to comment on your answer because it didn't seem to fit perfectly, but I got nervous and thought "Oh no, it might be too different, etc. etc." Not really something to get anxious about, but that's generally the case. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ I guess maybe... "It's art, so it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to represent that thing to the artist"? $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @SenderReagent I believe my answer is only a partial answer (At least I hope it is otherwise this is a very simple puzzle). I imagine that the pictures can be replaced by something, I just don't think its planets. Like I said though very nice idea $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, crap, I forgot about the trees. Meh... Well, I continue to feel this type of puzzle might not be my strong suit... but do I even have one of those? $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 20:59

Each picture is part of a circumference of pictures of the same kind with the center of the circle around the 30th square, the picture of shoes in the center of the suns.

  • $\begingroup$ You're onto something... But what does it represent? $\endgroup$
    – knrumsey
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ @knrumsey doors, shoes, trees and suns? :P $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:56

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