From an IQ exam:

What does this say?  ↑ → ← ↓

(Edited from  ↑ ← → ↓ ; see my explanation in Deusovi's answer below. I'll be going now.)

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    $\begingroup$ Would this count as a rebus? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 29 '16 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ It would only make sense in one of the worlds languages. So whatever IQ that would measure would be heavily biased. $\endgroup$ – mathreadler May 29 '16 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ @mathreadler All IQ measurements are heavily biased. Defining intelligence in terms of who has the best math skills is itself a heavily biased definition. $\endgroup$ – BobRodes May 29 '16 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ Whether a person knows the word "news" isn't much of a determiner of their language skills, beyond the age of perhaps six or seven. As such, it's difficult for me to support the assertion that this question is a test of "who has learned culture well enough" at any level past early childhood, in the way that a question that measured reading comprehension might well do. I find it much easier to support the assertion that the question is an indicator of lateral thinking skills, albeit limited to speakers of the English language in its usefulness as such an indicator. $\endgroup$ – BobRodes May 29 '16 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ Well, that's not the Konami Code. $\endgroup$ – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica May 30 '16 at 16:54

If you interpret them as

compass points

it says


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    $\begingroup$ Nope. nwes not news $\endgroup$ – ev3commander May 29 '16 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ @ev3commander The OP just switched the arrows, so it's NEWS now. $\endgroup$ – CodesInChaos May 29 '16 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ Edited and corrected. They used to call me "Wrong-way Rodes" at a place I worked when I was young. I have "direction dyslexia", which causes me to transpose left and right and get lost very easily if I don't resort to maps and signs. It's very annoying driving down the Oklahoma Turnpike, because the gas stations are in the median serving both directions. I have on two occasions got back on the road going the wrong direction, going 25 miles or so back the way I came, paying a toll, and getting back on the way I was going. $\endgroup$ – BobRodes May 29 '16 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ Only if your computer monitor is facing south... And leaning back. $\endgroup$ – colmde May 30 '16 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ @bobrodes, at the risk of sounding like a real bore... those sequence style questions are just as arbitrary ! $\endgroup$ – Lamar Latrell May 31 '16 at 7:50

My 4 year old son saw this and started singing Goosey Goosey Gander

Upstairs ↑ and Downstairs ↓, In my lady's chamber → ←


I'm going orthogonal instead of lateral with this one.

upright left bottom

Playing with words is (arguably) much more fun than playing with compass.

An upright (marked by strong moral rectitude) person, who, as a result of misfortune, hit the rock bottom, has finaly been able to go back to living according to his former ideals and left his past behind him.


It's the story of Boxer from Animal Farm

Upright but Left Down



a spiral!

Explanation :

You first paste the interior → ← and then the exterior ↑ ↓.

A visualization of the topological spiral of: ↑ → ← ↓


From the point of view of an overhead observer looking at a person move in those directions, it says indirection or confusion to me.


Interpret it as puns coordinates, and as directions and quality. Up arrow means up, +y, and also "why?" Left arrow means -x and also a lack or loss, or something worse or forgotten. Right arrow means +x and a gain, or something better, and also "right" and "write". Down arrow means down, -y, or "why not?" We get: +y => Why -x => forget [suffer loss] +x => it is better to write -y => (it) down!


protected by Aza May 30 '16 at 20:14

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