I just finished my first day at my new job. What a satisfying feeling. In order to celebrate, my new co-workers suggested that we meet up at a local bar for some drinks. As I am new to the area, it took me a while to find the place and I was running a bit late.

Upon entering the bar, I walked into a man dressed all in black who silently hands me a slightly damp piece of paper before hurriedly disappearing around a corner. I stood there confused before unfolding the paper and became even more confused with what I found inside.


The lines seem like some sort of bar-code or an old-school punch card, but I can't make heads or tails of it. What does this strange pattern mean? I can't possibly join my co-workers before I figure this out. They might think I'm an idiot. Is there something I'm missing?

Could you help me figure out what this paper means?

  • $\begingroup$ I would fold the paper in half, and see how the bars align up. There were a similar puzzler here recently, with a psychiatric doctor or what not. $\endgroup$
    – Matsmath
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Matsmath yeah but that psychiatric image had a white background and transparen selection was able $\endgroup$
    – lois6b
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Matsmath thats a good one! Tried it out, but based on my small experience with the editting tool I could not figure out what it is supposed to read. You have to "fould" it twice though. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ @lois6b Well, the background is still pretty white and therefore the contrast is way enough to be able to make it transparent with a decent image editor... But doing that didn't reveal anything obvious to me. $\endgroup$
    – user14478
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ @LukasRotter what I see when i look at it is that if you halve it vertically each four quadrants , has the same lenght in each row ... $\endgroup$
    – lois6b
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 8:57

1 Answer 1



a beer menu. Folding in the "obvious" way yields this: enter image description here

I notice in comments that some others had the same idea but had trouble executing it. The tool I generally use is

Paint.NET on Windows. Get the image in by whatever means (I usually copy it and paste into a new image). Then: duplicate layer, flip layer, set blending mode to Darken, merge down; duplicate layer, flip layer, set blending mode to Darken, merge down. If you need to do more adjustment there's a pan/zoom tool under the Layers menu.

Perhaps this image, in which

I have adjusted the colours of each quadrant of the original image before overlaying,

will help to clarify what's going on.

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So apparently, someone folded the sheet in one half. Then decided, that it was not a good enough of a fold, so unfolded the sheet, and folded again, but now the other way? People these days... Anyways, could you, perhaps, just for the sake of clarity, highlight the upper left quadrant of the original picture and overlay it into your solution, so that one can see how that one particular part fits into the bigger picture? $\endgroup$
    – Matsmath
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ Just use regular paint, save file as monochrome bmp. Use flip vertical and flip horizontal. And use the selection tool with transparancy and then use the keyboard arrow keys to move the selections. imgur.com/a/1EgZv $\endgroup$
    – nl-x
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ @nl-x nice one, the monochrome trick ! $\endgroup$
    – lois6b
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ OP, the solving method is "easy" but, how did you divide the text ? $\endgroup$
    – lois6b
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 12:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Matsmath, I haven't done that but have done something that should have a similar clarifying effect. I hope you find it useful. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 12:24

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