Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.We’ re so glad you could attend,
   Come inside, come inside.
   Step inside, hello! We’ ve the least amazing show.You’ ll enjoy it some, we know,
   Step inside, step inside.
   Rest assured, you’ ll get your money’s worth.   Easiest puzzles in Heaven or Hell or on Earth.
   If you follow me, to our speciality, real gimmes for you to see,
   Simplicity, simplicity.    — adapted from Karn Evil 9YouTube by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Step right up to our traveling display case and be dumbstruck by the easiest puzzles you’ll ever see.

These abysmal abominations are so mind-numbingly vapid that we cannot even expose them to air, or they will spontaneously burst into solutions.   Ooo, you could swoon abashedly. Or you could shed all dignity and dare imagine just what it would be like to try and actually solve such crude puzzles, if permitted, quicker than they solve themselves.   Or, you could answer...

             What might each puzzle be anyway?

For instance, the first puzzle might be (though you should think of another)...

  a. World’s easiest paperfolding puzzle:Divide into two areas by folding the fewest possible times.

Puzzle h has the special condition that its answer cannot also suit puzzle e.   Thus Knight’s Tour, for example, could be an answer only for puzzle e, which would be a 1×1 chessboard with a single white square, even though puzzle h could be perceived as an equivalent black square.

Only puzzles h, i and j are meant to be at all challenging to identify, the rest intended as warm-ups with room for playfulness. Some, certainly puzzle e, can represent countless of the world’s easiest puzzles.   Each puzzle is meant not only as the world’s easiest but also as the simplest, so special instructions should be minimal, or else some simpler puzzle is more likely the one represented.

$\small\sf\color{black}{Hints \! :}$   Some specimens are displayed at deliberately misleading scales.
    One of these sideshow geeks has a family member locked in The trunk of trivial trials.

Easier/simpler/additional samples, as improvements or new mysteries, are more than welcome!

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Wow! Glad I managed to get a little shout-out :) $\endgroup$ – TheGreatEscaper Feb 28 '17 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ Cheers to local talent, @TheGreatEscaper! $\endgroup$ – humn Feb 28 '17 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ For the record, thanks to Deusovi for turning f from simply awful, in its original form, to perfectly simple, in two ways $\endgroup$ – humn Feb 28 '17 at 10:52

Possible answers for the non starred ones:


Symmetry puzzle: Fill in one square so the entire sheet has two lines of symmetry.


Fill in the middle square


Its Haisu!


Draw a line through every cell from O to X




What number could Z be? (Answer 0)


Match puzzle: Move the match once to create a vertical line


Division puzzle: Split the square into two triangles with one line (just draw a diagonal)


Its a cryptic clue


What the answer? (It's I)


Looks like tower of Hanoi


How many moves does it take to get the ring from L to R?

Now for the starred ones:


Could be a chess puzzle: How many squares can a knight reach from this square (0 as it's the only square)

It was actually:

A crossword. Solved by Gareth.


How about a keyboard puzzle? What other symbol is on this key on your keyboard (Answer +)

It was actually:

A maze. Solved by KeyboardWielder


Seems like a rebus. Don't know what it could be for though

Or (thanks @Silenus)

It is representative of a Droste effect of a puzzle in a puzzle in a puzzle

It was actually

Puzzle identification. Solved by Marius.

  • $\begingroup$ @humn is this the sort of thing you were looking for? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 28 '17 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ Even better than I was hoping for, Beastly Gerbil, thank you for including solutions! $\endgroup$ – humn Feb 28 '17 at 7:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @humn yay :) Interesting idea for a puzzle $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 28 '17 at 7:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (j) is a rebus depicting a Droste Effect on the case itself, thus representing a puzzle in a puzzle in a puzzle... $\endgroup$ – GoldenGremlin Feb 28 '17 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Silenus thanks! I'll add that (credit to you of course) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 28 '17 at 15:55

OK. Let's get the ball rolling.

a. Creating specific measurements by folding a peice of paper. Example
b. Haisu. Example.
c. Alphametic Example
d. Move a match to make something true or big or small or whatever. Example
e. Chess table puzzle. Example
f. Cryptic clues. Example
g. Hanoi tower Example, but the one in the image looks like one for retards. You have to move one piece only.
h. Nonogram. Example
i. Maybe math. or ciphers.
j. Cutting a paper in half to get the same image but scaled. Still looking for the damn example.. Found my damn example
alternative to j. A Puzzle identification puzzle. Example or this one which is a puzzle identification puzzle about puzzle identification in a puzzle identification challenge.

This was too fun to not come up with a fun alternative answer.
So let's pretend I'm a contestant for Jeopardy.
Me: "Alex, I'll pick puzzle identification for 1000".
Alex: "Here goes..."
Me: My answers are...

a. How can you make a 8.3" measurement out of a standard A4 paper?
b. How can you place a X and an O on a 1x2 board and call it a haisu?
c. What's the "eaZiest" alphametic with "Zero" chance of getting it wrong?
d. What match do you need to move to make a math sign?
e. How can a knight go through all the squares of a 1x1 chess table?
f. What do Scooby Doo and the gang find in their mystery solving adventure
g. How would you call the tallest building in the capital of Vietnam?
h. If White = 1 and Black = 0, what is a No-No-gram? (a nonogram is actually the other way around, but bear with me for the fun of it) i. Pas.
j. What is "puzzle identification for 1000"?

  • $\begingroup$ Still looking for a damn example, Marius? If you slightly change your answer, you won't have to look far. $\endgroup$ – humn Feb 28 '17 at 7:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 'but the one in the example looks like one for retards' - that's kind of the point of this puzzle :P $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 28 '17 at 7:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @humn. I actually had the piece of paper in front of me from when I tried to solve the puzzle I was trying to find (the one in the damn example). I was about to put a picture of it when I saw your comment. Then it hit me. It was your "damn" puzzle. :) $\endgroup$ – Marius Feb 28 '17 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil. I know, but I wrote a 10+ line answer without a stupid unrelated comment. I had to add at least one (or 2). "That's how I roll". $\endgroup$ – Marius Feb 28 '17 at 7:58
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I once tried to be funny and made 10 puns hoping it will trigger laughter, but "no pun in ten did". Sorry. It was a typo. It should have been "knight". $\endgroup$ – Marius Feb 28 '17 at 8:44


Q. Find the area of the given rectangle in units of little blue squares.
A. 165; but you can't post the answer, because the puzzle's been VTC'd as off-topic citing Are math-textbook-style problems on topic?


Q. Spot at least 6 differences between the 2 images.
A. 1. NW spike is missing 2. NE spike is missing 3. SW spike is missing 4. SE spike is missing 5. Central circle is larger 6. Outline is drawn for central circle


Q. Without moving any matches, can you create a symbol that is both a character of punctuation and a mathematical operator?
A. Yes. Look at the match (being careful not to touch any matches), and you will see a hyphen / minus sign.


Q. Can you draw the shape below without lifting your pencil from the paper?
A. Sure. Optimal strategy: Starting at any corner, for example the bottom-left, move your pencil in appropriate directions till you reach the starting point. Pro tip: One could also start at the middle of an edge, but experts have found this harder to execute for the same speed and precision.


Q. In the 1x1 game of Noughts and Crosses shown below, is there a guaranteed winning strategy?
A. Yes, the first player can always force a win. Strategy in detail: X places his/her mark in the square. O has no option but to concede defeat.


A. The first one: It's the only one that has this pink thing on it.


A. All 3 look like little brown poles.

h. (but not e.)

A. Black Square


A. The Dark Knight


Q. (which traditionally has minimal instructions)
A. Sleep
- Explanation: This puzzle consists of , a , a and .
* The square consists of several black pixels. Each pixel has an RGB value of 000000, giving us a long sequence of 000000000000000000000000000000...
* Viewing each '0' as an 'O' instead, we get OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...
* This is rot-15 of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ..., which is commonly used to depict a sleeping entity.
* Most said entities sleep at night, which is usually dark, as depicted in the original image, thereby reinforcing the correctness of this solution.


Q. Can you find your way through this maze?
A. Hmmm, let's see: Enter from the left, then walk for a bit and ... Whoa! Hey! Where did the maze go?


Q. Count the number of rectangles in this image.
A. Two times infinity (counting the inner and outer rectangle of each frame separately).

  • $\begingroup$ The puzzles now seem almost simpler than possible, in comparison to some of these solutions, congratulations! And thank you for advising care with d. Some fool mounted flammable graph paper right above it. $\endgroup$ – humn Mar 1 '17 at 14:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ i. had me stumped; but after seeing that trunk yesterday, I thought I had the answer... uh... I mean question. Your updated hint seems to confirm it. Maybe. $\endgroup$ – KeyboardWielder Mar 2 '17 at 18:58
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Your third explanation for h. is a tour de force of postmodern puzzling. $\endgroup$ – GoldenGremlin Mar 3 '17 at 15:04

Some alternatives.


Minesweeper. Bomb count: 0


Suppose this match takes 1 hour to burn. How would you measure 1 hour?




Mechanical disassembly puzzle. Simply separate the ring from the base. L/R provided for easy reset.


Who's that PSE user!? But who could it be???

But on a more serious note... (have to make things simpler!)
Tangram with 1 piece (Square block)

  • $\begingroup$ There goes my next matchstick puzzle secret idea, up in flames! (Not far from the truth.) But I was already lahahahaughing too hard from answer a to mind. $\endgroup$ – humn Mar 9 '17 at 1:12

The only sub-puzzle with which OP isn't yet satisfied with the solutions posted (I think) is h, the single black square. I propose:

it's a crossword, with a single filled square and therefore no clues.

  • $\begingroup$ This solution invalidates its premise. Just as I hoped! $\endgroup$ – humn Mar 13 '17 at 15:24

Wiki answer from poser because different solvers first / best identified starred puzzles h, i and j.   Please view these breakthrough answers, listed chronologically, to appreciate their “simple” delights.
•  Beastly Gerbil identified most puzzles and solved them
•  Marius identified j
•  KeyboardWielder identified i
•  Wesley Situ presolved a secret puzzle idea
•  Gareth McCaughan identified h

Identifications here are what were in mind at pose time. Those starred are considered essential to the puzzle as a whole. Differing posted answers have been excellent and deserve votes of approval.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ g. Don't forget. A larger piece cannot be placed on a smaller one. $\endgroup$ – Florian F Mar 8 '17 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ I had indeed forgotten, @Florian F, so g's complication is now included in the picture, thank you! $\endgroup$ – humn Mar 8 '17 at 22:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ h. looks like "Who's that PSE user!?" to which the answer would be i.stack.imgur.com/8YYL0.gif $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ Mar 9 '17 at 0:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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