In engineering, objects/machine parts are often expressed using orthogonal projection, in which line drawings are created for their front/side/top views as seen from planes that rest 90° perpendicular to each other.

For example, if a letter "B" is carved out of a solid wooden block, its top view will look like this:

enter image description here

Here, I am assuming the fonts to be symmetric, in the sense that even though the top half of the letter B is slightly smaller than the bottom half, I am taking it as equal. With this in mind if we see the 3D letter B from top, all unobstructed edges (that is, there is nothing between your eyes and that edge) are shown with an unbroken/continuous line, but if the edge is inside the object then it's shown by a dashed line. So the top view of the 3D letter B is represented by a large rectangle broken only by 3 vertical dashed lines to indicate the hollow parts.

Now, the fun part: which word is indicated by the following top view of 3D letters?

enter image description here

Keep in mind that the fonts are simple (no cursive, no serifs, nothing fancy) and symmetric. Also, two or more letters can have same top view, so the intended solution may not be unique.

  • $\begingroup$ I would think the simplest form of letters 3 & 4 would appear symmetrical. Why are the dashed lines off-center? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


I think the answer is PUZZLING.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry. It's a very nice idea for a problem, but the choice of word was a bit obvious. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ yes, I thought so, you are right $\endgroup$
    – user9174
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 20:10

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