What is the correct answer to this problem, and what is the reasoning behind your solution?

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ As mentioned in @Invariance's answer - this puzzle appears not to have been created for this site specifically. Can you please add a source for where this puzzle originated and ensure it isn't breaking copyright laws or part of an ongoing competition? $\endgroup$
    – user41531
    Dec 10, 2018 at 16:26

4 Answers 4


I came across this puzzle a while back and it gave me a hard time but I think I solved it.

The answer is 1

Here is my logic

The images follow a particular trend as you go from left to right in each row. In the first row, the first image is two circles which are overlapping and the number of enclosed regions are 3 + 1(the region outside the circles but inside the square). The second image, has just one circle which is intersected with a line, but the line doesn't affect the number of enclosed regions. So, the number of enclosed regions is 1 + 1(again the region outside the circle but inside the square). The third image has just some intersecting curves and a line, so the number of enclosed regions is just 1.

We see a trend.

In the first row, the number of enclosed regions goes as 4,2,1. Now for the second row, following the same logic as the first row we see that the first image has 8 enclosed regions, the second image has 4 enclosed regions and the third image has 2 enclosed regions. Again, we see the trend in 2nd row going as 8,4,2.

Now for the missing image

In the third row, the first image has 3 enclosed regions, the second image has 2 enclosed regions and following the logic the last image must have 1 enclosed region so that it goes as 3,2,1. The only image with one enclosed region is option 1.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your response. So the pattern is simply that the number of enclosed regions decreases when moving from left to right in each row? $\endgroup$
    – puzzler
    Aug 21, 2017 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. Well, I don't see any other pattern in these images. $\endgroup$
    – Invariance
    Aug 21, 2017 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ I believe you are right and that this is the correct answer. $\endgroup$
    – puzzler
    Aug 24, 2017 at 5:58

I agree with ezbm, the proposed answer is internally inconsistent. It does not have the characteristic property that when you find it, you know it's right without any doubt. The 3-2-1 sequence introduces doubt.

I can propose another answer but I believe it also fails the "without any doubt" test:

reading across the table, the third box has the same number of straight lines as the second box. Therefore the answer should be 2, since answer two has two straight lines, the same number as in the second box of the third row.

However this answer is also unsatisfying. One would like the correct answer to require use of all the information presented, and this answer ignores the first box in each row.


I do not agree - row 1 = 4 2 1 = the cell 2 is half of cell 1, and cell 3 is half of cell 2

Row 2 = 8 4 2 = same as row 1, we are good so far.

Row 3 = 3 2 1 = No good. 3 is uneven. and the 2 1 in cell 2 and 3 are the same as row 1. not logical.

Also, ravens matrices usually makes sense in both the vertical and horizontal rows.

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I think it is the first one, though I am not sure this is the most fitting solution . My take is this: in each row, there are 2 symmetrical images and one that's asymmetrical (3rd and 2nd image in 1st and 2nd row, respectively)

I know this explanation might be hardly satisfactory. As ezbm points out, raven matrices usually make sense both horizontally and vertically. If 1 is the correct answer, vertically there appears to be no visible patterns. However, it seems there's no way this puzzle may be explained from a shape-perspective. The first image in the 2nd row is just too weird to make sense.

Hope this helps


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