Last night I was playing a game of cards with my good friend Captain Pun and his wife.

All of a sudden, partway through a round, he threw down a card that bore this design:

Captain Pun's card
Colour-blind-friendly version available here.

I asked him what it meant, but he remained tight-lipped, clearly waiting for me to work out its significance for myself. After a couple of minutes I finally realised his intention, then I smiled...

Can you work out the meaning of Captain Pun's card?

Please include an explanatory diagram in your solution.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Playing a game of cards... you mean pokers, right, with full Diamond, Club, Heart, Spade, A through K? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 8:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton Could be poker... Standard deck of cards, yes. But this particular card is one of the Captain's own design... (Nice to see you back, by the way!) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 8:56
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ For those of you who are concerned that Captain Pun and the narrator might not be practising social distancing correctly during this world coronavirus shutdown ("Last night..."), feel free to come up with you own scenario as to why this might be allowed to play out right now. Perhaps they're on a stricken cruise ship. Maybe they're part of the same family unit isolating together. Or maybe it's a VERY big card table that straddles their garden fence (yes, they're neighbours). Whatever you go for, I assure you that both characters would be incredibly responsible during this time of crisis ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


I believe the message being communicated is


Getting the message took a bit of guesswork, but it checks out:

enter image description here
I noticed the L as being fairly solid (it's the only one that doesn't rely on multiple chained folds), and with the theme of the puzzle was able to generally deduce the message from that.


The puzzle is about folding (well, unfolding) letter shapes, it's a pun. In poker, folding is the action of basically forfeiting a given hand, thereby reducing the number of potential competitors to a particular pot. This explains why the narrator smiles. (Perhaps they were bluffing with a weak hand, even.)

  • $\begingroup$ Great job phenomist :) For the 3 reds you might have found it easier to 'unravel' the two moves in the opposite order, but you got it regardless. Well done - checkmark incoming... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 17:49

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