This is a puzzle posted on a social networking site that I have been trying hard since yesterday to solve:

Missing number puzzle

My approach has been to find out a mathematical function with the numbers in the yellow, green and purple segments as its arguments and the number in the blue segment as its output. However, I have failed to find out any such function on the basis of intuition. Of course I can interpolate, but it is generally not the preferable method for solving puzzles. So could anybody please help?

I am also interested to know if there is an algorithm to solve these puzzles in a human-like manner rather than by using interpolation.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ hi, welcome to Puzzling stack exchange! Unfortunately, you will need to provide more attribution than simply "a social networking site". A link would be ideal, but if not, then at least the poster and the site itself. Otherwise, this question will be on hold for being off-topic. $\endgroup$ May 29, 2020 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ Have you noticed the rotational of the first raw which could be relevant to the second raw? $\endgroup$
    – Moti
    May 30, 2020 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


The answer is

7. I noticed that the numbers in the bottom-left circle were just a sum of the numbers in the top-middle and top-right circles in the same positions (not the same colors). Then the numbers in the bottom-right circle looked to be a sum of the numbers in the top-left and top-middle circles in the same positions, so the "?" must be 4+3 = 7.

It is easy to overthink this one, because

the colors have no (apparent) meaning and four numbers in each circle do not (apparently) relate to each other at all.

My answer is that ?=7

The sums of the numbers around the circles are:

circle 1) 3+6+4+9=22

circle 2) 5+1+3+8=17

circle 3) 2+4+7+6=19      (36-22)/(19-17)=7

circle 4) 7+5+10+14=36

circle 5) 8+17+7+7=39

Finally, 22+17=39

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