This puzzle belongs to the puzzle series: hyper-modern art

Still in the hyper-modern art gallery...

"You know, even now that you have explained to me, how hyper-modern-art works, I still don't quite get it. I mean, the image is just... monochrome. I really prefer more colour in art."

"Ah, but that's not a problem my friend. Just come with me and look at another painting from the same artist. See, more than enough colours"

"Well, yes, but I'd say this is a rather dumb variation of Stars 'n' Stripes...
Why on earth are you chuckling now?"

"It's just that I found your comment rather funny. In particular, if you look at the title of this painting..."

"Oh!! I see. Well, I can see why it is funny, but I can absolutely not see, why this work is called like this!"

"Well, well, my friend. Sometimes you have to look beyond what is visible, connect the facts and combine all in an intuitive way. You know Rebus puzzles, don't you? See, this painting really is just a somewhat more involved variant. But you were right in one thing. The stripes are without any meaning."


(high-res download)

The goal of this puzzle is to find the title of the work, which is a single word. The puzzle is fully contained in the image. You may want to download the full-size version for processing.


  • The puzzle can be solved with a printed version of the image above.

  • The puzzle requires an action and is (likely) not being solved by just looking at the picture.

Solution self-verification

Read the following after you think you have the solution.
Note, that if you base your solution by guessing on the information below, you have not solved the puzzle. The facts below should not be part of your solution.

- the final word has 6 letters
- all letters are different
- it is a noun
- it ends with 's'

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Damn, and me without my HUD visor... $\endgroup$
    – Set Big O
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ ;c) BTW, to save you and others time: This puzzle could be solved by printing the above image (in full colour) and going about it "the old fashioned" way without any computer. If done on a computer, tools might still be helpful... $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 16:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hmm..... could the artist be Francis Bacon...? ;) $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 9:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Fixed my solution, thanks. It's a really cool puzzle! $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 6:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AE Related $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 18:48

3 Answers 3


The answer is


The first observation is:

There are 20 pairs of identical symbols, which can be connected by lines.


We can find the intersections of the lines from the same colors, producing 10 points.

In the same way:

We can also intersect lines which connect the same shapes, which produce another 10 points.

And the result:

The intersection points spell out "IQ".

Combined with the "130", this produces the phrase

"IQ over 130", which describes a genius.

Here is the picture which goes with this solution:

enter image description here

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ To me it looks like "IQ", if you connect the middle dots of the "Z". Maybe a 130 IQ means "genius"? $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 2:50

I'm going to guess:


Here is my reasoning:

There are ten colors of stars and ten shapes of stars. Each color appears four times and each shape appears four times. The numbers at the bottom resemble a clock so, instead of being QUARTS, it is QUARTZ.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 for creativity and a nice explanation. It's not what I'm after, but I like your answer nevertheless. (The puzzle is a bit more involved though.) $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't really affect your answer, but there are eleven colors. $\endgroup$
    – KSmarts
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 18:37

I am intrigued, though I have no good strategies for figuring out where to go from the image. I am entirely unfamiliar with art in general, much less hyper-modern art, so I'll make a guess based on what I see (and what I don't):

There is a lot of ambiguity that the solver must process. The most important things I figure we have to deduce are:
1) The stars. What is the significance of the shapes? BmyGuest has hinted that the stripes have no significance, but did not say that the stars are without significance; to me, this has the reverse-psychological effect of saying "The shape of each star is important." There are exactly 4 of each specific shape, and all of the shapes are the same size. It could be that it has something to do with the number of points on each shape. If there's a mathematical proportion involved, then the circles would probably eliminate multiplication processes.
2) The colors. The colors obviously mean something, or else it would not have been important for the characters in the story to notice them. There are 11 colors (if you count black as a color), and there are exactly four shapes of each color, split into pairs of two. The significance of this is uncertain. If you don't count black as a color, then it could be that the goal of the image is to figure out what color they should be by pattern analysis.
3) Their positions. The stars are all scattered about on the image. Their positions may or may not be arbitrary - this might be the significance of using stars, in that the shapes have a clearly defined center point - but if this puzzle can be solved without computer assistance, then their exact pixel definitions are probably unneeded.
4) The number at the bottom. The number shows 130. What does the number signify? It probably has something to do with the Rebus aspect of the puzzle, but anything farther than that I have not yet determined.
5) The solution itself. Some hints were given about the solution. For one, the word must be a word. This means it will have proper spelling. Secondly, it has exactly 6 letters. This may mean that we must deduce each of the six letters independently. Lastly, all 6 letters will be different.

Based on some of the analysis above and the lack of connections being made, I have no strong guesses. However, I will offer a guess:

SQUARE. It satisfies the conditions of the 5th point mentioned above. I picked Square because among the 2-dimensional shapes present in the image, the square has been skipped over. Arguably, the pentagon and multiple other shapes have also been skipped, and perhaps the closest 4-sided figure to a star would be a diamond/rhombus, but those do not have exactly six letters.
More thought will be needed.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for general analysis. There are some important observations and some valid and relevant conclusions in your answer so far. The solution is not correct, but some of the mentioned thoughts are worthwhile expanding on. It should maybe be said, that there is one step which needs to be done before the puzzle can be solved. This step can be done with or without a computer, i.e. on the digital image or with a color-printed version. (Or with a HUD visor in the gallery, as Geobits will know.) $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 18:33

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