This brain teaser is a little different from the ones I usually feature on Sunday Puzzle. There’s no logic. No math. No tricky wording. Just an illustration and a hidden object. Some of you will spot it quickly. Others of you will not.

I’ve actually done both. The first time I saw this image, nearly ten years ago, I found the star in a matter of seconds. I remember being pretty pleased about that, because it took my good friend—who is a lot sharper than I am, and usually much quicker at solving puzzles—significantly longer to spot. But a couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon the puzzle again. I recognized the illustration immediately, but could not, for the life of me, remember the location of the star. This time, it took me more than ten minutes to find it.

I’m positive it’s the same puzzle—so what did I do differently? I wish I could tell you. Maybe the first time I saw this illustration it was from a different angle. Maybe I was more well-rested, or in a different frame of mind. Maybe, the first time, got lucky. Or maybe my mind’s just not as sharp as it used to be. If I knew the answer, I could probably give you some decent tips on how to go about finding the star yourself, but I’m afraid the best advice I can offer right now is to approach this puzzle with soft eyes.

Sunday Puzzle #44: A Hidden Star

Here it is enlarged (sorry for the poor quality, it’s the highest resolution I could find):

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We’ll be back next week with the solution—and a new puzzle! Got a great brainteaser, original or otherwise, that you’d like to see featured? E-mail me with your recommendations. (Be sure to include “Sunday Puzzle” in the subject line.)

SOLUTION to Sunday Puzzle #43: Pickled Walnuts

Last week I posed a puzzle, the clues to which read like nonsense but that I assured you could be solved. If you missed it, go read it here.

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The first person to arrive at the correct solution, complete with their line of reasoning, was commenter bewareofgeek*, who writes:

All armadillos:

  1. Speak Basque,
  2. Are members of the Tintinnabulum Club,
  3. and prefer Mozart over Beethoven.
  4. Therefore, they do NOT take a taxi to Bond Street,
  5. Carry a collapsible umbrella,
  6. [Qualify for eligibility at] the Philatelists Club,
  7. Or go to Professor Piltdown’s parties
  8. (And hence they do not enjoy pickled walnuts).

Therefore, armadillos do not enjoy pickled walnuts. QED.

Just to clarify, in bewareofgeek’s explanation, numbers 4—8 should be read as a single sentence. Therefore, number 5 does not mean to suggest that all armadillos carry a collapsible umbrella, but rather, based on statement #4, that armadillos do NOT carry a collapsible umbrella. Author TK spells out this line of reasoning more explicitly, with enumerated references to the original clues:

(i) All armadillos can speak the Basque dialect (3), therefore (ii) all armadillos are eligible for the Tintinnabulum Club (5).

Therefore (iii) all armadillos prefer Mozart to Beethoven (7).

Therefore (iv) no armadillo ever takes a taxi in Bond Street (2).

Therefore (v) no armadillo carries a collapsible umbrella (9).

Therefore (vi) no armadillo can be registered as a philatelist (4).

Therefore (vii) no armadillo is ever invited to Professor Piltdown’s parties (6).

Whence (1 and 8) we arrive at the conclusion: no armadillo enjoys pickled walnuts.

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*Commenter tuvix, however, wins our praise for their consistency.


Contact the author at rtgonzalez@io9.com.

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