It’s the Friday Puzzle


Bonjour. First, could you give me 30 seconds of your time for a little survey that I am running?  To take part, just click here.  Many thanks.

OK, here is the Friday puzzle….can you add 5 lines to the image below to make the whole form nine?  Oh, and can you add 3 lines to make it form eight?

As ever, please do not post your solution but do say if you have solved it and how long it took.  Answer on Monday.

I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for the Kindle (UK here and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.


66 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle

  1. Karen says:

    Done! That was easy!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Took me under 1 minute. very clever!

  3. Nick T says:

    Done almost immediately. And I’m not even awake yet… Well no fully…

  4. Enoch Root says:

    Is this turning into ‘puzzles for 5 year olds’?

  5. I can add two lines to form 9 :-/ And two lines to form eight.

  6. Amy says:

    done in 30 seconds… unless I got the wrong answer which is very likely since I’m a simple creature 0_o

  7. Jimbo says:

    What is the value of pi in this puzzle? If it’s 3 that might be useful.

  8. stendado says:

    Too easy. Got it in 20 seconds or so. First time I’ve done so fast though.

  9. Goliath says:

    I’m lost. Don’t even understand the question, I guess… Well, I had a good run the last few puzzles.

  10. Sari1967 says:

    Got it on first try set up for a good Friday now.

  11. Rusty says:

    Yes, done.

  12. Karthik Durvasula says:

    There are multiple answers

  13. Mad Kev says:

    Another oldie. Are we using safety matches or swan vestas?

  14. Tom Pedersen says:

    I got the “nine” as soon as I read it, the “eight” a short time after.

    I can also get both nine and eight with only two lines.

  15. Tonybargin says:

    Got the nine instantly and about 4 minutes for the 8

  16. Elissa Fazio says:

    Tried to do the survey and when I hit “Finish” I get a dialog box asking if I want to submit my survey, I click OK and then nothing happens. It just keeps trying to connect to surveyshare but I finally gave up after a few minutes. Sorry…

  17. SeleneBlueSky7 says:

    The first one was easy but got stuck with the second one. Not sure whether I’ve got the second solution.

  18. Anders says:

    the first part was very easy, I got that as soon as I looked at it. I still don’t have the second part, but I’m sure it’s something equally silly and I’m just not seeing it yet

  19. Andrew says:

    Another vote for 9 by adding three lines and 8 by adding two, although it’s probably a barred solution given the question definition.

  20. Stu says:

    Hijacking to talk about the survey….since it came out on the same email……!

    I didn’t answer it. Maybe I am odd, but I won’t shell out 4 or 5 quid on a magazine because it has a pretty picture on the cover. I buy a magazine based on the contents. I therefore couldn’t answer the question as none of the covers would make me more likely to buy.

    Am I alone? Does everyone else make their purchasing decisions based on the packaging over the content?

    • Berber Anna says:

      Well, I buy it based on the content, but the cover is what draws me in to take a second look at the content. I can see the picture while I’m browsing, I need to focus to read the text. If the picture inspires my curiosity, I’ll then look at the content.

  21. SeleneBlueSky7 says:

    The survey…I just happen to like blue!!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Found two completely different ways of doing the 9 straight away

  23. Tom Ruffles says:

    Even I can do that one! As quickly as counting to five.

  24. Berber Anna says:

    The nine is easy, but I can only do the eight with two lines…

  25. Richard says:

    Made nine by adding five lines, then made eight by adding a further three lines. Is that right?

  26. Richard says:

    “I buy a magazine based on the contents.” – so which cover’s representation of the magazine’s contents would make you most likely to buy the magazine? Surely you don’t read an entire magazine and then decide whether to buy it, so just saying you buy it based on the contents isn’t quite right. You buy it based on what your expectation of the contents is, presumably based on flicking through it. The question could be rephrased as “if these three magazines were available, and you had to buy one of them based only on the cover, which one would you buy?”

    • Stu says:

      None of them. As far as I could see, each magazine had the same feature article, so I would buy it (or not) based on my interest in the article.
      No, of course I don’t read the whole magazine before buying – I look at the contents page and read the summaries and decide if enough articles interest me.
      To answer the revised question….still no opinion. If the magazine interested me, I would buy the copy that had the least “shelf wear” on it, regardless of the pretty pictures on the cover.
      Like I said….maybe I’m the odd one out and there really are hordes of people who make their buying decision based mainly on the packaging. Personally, I value substance over style every time.

    • Vince says:

      A better way to say it would be, “Which cover makes you most likely to take a second look of the contents of the magazine?”

  27. Timo says:

    do not understand the question.

    i am irritated. had some luck on last puzzles

  28. Lore says:

    I got it for nine in 20sec,
    but eight is still waiting the answer after 5 minutes!!
    Is the same logic behind?

    • Lore says:

      now got it with 5 more min, with 2 or 3 further lines,…
      but I’m not sure about the correctness of the answer gor eight,
      looking forward for the solution on Monday!

  29. Fergus Gallagher says:

    There was no “don’t care” option on the survey for Q2

  30. mittfh says:

    Nine is easy – but I’m struggling to find a use for the third line to produce eight.

    I can produce eight by (a) adding two lines to the existing diagram, (b) adding two lines to the existing diagram and removing one of the existing lines, or (c) adding two lines to the nine produced in the first half of the puzzle.

  31. mertens says:

    1st: 2 seconds
    2nd: 20 seconds

  32. Anonymous says:

    So what’s your favourite pizza topping?

  33. Lazy T says:

    Nine fell into place as I read it, eight took longer,
    I could add two lines and a circle to make a spider

  34. Anonymous says:

    Ah …. now if I were a Frenchman, the solution to ‘eight’ would be ……. ?

  35. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I understand what the question means either. Is it to spell the words “nine” and “eight”? Cause nine is easy, but I don’t want to waste my time trying to find eight only to be told that the question was about something else.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Super easy

  37. Pete says:

    Got the 1st part almost immediately. Then found, what I thought was a really cool solution for the 2nd part; but that only uses 2 additional lines.

  38. missbazilika says:

    uh (-_-)” I got the 9 in a few minutes but I don’t know how to make 8

  39. drupp says:

    Immediately for the 9. 8 took a few minutes. I also can add 2 lines and get 5 – two different ways!

  40. Marion says:

    Have answered both parts of this puzzle- finally. The nine was straight forward enough, the eight took some thinking about.

  41. SteveG says:

    the Nine took about 45 sec. the Eight maybe 4 minutes.

    I also was able to get an Eight with only 2 lines…

  42. Mark Smith says:

    I immediately remembered this one from when I was about seven.

  43. Mickey D says:

    Nine I got within 2 secs, eight I don’t see only when using only two lines…

  44. fluffy says:

    ‘nine’ was trivial and I saw it right away.

    The only three-line ‘eight’ solution I see is one that abuses vector math notation so I’m not sure that was intended.

  45. Adzcliff says:

    Today, I am officially quick, and – more to the point – almost certainly right! This is a first!

  46. Adzcliff says:

    Oh flip! I got 8 (very quickly) using 2 lines! That’s a fail surely?? Bugger…

  47. Anonymous says:

    Got this straight away.
    I remembered it from long ago.
    Not sure my 8 is legit but seems ok.

  48. Berber Anna says:

    Ooh, found a way to make eight with just three lines (so not 5+3)!

  49. mel says:

    Nine was almost instant. Eight took a couple minutes, but felt very satisfying once I caught it.

  50. John Loony says:

    I have found a way of getting 9 with four lines added, but not five. 1(11)1-1-1

  51. duckfish says:

    the second one is harder

    ———— ————

    ———— ————
    I suddenly think of a puzzle
    can you add exactly 4 lines to make this whole thing 8

  52. Toon says:

    about 30 seconds, including the eight one. A much better puzzle than last week’s!

  53. Dannie says:

    David, you never receive copies with the previous letters. As the letters go forward that number could possibly be in the hundreds. But if there’s a particular letter send us an email and maybe we can figure something out.

  54. Albert says:

    Awfully enlightening many thanks, It seems to be like your current readers could possibly want even more blog posts similar to this continue the good effort.

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