Mathematician and ace puzzler Martin Gardner died two years ago today.  I thought it would be good to use the occasion to celebrate his work with a little YouTube video, and this is what I came up with….

Any idea about the solution?  Feel free to spread the word!


    1. If so many people say “passed away” then maybe that is correct. Besides, there is no afterlife!

    2. Martin Long is correct that “passed away” is the right term. Anonymous is right about that should be “passed on to the afterlife”.

    3. If you believe in that. Otherwise, it’s passed away.

      Anyway, it is fairly easy to see how it’s done, but is clever in it’s implementation. I think I prefer the one posted the other day though as that’s a little less easy to spot.

  1. Don’t understand the question. There are five face elements above the middle and five face elements below the middle throughout the whole procedure.

    1. Yes, but one on the bottom and one on the top have the ability to be a complete face, while they can also make a face by pairing if desired. So you can “hide” another element by pairing the element with another, and you can reveal all elements by letting them stand alone.

      I didn’t know the faces and rectangles version of this puzzle, I’d only seen the “12 or 13 men” animation, example here

      It’s a great illusion 🙂

  2. I only discovered this recently but you can jump to parts of a youtube video by pressing number keys on your keyboard.

    Use 3 and 8, to jump between forward and after on video above.

  3. Thanks for remembering Martin Gardner, Richard. He is sorely missed. As to his passing, I’d say “past his expiration date” is more accurate than any variation on “passed,” which implies he was going somewhere else.

  4. Isn’t there a similar illusion with 12 monkeys printed on two paper disks with a rivet in the middle that allows you to rotate them one inside the other? There was a racist version that had 12 “chinamen”.

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