It’s the Friday Puzzle!



A few days ago I set a caption competition.  I am delighted to say that the winner was Mark, with the caption ‘Goat to man: ‘Buy your own book”.  Mark please get in touch and I will send you a free signed copy of Rip It Up.  Talking of which, this wonderful book (I might be biased) has just come out in paperback.  Just saying.

OK, to the puzzle.  Please do NOT post your answer, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

A man buys 10 trees. Can he plant the 10 trees in 5 rows with 4 trees in each row?
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.

49 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. tintagelphil says:

    I got it i think! Do i get a gold star?

  2. Kris says:

    Puzzle solved in 20mins

  3. Danny says:

    I’ll never figure this out. Too tricky for me. *orders your book on Amazon*

  4. Anne Elk says:

    Ah, my self-satisfied run of success with the Friday Puzzles has now ended 🙂 It would have taken me a fortnight to get this so I looked it up. And even though I now know the answer I *still* can’t make it work. Epic fail on my part.

  5. Andrew says:

    Maybe clarify not in a straight line?

    • Anne Elk says:

      I can also make it work if we’re allowed to bend the rows. Surely that’s not allowed…

    • Eddie says:

      Definitely not allowed. The lines are dead straight and in the same plane.

    • Anne Elk says:

      Eddie: Thanks. Good. I’m happy to fail if I’ve understood the rules correctly. If it’s a trick (like bendy rows) then it’s less satisfying.

  6. sirkitkat says:

    trail & error: 2e guess was bingo

  7. Eddie says:

    Currently on my 5th piece of A4.

  8. Baker's Dozen says:

    He paid for them, he can do what the fuck he likes with them.

  9. Luis says:

    easy, few seconds to check.

  10. Colin Adams says:

    Got it in about 1 minute

  11. Drew Burdett says:

    About 5 mins, and I needed to draw a few failures before I was struck with inspiration.

  12. Julia says:

    unfortunately I read the comments

  13. Gail Hatton says:


  14. Carl says:

    That quite funny I was looking at this Yesterday so I know 2 answers.

  15. Elunedb says:

    I think I get a gold star too. Took about 10 mins of fiddling around with pen and paper until I realised how it needed to work. Did also get the seven-row version but I think that’s cheating as the rows aren’t separate.

  16. Gabriel says:

    Got it! Took me an hour…yikes! Used one squared and three blank sheets of paper…

  17. Edgar says:

    I don’t suppose the answer is “Not by himself. He’ll need some help.”, is it?

  18. Ken Haley says:

    I found at least 4 different answers. How to draw them on Monday?

  19. Mike Torr says:

    Got it. Five seconds.

  20. Yes – I got it in a flash within about a second. I thought it was going to be more difficult than it actually is, but it suddenly came to me.

  21. Duncan says:

    I’ve seen this before but I’ve got something to say about the semantics – though it will have to wait until Monday.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I got a solution in about 30 seconds. The nub of this I think is the definition of a row. Maybe line would have been better. My solution is both satisfying and unsatisfying. Satisfying is that it’s neat and fulfils what was asked but unsatisfying in that I wouldn’t call the lines I used rows.

    • Steve says:

      Sorry. Anonymous was me. The nub of this I think is the definition of a row. Maybe line would have been better. My solution is both satisfying and unsatisfying. Satisfying is that it’s neat and fulfils what was asked but unsatisfying in that I wouldn’t call the lines I used rows.

  23. Steve says:

    Strictly speaking the answer/solution is Yes or No. I got Yes in about 30 seconds.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Don’t know if I’m getting better at this or just got lucky this week, but I figured it out in about 1 min. Either way, I feel like a superstar lol.

  25. mgm75 says:

    I had an inkling and looked it up and discovered I was right 🙂

  26. L.Long says:

    Solved it before finishing the paragraph.
    But I was cheating…I use this as an example of thinking about problems in my electronics class.

  27. Monty Herr says:

    I got it….about 3 minutes

  28. ubi dubium says:

    Also got it in a flash. I’ll take a gold star too.

  29. Martha says:

    What, a whole day and no one’s given away the answer yet?

  30. L Beau says:

    Wow, first time the answer has appeared to me in a flash! Got it in 1 second! No idea where it came from, it just appeared in my head. 😀

  31. issahamati says:

    i do not solve it ,

  32. Sandy Tabor says:

    Got it, thanks to John Bowden.

  33. Sruart Ferguson says:

    liked this one, it took me a good minute and a half, only about 10 seconds though when I properly started to think rather than just randomly putting trees down in my imagination, second time in a row for that, need to start thinking rather than just going for pot luck

  34. Kittyd66 says:

    I got straight to the answer in less than 5 minutes

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