It’s the Friday 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.

Can you place six X’s on this noughts and crosses board without making three-in-a-row in any direction?


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.

92 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. 10 seconds. Hope I’m not doing it wrong

  2. Chris says:

    Easy unless I’m missing something ? 10 secs

  3. Anonymous says:

    15 secs

  4. Garry says:

    Solved, <5 minutes.

  5. Chris says:

    Slightly more interestingly, prove there are only two solutions.

  6. Kristian says:

    A minute, because I had to open paint. I don’t think my solution is the desired one though.

  7. Yup, got it. Approx. 30 seconds.

  8. Baker's Dozen says:

    Yes. What’s the puzzle? And what’s a naught?

  9. sushey says:

    Five minutes to clean the whiteboard, five minutes trying, 10 seconds after finding a different approach.
    Nice one, I really like this puzzle!

  10. Anne Elk says:

    About a minute.

  11. Anonymous says:

    yes …. sssssss

  12. Eddie says:

    Got it on second attempt. Great puzzle.

  13. Anonymous says:

    too easy

  14. The Masked Twit says:

    One second
    As many different solutions as you like.
    Suspect my answer may not be the one Richard gives however.

  15. ivan says:

    I would be interested to Chris’s proof of two solutions, because I have a proof that there is only one solution (treating rotations and reflections as equivalent).

  16. Pitmonster says:

    Got in less than 30 seconds.

    First one I’ve got in a while though

  17. Doraemon says:

    Solved less than 15min 😀

  18. ChrisR says:

    Yes, < 10 seconds

  19. 2 unique solutions, taking account of rotations etc.

  20. Ratt Mutter says:

    Pen and paper… under 10 seconds!

  21. mgm75 says:

    Figuring it out in about ten seconds.

  22. mittfh says:

    About half a minute or so, brainpower only (imagining the positions rather than drawing them). I wonder how solutions there’d be for twelve Xs on a 4×4 grid / twenty Xs on a 5×5 grid?

  23. Stevie says:

    Maybe twenty seconds. It’s interesting that nobody’s chuntered about Dave’s spoiler. I guess readers have realised how easy it is to try solve the puzzle before looking at comments.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t say anything about them having to go in the boxes…

    • Anonymous says:

      15 seconds or so. It’s even easier if you flip it to say “Can you play three O’s in a way which stops X making a winning line? OR I’ve got it horribly wrong and embarrassed myself on the Internet. And not for the first time…

    • Hugh Janus says:

      I’ve seen the photos

    • Slange Navarr says:

      Brilliant, Janus. Thank you, as ever, for your laser-sharp one-liners. It would be a dark world without your wit.

    • ChrisR says:

      re first couple of comments – – it’s a noughts and crosses board – there are certain areas which are out of bounds 🙂
      and i do like the idea of the complementary problem with the 3 ‘O’s – that’s like playing the game and stopping your opponent from winning

  25. Miss Chili says:

    5 seconds, else I’m wrong as rain!

  26. Anonymous says:

    By far the easiest Friday puzzle I’ve seen in a while! It took longer to find a pen and paper than to do it!

  27. Skatz says:

    10 seconds, easy one this week

  28. Anonymous says: 21 seconds

  29. Brock says:

    Yup got it in one second.

  30. james says:

    what part of dont post your reply did you not get….

  31. It took me 3 tries and about 15 seconds. I started intuitively, and when that failed the 2nd time, I went about it algorithmically, which worked right away. It’s a nice, easy puzzle which activates our puzzler just enough to feel accomplished, which brings down our guard for upcoming, more devious games.

  32. Bert says:

    I love how every Friday there is a new puzzle posted and in the direction it says “Do not post the answer” but consistently, some twit within the first 0-20 comments has posted the solution. Takes all the fun out of it. Thanks Dave.

  33. Skip says:

    took about 15 secs

  34. Anonymous says:

    10 seconds. Then 5 more seconds with a mirror. XD

  35. Suzuki says:

    8-10 secs

  36. Jeff Scanlan says:

    Took me about 2-3 minutes.

  37. Joshua Prettyman says:

    About 10 seconds

  38. VicinCA says:

    < 30 s with paper and pencil

  39. I think there is only one solution. But if you rotate the grid through 90 degrees, you get what looks like a second solution. I count the two as just one solution. Has anyone got a solution that is not “the same” in this sense?

  40. About 20 seconds. I found it easier to do the negative of the puzzle, i.e. placing three crosses in places where they would block all possible rows of three for the other six places.

  41. Paul Durrant says:

    read the question, got the answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously it would have been more impressive if you had got the answer without reading the question.

  42. Fotoflex says:

    Got it. Third attempt.

  43. Isn’t this just completely trivial and obvious? Took about 3 seconds to draw.

  44. Hal Harris says:

    Very easy one.

  45. Yordoc says:

    about 3 secs … too easy

  46. Calgacus says:

    Infinite number of solutions possible, but got one that Richard might agree with.

  47. Cymon says:

    Took me an embarrassingly long 30 seconds to figure that out.

  48. Phil H says:

    I also managed to put six noughts on the board at not get three in a row

  49. Tom says:

    Yes. Yes I can.

  50. Caoimhe says:

    Just got it in 30 seconds.

  51. Hazel says:

    About a minute, altogether. Tried 2 different ideas, only one worked!

  52. Anders says:

    not too difficult. but as usual the wording allows a trivial non-solution solution. three xes slightly off center in each box makes them not align in a row. but even without such nonsense about 30 seconds

  53. Diane says:

    About 10 seconds once I finally got frustrated and picked up a pencil.

  54. Anonymous says:

    about 5 seconds

  55. […] alt="Little Girl 2014 Jigsaw Puzzle” […]

  56. alain b says:

    nice, if you have children, the X give 2 answer together

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