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.

A non-mathematical one this week.  What four-letter word is the same when it is read forwards, backwards and upside down?

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.


56 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. ChrisJ says:

    Forwards, backwards and upside down, but not in a mirror.

  2. Stan Klein says:

    a cute puzzle. It took about 3 minutes going through alphabet.

  3. Geodetective says:

    found 4 english words and 5 dutch words. (7 in total, as 2 are “overlapping”). Used caps though.

  4. Fotoflex says:

    Instantly. Happy to be able to solve one.

  5. Stewart says:

    Two minutes but no thanks to the giveaway clues left in the comments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it hard to prevent yourself reading the comments before attempting to solve it? I find it quite easy, but then I’m not mentally handicapped.

    • I Luv Spoilers says:

      I agree with you anonymous
      There are far too many people who post on these threads who are far too quick to take offence
      Like you, I suspect they may have mental ( and self esteem) issues

  6. Jethro says:

    A couple of minutes to get this. Though can’t (yet?) find one that doesn’t rely on using capitals only.

    Shame about the giveaway comments.

  7. Hugh Janus says:


  8. Eddie says:

    Got it after 3 mins.

  9. Figured it fairly quick, based on using capitals – though I am not that awake as I didn’t realise the hint comment was a hint until after reading other comments

  10. Derek says:

    There is a word that does not require the use of capital letters – think solar bodies

  11. 強頭 says:

    yeah, less than a minute from a non-native speaker

  12. Piotr says:

    About 30 seconds for a non-native speaker to find 2 such words, but with eyes on the keyboard and using capitals. Two more, you say? I would have to check the dictionary and that would not be a clean and fair solution.

  13. Sari1967 says:

    Got this weeks really quickly . Not even a second.

  14. mittfh says:

    Fairly easy – the upside down requirement severely limits the number of candidate letters, while the palindromic requirement further limits the number of valid combinations of letters. I reached the answer on the third combination I tried.

    I wonder how many valid words there could be with differing numbers of letters?

  15. Infophile says:

    Figured out two different ones that work in capital letters – one if you consider “upside-down” to mean mirrored, another if you consider it to mean “rotated 180 degrees.”

  16. Kristian says:

    About 2 minutes.

  17. Adzcliff says:

    oooo let me think…

  18. Duncan says:

    I got one straightaway, I’m keen to find out if there are any more answers though.

  19. pete says:

    Reminds me of an old gag, “What cheese is made backwards?”

  20. Don Fillenworth says:

    Got it.

  21. Just Mike says:

    If Richard will accept a certain proper name…then about one second.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I thought about it all morning the I got it just as I went on my midday break.

  23. Laith says:

    yeah fairly simple (unless I missed something)

  24. Karen says:

    XOOX, meaning Kiss hug hug kiss

  25. Found one in about 30 seconds, but there may be others. It helped looking at the keyboard.

  26. Wow, that took me way too long: about 7 minutes, including reading the comments (that weren’t helpful for me at all).

  27. issahamati says:

    Got it after 5 mins. but I was glad

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ages, are the comments used for Richard’s experiments? Does it work in comic sans? Should you read the comments before solving the puzzle and then be annoyed that the hints weren’t good enough? #love these puzzles.

  29. Michael Scharf says:

    took me 15 minutes — wrote a little (python) program and I can confirm there is only one word in english. I did it wrong in the manual attempt and my program showed no result till I realised I was missing a bit…

    There are anyway only 20 possible words, if I am right 😉

  30. Michael Scharf says:

    it is actually 22 potential words….

  31. Barry Goddard says:

    Took me until NOON to solve this.

  32. Jeff Scanlan says:

    Took a while but I solved it.

  33. clessidravuota says:

    Got one in half minute. And I am not British or American (I’m Italian). Not a really hard quiz…

  34. zippy says:

    When it says “when it is read … upside down” does it mean flipped around the mid axis, in which case letters like H and I are okay. Does it mean viewed in a mirror at the top or bottom of the word, in which letters like K are also okay? Does it mean rotated 180 degrees, in which case S is also okay?

  35. Jaleel Hamid says:

    Took me a few minutes. But got it.

  36. I’ve got three: FROG, HARP and ECTOPLASM. I think they might not be the only ones.

  37. Barry Goddard says:

    @John Cartright

    good ones!

    I also thought of IONS, NINA and ONAN

  38. Anonymous says:


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