Answer to the Friday Puzzle….


On Friday I posted this puzzle…
coverCan you circle exactly four of these numbers such that the total is twelve?



If you have not tried to solve it, have a go now.  For everyone else, the answer is after the break.

You turn it upside down and do this…..


Did you solve it?

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.


48 comments on “Answer to the Friday Puzzle….

  1. OHW says:

    I figured… I just wasn’t sure if thzt was allowed.

    • Gareth says:

      In creative problem solving, everything’s allowed as long as it leads to a correct answer… 😉 I got the answer, but found the wording a bit ambiguous – “circle four numbers”, to me, reads like one circle around four numbers, not four circles around one number.

  2. Anne Elk says:

    I didn’t get it. So obvious… maybe I was distracted because we weren’t allowed to post comments on Friday. And now we are.

  3. vldr says:

    Shouldn’t the total be 11? Oh no wait…. 😉

  4. That was pointless says:

    I don’t even consider these kinds of puzzles as legitimate. I mean, if you’re going to just throw the rules out of the window, how are you supposed to decide which rules to throw out in the first place? In the initial puzzle you are faced with two distinct numbers and asked to circle four of them, if you’re okay with changing the numbers by turning them upside down, then the original puzzle is meaningless – you’ve just decided one way of breaking the rules is okay and not others. Another solution would be to draw a circle, circle that circle (considering it a zero) then circle two sixes You’d have drawn 4 circles and circled numbers adding to 12. It’s an equally valid “pointless logic” to the actual solution.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Some puzzles are better than others…

  6. Evan says:

    Haha, I KNEW it was upside down! I couldn’t think of any other answer!

  7. ian says:

    If you had stipulated that the numbers were written on a piece of paper, then that would have been reasonable. As it is – how can you turn pixels on a web page upside down? Is that a standard feature of web browsers that I’ve been missing? Should I stand on my head, should I turn the monitor upside down, should I print the damn thing out and turn that upside down?

    • Ken Haley says:

      Come on. You can’t circle the numbers while they’re in the browser to begin with…unless you scribble on your monitor, or import the image into a program that allows you to draw circles…which is also taking it out of the web browser. I think “circle … numbers” reasonably implies imagining the numbers are on a piece of paper.

      It was a stretch, but I don’t think the puzzle was unreasonable. I got it…and so did several others.

    • Sam Rothstein says:

      Feature of windows…. CTRL ALT Down Arrow

  8. Barry Goddard says:

    I have nothing to say

  9. Roy Gillett says:

    I thought that was probably the answer but but when I turned my tablet upside down the auto – rotate turned the diagram the right way up😂

  10. Barry Goddard says:

    Some with the same name as me has already posted. But this is my answer.

    I circled four of the ones. Then tilted/folded the screen so it read XII. That is twelve in Times Roman font.

    I think another answer is an infinitely huge circle centered approx on the other side of the universe. This will encircle some of the corner numbers but not all of them if appropriately slanted.

    Circles that overlap may also solve the puzzle provided a double overlap cancels out.

    So thus there are many creative solutions to this puzzle. Those who’s creativity failed them should not be complaining as such,

    • Slange Navarr says:

      What colour is the sky in your world, Barry?

    • Bial Boy says:

      That’s weird, because someone with a different name from me has already posted above.
      What a spooky coincidence.

    • Gabby Bollard says:

      BG, looking at your star chart, the Moon is definitely in Uranus.

    • Garry Boddard says:


    • Barry Goddard says:

      @Slange Navarr Thank you for your kind words and support. Being able to see further and deeper than others is not always appreciated. Often when I see new horizons others just see culdesacs.

      @Gabby Bollard Star charts are much more than just stereotypical Sun charts. A deep study of the art will repay many times over. Mocking just leads to ignorance.

      There are many answers to the puzzle, I am humbled to have been able to contribute several that other’s have not previously thought of.

  11. I found this one a doddle (for once I got it right first time)! I’m very happy. 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    Doesnt say 1 circle, just to circle 4 numbers. I encircled the first 2 numbers on the first 2 lines. Done.

  13. Lazy T says:

    6 = 9, 22 = 11,
    next friday red is blue and rain falls up,
    can’t wait!

  14. Stu says:

    I circled 161, 616, 161, and 1 leaving 6 and 6 which add up to twelve. Done!

    • Per says:

      If you consider that every ‘I’ is a spitting image of a vertical bar and looks nothing like a ‘1’, you only have to circle four sixes to leave two sixes adding up to twelve.

      On the other hand the sixes look more like upside down nines than sixes.

    • ctj says:

      Stu, yours is the best answer. richard never specified that the total had to be the total of the numbers inside the circles.

  15. Anonymous says:

    One can also circle |6| and 6 yielding abs(6)+6=12

    • ctj says:

      alas, this approach fails because the problem requires you to circle four “numbers.” |6| is just one number, not three.

  16. @ScepticTank says:

    I don’t understand why so many are upset by this. With the image the “right way up” there is no correct solution (regardless of the size of any circles) so the only variable must be the aspect, i.e. rotate the image 180º. Job done. I did it in less than 60secs, but certainly not immediately; I had to go through the foregoing logic to get there.

    As for rules it’s the same as how the Law works. If it doesn’t say you can’t, you can.

  17. fotoflex2013 says:

    I had that answer, by not using the screen, but a piece of paper.
    Just like writing 1000 by folding a piece of paper.

  18. The other Matt says:

    I saw instantli the ones are able to be opposite down. (And wen know the kind of Wisemans Puzzle). And of course, i meant its allowed to use just one circle…
    So i got this solution on saturday. Any questions ? :

  19. Bill T. says:

    I wsn’t smart enough to come up with the answer, therefore the solution posted is ballocks.

  20. Stev says:

    This one is a good example of why I never attempt these puzzles.

  21. Pete A says:

    There is a total of 12 numbers: circling any of them of them does not change this fact 🙂

  22. Tom Evans says:

    “Circle four of these numbers so that the total is twenty four” No problem, around 3 seconds.

  23. Natalia says:

    Richard,are you on medicines right now?

  24. Joe DiFeo says:

    1 circle around each group of 3 numbers gives you 4 circles and a total of 12 numbers…lol

  25. Katlyn says:

    Hi JanJamm and Sam,

  26. Merlin says:

    added internet site cannote not unblocked after erase the line

  27. あなたが誰であるか、| ビジターリーダー私は、正規のですか?この記事これを掲示 実際には 気難しいです。
    土日祝も発送 全商品オープニング価格

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