Gina Vaynshteyn
June 09, 2015 12:02 pm

A couple months ago, a high-school math problem went bonkers viral, frustrating the good people of the Internet by the hundreds (if not thousands). It was a word problem, and it was confusing (we spent, like, HOURS trying to figure out the logic problem, and we ended up looking up the answer), and ugh —MATH. And now, not one, but TWO more math problems have surfaced via The Guardian —and they’re driving everyone crazy. Again.

The first one seems easy enough — it’s a visual logic problem that asks, “Which is the odd one out and why?”

Is it the smallest square over on the right? Is it the green square for being green? Is it the red square with no border? The answer, really, is not so easy after-all. At first, I figured the “odd one out” is the green square, because it’s the only shape that’s not red. But that seemed too simple, so I asked the HelloGiggles office, and answers ranged from “The smallest square on the right because it’s the smallest,” to “there IS no right answer” to “the limit does not exist!”  According to The Guardian, however, it’s the leftmost square. Writer Alex Bellos explains, “By a process of elimination we realize that the odd one out is the leftmost figure because it is the only one that is not an odd one out! The leftmost figure is special because it is not special. It shares redness, squareness, size and border with other shapes.” Mind = blown.

Tanya Khovanova, the human who created the problem, devised the problem to be “funny as well as fun.” She also wanted to point out puzzles like this one actually penalize brains for thinking creatively. So don’t feel too bad if the leftmost square wasn’t your first answer (like it was for me) —it might just mean you got to your answer in a more creative way that makes sense to you.

The second problem came from a first grade admission test for a Hong Kong-based elementary school. It asks which spot the car is parked in. You get twenty seconds to solve it.

If you’re scratching your head (like I was —clearly I went into the right field, guys), stop overthinking it. The answer to this problem is actually way easier than you think.

Are you ready?

It’s 87. All you need to do is turn the image upside down, and you’ll notice the numbers themselves are just upside down. The spots read: 91, 90, 89, 87, 86.

The inventor of the puzzle, David Bodycombe, reached out to The Guardian and told the site he “came up with the idea while in a car park in Portugal two decades ago and published it in a 2002 IQ puzzle book for Marks & Spencer.” You know what that means? There’s a whole book of math problems like these out there, just waiting to drive the Internet insane.

(Images via The Guardian)

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