Brainteaser: Can You Find That Cleverly Hidden ‘Y’ in Under 30 Seconds?

September 5, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2019

Some of us soared through our school days, others peaked at college, and many are still highly functioning smart people into their adulthood. But if you secretly think you’re a genius, then here’s the right puzzle for you.

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Within a maze of letter Xs there hides a singular Y, buried among the almost identical silhouettes of its alphabetical neighbor. Take a look at the first puzzle picture below and see if you can prove your genius; can you find the “Y” in under 20 seconds?

If it takes you a while, then don’t be discouraged, because the letter is cleverly hidden. Some may find the first picture easy, of course, but that’s precisely the reason there are five more.

Puzzle 1

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Puzzles, brainteasers, and mind games keep our brains sharp and can help guard against cognitive decline later in life. “The thinking involved in solving puzzles can be characterized as a blend of imaginative association and memory,” says Dr. Marcel Danesi, writing for Psychology Today.

“It is this blend, I would claim, that leads us to literally see the pattern or twist that a puzzle conceals,” he added. “It is a kind of ‘clairvoyance’ that typically provokes an ‘Aha!’ effect.”

Illustration – Shutterstock | Cookie Studio

If that sounds appealing to you, and if you enjoyed puzzle number one, then you can scroll down for an additional challenge. Puzzles 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 show a maze of X’s with one hidden Y, just like before, but with more Xs camouflaging their Y-shaped stowaway than before.

If you are motivated by an element of competition, then why not see if you can identify all six Ys in under 2 minutes?

Puzzle 2

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Puzzle 3

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If you have solved the three puzzles so far in under 60 seconds, then you’re well on track to complete your challenge of all six in under 2 minutes.

Puzzle 4

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Puzzle 5

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Puzzle 6

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While puzzles can amuse us and keep our brains functioning well, many people find it gratifying to find evidence for their intellect. There’s also nothing like a viral puzzle to liven up a water cooler conversation, so if you manage to prove your keen observational skills with this six-part puzzle, then consider challenging your colleagues.

In addition, here is a fun fact: X and Y have a long and illustrious history. When the Greeks borrowed the Phoenician alphabet (after the Phoenicians had themselves borrowed it from the Egyptians, who invented it in the first place), they added a few “homemade” letters to the end.

Illustration – Pixabay | geralt

Mental Floss explains further. “When Alexander the Great’s empire came into contact with Rome later on,” they explain, “the Romans borrowed a few Greek words and adapted their alphabet again in order to write them.”

They borrowed Y and Z and promptly attached them to the tail end of the alphabet. Hence, X and Y are actually accidental neighbors.

Illustration – Pixabay | rawpixel

If you managed to find all the Ys in the six-part puzzle under 2 minutes and are looking for further challenges, then here is an engaging math problem. If that doesn’t flummox you, then consider casting your eye over this perplexing optical puzzle as well.

How many Ys did you find today? Did you locate all six in under 2 minutes?