Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Crosspatch Puzzle, 1959

Crosspatch Puzzle, 1959

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 22, 2012

Crosspatch Puzzles come and go in popularity. They were popular in the Children’s Friend about 50 years ago.

You’ll need to print out the puzzle. (Some of you may be able to stretch the image around in a way to avoid needing to print it out, but don’t tell us how — wouldn’t it be more fun to replicate the retro experience?) Hold the paper at eye level with the “riddle” side at the tip of your nose and tilt the page slowly until you’re able to read the question. Then turn the page so the “answer” side is at the tip of your nose and read the answer.

Let us know in the comments that you’ve solved it, but please don’t give away either the riddle or the answer!





  1. A guy walked into a barber shop and asked, “Can I get a haircut for half price if you only cut one side?”

    The barber said “OK.”

    And the guy replied, “Then only cut the outside.”

    Comment by Mark B. — February 22, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  2. I can’t believe that such a thing was hand-lettered. It would be a relatively easy thing to build today with even the simplest graphics program. But getting the spacing and legibility by hand is an accomplishment!

    @Mark B. Very clever and very apropos.

    Comment by The Other Clark — February 22, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  3. I remember seeing puzzles like this as a kid, so I suspect that it may have been from the Children’s Friend around 1960. However, looking down your nose to read this gets complicated by trifocals, a problem my 8 year old self did not share.

    And Mark, that might be a good way to get a buzz cut. But I’m on your side.

    Comment by kevinf — February 22, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  4. This is new to me. I love it. I have to figure out how to do it.

    Comment by Carol — February 22, 2012 @ 12:05 pm


    This is the same principle. I’ve tried to draw pictures like this, but this writing and crossing is really amazing.

    Comment by Carol — February 22, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  6. Solved it with the computer. Thanks!

    Comment by HokieKate — February 22, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  7. Kevin, your memory is better than mine–but it appears that our eyesight is about the same.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 22, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  8. I had trifocle troubles too. I finally took them off and tried again.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — February 22, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

  9. Neat optical trick. I couldn’t guess the answer, but it wasn’t hard to read once I figured out how.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — February 27, 2012 @ 11:55 am

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