I'm often disappointed when I encounter math "puzzles" in Professor Layton. If I wanted to solve those I'd just pick up a text book.

106 thoughts on “Puzzled

  1. 4 feet from the floor, 9 feet from the left post and 6 feet from the right.

    1. Close, 3ft from the floor, not 4. At 4 feet high the distance would have to be 12 feet from the left and 8 feet from the right.

      1. I take it back, sorry you are right, Tubstar, I miss read the riddle, damn cell phone


        2. I wanna be, the very best, at solving algebra!
          Dun dun duna!

        3. Haters be like:
          oh, well, thats nice for you, seeing as pokemons is literally just a math education game in disguise now!

          me be like: SHUT UP

        4. Like Professor Layton was
          dun dun dun
          To solve them is my real test, to beat it is my cause
          dun dun dun

        5. I agree with Pokemon master! SCREW EVERYTHING! GOOGLE TIME!

        6. Exactly!

      2. Actually, The Tubstar is right. If you put the scenario on graph paper it becomes pretty easy to see.


    2. Actually the problem is unsolvable due to a lack of constraints.

      First, it never specifies the direction of the shadows relative to the posts, if the shadows share the same direction the light would be much higher.

      Second, it is never specified that the light lies within the same vertical plane formed by the two posts, A third dimension adds new complexity and an abundance of possible solutions.

      1. It’s visually represented in the game. You solve the puzzle by realizing there’s more than one “triangle” to look at. The triangle composed of the ends of the shadows, light source and floor, also creates a triangle composed of the shadow and post. You know their lengths, so you can extrapolate it into the light source’s height.

        It’s a real puzzle. It’s not “math”. Math doesn’t work if you don’t know what you have to work with.

      2. it’s actually easy, the places X, Y, Z where the light could be, are definite by the following equations: (X-27)²+Y²=18²; Z=sqrt(6X-45) +1.
        And the limits are 45>=X>=9; 18>=|Y|; 16>=Z>=1; this taking into consideration that the origin is inthe basement of the left post.
        At this point you may be asking yourself, why the fuck did i write this?, I don’t know, i had some free time and love maths.
        Att. A nerd guy passing by
        PD: Excuse my leaking english, i’m from México.

        1. :) You’ll be in the foreign class!


      3. Your point about it not specifying whether it’s a 2d or 3d puzzle is fair, however only a 2d puzzle gives a neat and simple answer as 4 feet above the floor. If it was a 3d puzzle, then the possible answers would form a locus in the shape of a parabolic curve which is perpendicular to both the floor and a line traced between the 2 posts, the lowest point of said curve being 4 feet from the floor, 9 feet from the left post and 6 feet from the right, in between the 2 posts. You could probably work out some values for where various points on the locus are and come up with a formula for it but it’s a bit beyond the scope of a Professor Layton puzzle.

        1. What did you just say. *smoke comeing from head*

        2. He said “Your point about it not specifying whether it’s a 2d or 3d puzzle is fair, however only a 2d puzzle gives a neat and simple answer as 4 feet above the floor. If it was a 3d puzzle, then the possible answers would form a locus in the shape of a parabolic curve which is perpendicular to both the floor and a line traced between the 2 posts, the lowest point of said curve being 4 feet from the floor, 9 feet from the left post and 6 feet from the right, in between the 2 posts. You could probably work out some values for where various points on the locus are and come up with a formula for it but it’s a bit beyond the scope of a Professor Layton puzzle.”.

        3. ‘-‘ Am I the only One who doesn’t know a sht?

        4. You people must be very fun at parties xP

      4. I’m SO glad I’m not the only one who immediately thought the puzzle was incomplete.

        1. SamuraiOfPokemon

          Head. Doesn’t. Be there. I’m being. Dumbeeeeeerrrrrr…

        2. hah not even a science dweeb can solve it aka the nerd in the comic

  2. I feel the same way. I hate the math puzzles in Professor Layton. It’s like they ran out of cool puzzles and are trying to fill in some blanks here and there :P

  3. Hey, if you skipped math class, that’s not on them. =P *Shot*

    1. I HATE MATH CLASS WITH MY LIFE my teacher sucks she gives us a 20 second lesson and calls it a day I LEARN NOTHING!!!

  4. Yeah i broke my head at this kind of “puzzel” and the answer was an other than i thought or they are so easy that i don´t have to think!

  5. That is not a math equation; that is a riddle.

  6. LOL! i’m loving this!

  7. Actually, since this is math, you could theoretically derive the necessary rules by trial and error just like “normal” logic/move the objects into the right pattern puzzles.

    …but good luck trying that.

  8. I like how Cat is in the same pose when he exits Layton Land.

    1. I think you’re “Rolling” on track!

  9. but it isn’t just a math problem. The puzzle is in finding the part that simplifies the whole thing.

    1. There’s no way to simplify this particular one. You have to use math to solve it.

      1. While it’s true that you can’t really simplify this problem, you can actually solve it using only algebra and some knowledge of the rules of geometry. You could use trigonometry, but it’s not necessary, so I think it still qualifies as a riddle.

        Also: big fan of your work, Celesse, you’re a great artist.

      2. What the? I just realized that you’re the one making this comic. I remembered you from years back, from deviantart I think, and thought that I had just randomly ran into you on the internet.

        Small world…

      3. Not really, just draw it out to simplify it. There is no math except addition here, and thats pretty simple. On the left, for every foot in height the shadow’s length is 3 feet, so for every foot in height you add to your drawing the shadow must be 3 feet longer. You do the same thing with the right and just find where the two lengths equal 15 and the heights match.

        1. Well yeah, that works too, but only because they picked nice round values for this version of the problem. For the general solution you need algebra.

  10. harleyquinnwazhere

    True that

  11. You should do more Gamer cat as sidekick art! I’m a guy, but he looks soooo cute as Luke here. He really looks good in anything you dress him in. More gamercat cosplay, haha.

    1. Well, I just couldn’t picture him as Layton, so he got thrown into Luke’s role LOL. I think it suits him too. Thanks!

      1. Let’s Try… Mmmh… Dragon Ball Z Suit… Or maybe Pokémon Suit. Ha ha.

        1. Dress him up as a youngster from Pokemon! Heh… Joey and his Rattata.

  12. It looks like gamercat knows Bill Gates

    1. He wishes!

      1. ahahhaha everyone does, or at least, deal with his money :)
        By the way, i love your comics: your drawing style is amazing and all the scenes are brilliant!
        I wish you to become as rich and famous as Bill Gates! xD

  13. so GC is actually kinda clever ._.

  14. Ugh. I hate when that happens. Its one of the things that reallly annoyed me about playing Puzzle Agent 2. Sometimes I couldn’t solve a puzzle because it was based of some annoying math equation, or the fact that I couldn’t remember offhand Pi precisely 10 digits deep.

  15. Do one About Mario, Dragon Ball Z, Or at Least Pokemon… Those are the games I play… (I play too Zelda, but only the one of Skyward sword. I did not said to put about Legend Of Zelda, ’cause there are already Legend of Zelda Comics…)

    PD:I am from Peru, so dont Judge if its not PD. Okay, the thing is. I dont play those games, Like Portal, Assasins Creed, Or Legend Of Zelda… Uh..

    1. No offence, mate, but she can draw pictures of whatever she wants. You telling her that she shouldn’t do something because you don’t play those games isn’t exactly fair for the people who do.

  16. :PostOnAllTheComics!:

  17. Hehe, cute, as always. I haven’t really played Professor Layton, but I heard alot of good things about it, but never got around to it, seeing GC playing it makes me want to play now -twitch twitch- my friend Rhi-chan has it, so next time I see her, I will DEFINATELY ask her if I can borrow it…

  18. wait. if GC can write, why dosn’t use the good ol’ white board and dry erase markers to communicate? it would fix a lot of problems.

    1. That is the question.
      You see, he was playing one of those Final Fantasy Tactics games and a Judge proclaimed that NO WHITE BOARDS OR DRY-ERASE MARKERS WERE ALLOWED!
      Or not. It’s a secret to everybody.

  19. I hate that as well. The puzzles should test how clever you are at dismantling the problem in creative ways by spotting some loose thread or using some trick, or at least a sliding puzzle.

    Putting in a bunch of math problems just cheapens the whole thing, and it certainly makes things more difficult for any younger players.

    1. Ugh, no sliding puzzles. I hate sliding puzzles.

  20. Its crazy these things keep appearing in more and more games, and even my mmos now. First with the secret world, and now with GW2! wwhhhhyyy!

    1. Because this isn’t math. It’s shown inside the game. Seriously, people, read the first few comments. =P


  22. Woot, proportions! The only type of math problem that I know!

  23. Ooooh man.Gotta love Professor Layton~ >w< Lol,loving the comics.Thanks for updating! o7o Can't wait till le next,derp… ouo

  24. Totally see what you did there XD

    Can’t be bothered to solve a math problem in a videogame you want to progress at? Make a comic about it and let the fans do the job for you.

    The first comments here just prove my point XDDDD

    1. The first few comments also proved that it wasn’t actually a math problem. =P

  25. OMG I LOVE YOU! and i love games. and kitties. and my cat is black. and named Tifa. and I’m a girl.



  26. Must… Post… In… All… Comics… NOW!!!!

  27. >: I’m so terrible at the majority of Layton’s puzzles. TwT Most the time…they’re trying to trick you instead of using some actual logic. XD My mother plays the games as well and it’s pretty interesting to compare how differently we think to solve problems.

  28. I actually really love the math puzzles in Layton games (probably only because I’m a physicist, but still). Why think to get the answer when I could just use math and let it solve itself? :D

  29. nothing to do here…

  30. i had the same problem with that “puzzle” lol

  31. Don’t mean to be “that guy” but this isn’t algebra, it’s geometry.

  32. Actually, it’s trigonometry.

  33. Eevee Freak Of The World!!!

    OH MY GOD HE LOOKS SO CUTE IN HIS LITTLE OUTFIT! (squeals for 16 minutes!)

  34. If the light is between the two posts, then the light is four feet above the ground.
    If the light is to the right of the two posts, then it is 16 feet above the ground.
    If the light is to the left of the two posts, then you’ve got to rotate reality into ct’hulhu’s arse, and dig a few feet down. (Actually I’m joking – the infinity wraps around, and it ends up about 14 feet underground, on the right hand side. It just ends up casting shadows towards the posts, and _only_ towards the post, from underground. >_o Or it’s in two places at once, which is somehow more friendly…. or the lighting engine in this reality is remarkably friendly, the skybox wraps around to the underground, and the light is 14 feet underground and projecting _very very far_ to light everything _but_ behind the two posts.)

    The fourth case still has the light functionally undergound, 2 feet under… just… doing the shadow thing again. Or, again, in two places.

    This, kids, is why although you can make a profit sometimes by considering carefully what happens if you toggle certain bits in a problem, sometimes you’ll just make your brain want to reach out your ears and slap you about the face a few times.

    See, if the light’s between the two posts, then the left shadow goes left, and the right shadow goes right. They’re both lines, the left one goes right three feet for every foot up, and the right one is a 2:1. (3+2) = 5, 15/5 = 3 total shadow-lengths between the posts, so the light goes three more post-heights up between the posts.

    If both shadows are going left, then a post fifteen feet closer to the light shortens its shadow by a foot, so the light is 30 feet to the right of the right post, and half as far up.

    If both shadows are going _right_, then one shadow is cast by the ray (y-1)=-x/3, and one is cast by (y-1)=-(x-15)/2, which only intersect in the real plane underground. But since we can observe the shadows being cast, we know that the light is aboveground, and we’re considering a case beyond elementary algebra as I know it. o.o Since we’re only adding and multiplying by real numbers there’s no complex solutions on what graph paper is supposed to model!

    1. Aperture Science Online Catbot

      Phew! That shorted out some frankenturrets! (PS if you take offence to this comment, i mean none.)

  35. Great, now I wanna see Ace Attorney featured in GamerCat.

  36. ME.

  37. Hint Coins are dumb

    Hint Coin 1: This is actually an easy puzzle
    Hint Coin 2: Just think on it.
    Hint Coin 3: This is not a hard puzzle:
    Super Hint: [ACTUALLY HELPFUL]

  38. Wiki

  39. … Ok I admit I am fully an idiot when it comes to math… but isn’t this a trick question? It says the posts are both a foot high… the light is situated between the two posts… so wouldn’t the light be 1 foot high? ….This keeps striking me as one of those problems that is trying to make you think harder than you have to…

    Then again, I suck at this kind of math… terribly.

  40. Uh, i don’t get it. Did he copy it down and have the kid answer it or was it accidentaly replaced?

  41. Would anyone be interested in a comic about Gamercat doing an online word search or crossword puzzle.

  42. Uhhhh… :/

    1. What does Uhhhh mean?

  43. Wow.

  44. What makes this puzzle so interesting to me isn’t the lack of information relating to a third planar axis, but the relatively infinite solutions caused by such a situation. Think about it. When we remove just one variable, the amount of possible solutions immediately falls to a definite number. In this case, the number is 2, but through logical query it drops to 1. The thought that adding one simple variable grants an immediate range that touches the planes of infinity potentially shows how fragile reality truly is on a logical level. As is, a human mind can not completely and truly comprehend infinity. A human can, however, be aware of it. This problem shows us that we may never truly comprehend nor be able to use all parts of our reality, including the quantum realm.

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