School-Safe Puzzle Games

The 12 Dots

12 dots printable puzzle

Don’t despair with this amusing printable puzzle (also known as the 12 point problem):


Starting with a three by four matrix of dots (see image) you must connect all the dots via five straight lines PLUS you have to finish where you started.


Can you do it?!

Thanks to Bilbao for submitting!


Note: Answers to the 12 Dots puzzle can be viewed in picture format and word/description format below. Check to see what our puzzle masters have come up with!

19 Comments to “The 12 Dots”


  1. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile

    These types of puzzles are fun, because they always make you literally think outside the box. My approach is to draw a much larger box than the one given, and look for patterns that will allow me to satisfy the requirements.


    There is no requirement that you start on one of the target dots, only that you “finish where you started.” There is also no requirement that the terminus of any line be on a target dot, so one of my termini will be located in the space betwixt dots.


    For this one, I ended up needing a grid of dots with 4 rows and 8 columns. Let’s number the dots using the system (row#) – (column#) so that the dot in the upper left corner is 1-1, and the dot in the lower right is 4-8. My target area of 3×4 dots for this exercise is the 12 dot segment which includes 2-3 thru 2-6, 3-3 thru 3-6, and 4-3 thru 4-6.




    1: Start at 4-1, draw a line to 4-8
    2: Draw a line to 1-2
    3: Draw a line to mid-point between 3-4, 3-5, 4-4, & 4-5
    4: Draw a line to 1-7
    5: Draw a line to 4-1


    I have connected all of the target dots, all of the lines are joined in a loop, and I’ve ended where I started.


  2. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Gotta ask… is this without lifting the pencil off the page?
    cool just to not try to hard without knowing that.


  3. RK | Founder | Profile

    Hi there Suineg- you have to do it without lifting the pencil off the page
    Tough!


  4. Migrated | Profile

    Well this is my solution. I hope the link works.


    http://tinyurl.com/y5vm4xg


  5. Falwan | Profile

    I don’t know what hoppened to “smart-kit” site on my computer..


    I can only open it with a proxy now!!


    maybe my security settings on my computer…


    I don’t know what the heck happened!!


  6. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Ok, I have done it, its harder that the 9 point problem and even harder than the 12 points problems, the goes to the initial point is really hard, cool puzzle bilbao.
    The solution is a triangle with a kind of boomerang overlap on top; ok a little better explanation like this: from top to botton and left to right( 3 rows of 4 points)
    14………………15
    ….1..2..3..4………
    …………………..
    ……5..6..7..8…….
    ………17…………
    16….9..10.11.12….13
    starting at imaginary point 13 line 1 to imaginary point 14 covering points(8,2)
    line 2 from 14 to 17 covering points(1,6),line 3 from 17 to 15 covering points(4,7),line 4 from 15 to 16 covering points (3,5), line 5 from 16 to 13 covering points (9,10,11,12), cool it was hard


  7. Migrated | Profile

    Sorry, I realised I didn’t finish where I started. Back to square one!


  8. bizarette18 | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    You start just left of the lowest left dot and draw up on a slant through the left of the dot above and through the right of the top left dot almost to the top of the paper. Then you draw down on a slant through the left of the top dot of the next column and the right of the middle dot, and continue to almost the bottom of the page. Repeat in reverse so you come out just to the right of the lowest right dot. Then draw across through the four lowest dots to complete.


  9. Hendy | Profile

    Can the paper be folded?


  10. RK | Founder | Profile

    Hi Hendy- you can solve the puzzle without folding the paper


  11. joe | Profile

    Ive done it but I cant draw it on here :(
    Funny I had a similar one a year ago and it was still really difficult but I remembered a clue!


  12. 3 Men by the Seaside | Smart-Kit Puzzles and Games | Guest

    [...] Also from Bilbao: the 12 Dots problem Share | « Subtle Energy [...]


  13. awantika kashyap | Profile

    1 2 3 4
    5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12…



    answer is
    4….3….7…6….2….1….5…9…10…11…..12
    and i am sure it is correct


  14. rdctravelandtours | Profile

    1,2,3,4,-connect to 8,12, – connect to 11,10,9, connect to 7 then connect to 6,5… if we are going to connect 5 to 1 then that should be 6 straight lines and not 5 only.. but if we just stay with 5, then we only need five lines… :-)


  15. einstein | Profile

    Good One.


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