CiSRA Puzzle Competition 2010 - Solutions

5B. Blocks

The first thing to notice is that the puzzle consists of a group of variously shaped objects in perspective. The perspective construction has been done in a way that causes some objects to look quite distorted, drawing attention to the fact that perspective has been used. An important concept in perspective is the idea of the vanishing point. When a 3D model is projected onto an image plane to produce a perspective image, lines that are parallel in the model, but not parallel to the image plane, converge to a point in the image. This point is called a vanishing point.

In the first solution image, the vanishing points have all been indicated, and the construction for some of the vanishing points has also been shown. All but one of the objects (even the two rectangular prisms at odd angles) have two vanishing points. The large flat rectangular prism at the bottom has its front face aligned with the image plane, so it only has one vanishing point (shown in red). One pair of upright prisms share their vanishing points

After determining the position of the 21 vanishing points, you can see that all but four of them fall on the horizon line (shown as a blue horizontal line in the background). However, they all fall between the visible horizon line segments. If you now ignore the blocks and focus on the vanishing points on the horizon line, and the visible segments of the horizon line (all shown in blue on the second solution image), a pattern of dots and dashes emerges:

-.-.   ---   -.   ...   -   .   .-..   .-..   .-   -   ..   ---   -.

Read as Morse code, the pattern says, "CONSTELLATION". This is on the right track, but it isn't the final solution. The four remaining dots (the ones that don't lie on the horizon line), together with the three dots of the Morse letter S, form the shape of one of the most widely recognisable constellations, Orion, shown here in red.

The word ORION is the solution of the puzzle.