School-Safe Puzzle Games

‘Cover the Spot’-the carnival puzzle game.

Click here play ‘Cover the Spot’ Puzzle Game

When I was about 9 years old, neighborhood buddies Jason, Adam and I excitedly rode our bikes early one sunny Saturday morning to the carnival that just opened less than a mile away at the local community college grounds.

The amusement rides weren’t running yet, so we wandered over to the booths to play some of the ‘test your skill’ games. To this day, I’ll never forget the chain-smoking, weathered man who gave us dozens of free tries on this frustratingly simple brain game called ‘Cover the Spot”.

It cost $1 per attempt, and the older smiling man showed us repeatedly how “easy” it is to drop the zinc discs down to cover the big red circle. No matter how hard we tried, however, there’d always be a small area of red showing!

In retrospect, it was hardly coincidence that the prizes for winning this puzzle/mind game were bigger than any other booth at the carnival that day. Enticingly easy enough for a kid to jump right in and start playing, hard enough that even the smartest of adults will be left scratching their heads.

So here it is, “Cover the Spot”, re-created for the smartkit site. The game has a “high score list” and keeps track of the 10 quickest puzzle solvers. Hope you guys like it.

If you enjoy puzzle games, Smart-Kit features cool pictures and photos in our jigsaw puzzles online. Smart-Kit also has word games, matching games, and memory games

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48 Comments to “‘Cover the Spot’-the carnival puzzle game.”

  1. Ian | Guest

    this is hard.

  2. Dan | Guest

    I always avoided these things at Carnivals, assuming that they’re rigged to be, if not impossible, very close. I’m wondering if that’s the moral of this story. Are the names on the “top ten” list fakes in order to convince us that it’s possible, while it really is a physical impossibility? That would certainly mimic the circumstances that I’ve always assumed were true at Carnivals–rigging the games to work in their favor for demonstration to give the viewer hope, while being literally impossible whenever they attempt it themselves.

  3. RK | Profile

    Dan- I believe the developer left those names in the database while testing the game. Suspect they’ll be replaced shortly.

  4. RK | Profile

    Apologies; we’re adjusting the disk/circle sizes to make the game less impossible; should be up and running hopefully soon.

  5. TK | Guest

    I was looking forward to playing “cover the circle” but it does not seem to work, i.e. the image is just an image without anything clickable on it? I tried both in IE and Firefox and could not make it work.

  6. RK | Profile

    Hi TK- we removed the link to the actual game temporarily so that it could be updated. It should be back up later today or tomorrow. Thanks

  7. RK | Profile

    Very sorry about the delay in getting this puzzle game back online. Unfortunately, the developer has had quite a bit of difficulty in getting it to run properly. Will announce when finally in working order. Thanks for your patience, and understanding.

  8. mary | Guest

    hi, i am really looking forward to play this game. I used to play this game when i was a child…….

  9. Kip | Guest

    Hi, I have been wanting to try the game on this website for awhile, i found this site doing a search to find the dimensions for this game because at six flags they have this game and if you win it twice you can win a PS3, xbox 360 Wii, or ipod video (basically all the stuff everyone wants) and i wanted to get a ps3 and sell it for some xbox stuff.. so if you happen to know the dimensions or anything helpful i think i have it pretty close but i am only using cardboard (my home depot was out of sheet metal and I’m gonna make it out of that) anyway i hope you get the game up soon


    P.S. i love your puzzles because i can get some of them and my friends cant get any

  10. RK | Profile

    Hi Kip- Those are some nice prizes!

    The game is almost done, and we should have it up over the next couple days. I’ve played the developer’s latest version and it seems to be working properly now. We just want to make sure the database for the best times is working correctly.

    If you’d like to go ahead and build your own model, make the smaller discs so that they have a radius that is .6094 that of the larger circle.

    Let me know if you beat the six flags version! Smiley

  11. RK | Profile

    Update August 10th: Unfortunately, we’ve had to go with another developer and the game had to be completely redesigned from scratch to get it to work properly. However, I do believe we should have a final version up shortly. If you’ve been waiting to play, thanks for your patience.

  12. RK | Profile

    ok, I think we’ve finally got all the bugs fixed, and the game appears to be running nicely now.

  13. Slavco | Guest

    I’ve only been able to get 99.99%….. Is it really possible to achieve 100% ?

  14. Scott K | Guest

    can someone tell me how its done, i cant get anythin over 99.5%

  15. RK | Profile

    it is possible to get 100%, we made sure of it this time

  16. Gerph | Guest

    is the answer ever going to be revealed? i’ve been trying forever and wonder if my configuration is correct and i am just not placing them close enough or what?

  17. RK | Profile

    Hi Scott & Gerph-I’ll post the configuration to solve in a day or 2. Would like to give everyone a chance to try without seeing the answer first. thanks

  18. charity | Guest

    ok heres the solution…just give me one more gray circle LOL ok well i got 99.98% close enough im off to bed lol

  19. Thomas | Guest

    I need the answer before the Minnesota State Fair so I can win an ginormous stuffed animal. ;)

  20. Ian | Guest

    i allready know the anwser because i found it on another website. its just very hard to put the circles in the spots. if you dont put them exactly in the spots, it will not work.

  21. Jedineko » Smart Kit : Puzzle Blog | Guest

    […] ????????????????? Entry ?????? Cover the Spot’-The best carnival puzzle game. Can you beat it? […]

  22. Shawn | Guest

    Got it, but it doesn’t seem to record my score.

    34 seconds

  23. Shawn | Guest


    You’ve got to move fast to break into the top 10 scores.

  24. RK | Profile

    Was kind of hoping one of our regulars would make it into the Top Ten! :)

  25. Emilie | Guest

    waaaaaah, how do you do it?? I’ve been trying for an hour and I’ve only gone as far as 99.98%.. this is really tricky.. =)

  26. Emilie | Guest

    Oooooh.. so it really is possible.. this is really cool.. i’m still too slow for the top 10 though.. Thanks for putting this up again Dr. K! =)

  27. Catherine | Guest

    That’s me with the 1,643 seconds :P

  28. Catherine | Guest

    The above smiley was supposed to be a tongue-sticking-out one. *gets another cup of coffee*

  29. RK | Profile

    Here’s the link to one of the answer configurations:

    will leave it up for a few days

  30. janice | Guest

    this is great. i was able to perfect the puzzle but it was for 45secs.. ill keep on trying

  31. RK | Profile

    don’t be too dismayed by the high scores, well over 20,000 people have played the game so far, so the times you see represent >99.9 percentile

  32. Emilie | Guest

    yup! that’s me.. but the top 10 scores change really fast.. i was able to get in again with 10 seconds.. but i bet in a day or two my name’ll be off the list again. hehe =)

  33. RK | Profile

    Glad you like it, Emilie : )

    by the way, is that you with 12 seconds?!?

  34. Medical Magic: Anyone know how this illusion works? - Smartkit Brain Enhancement News | Guest

    […] Subscribe to feed « Quick arithmetic puzzle » ‘Cover the Spot’-The best carnival puzzle game. Can you beat it? […]

  35. Phil | Guest

    I’m real lazy. Can you outline the circle in your answer link.

  36. SPC | Guest

    I have been trying for 4 days (Since I got back from the fair) to beat this game. They were offering HUGE prizes at the fair for beating the game and I spent $10 bucks trying! Now…how do I win and are the games at the fair rigged? I mean…why are the disc made of zinc? Is there a magnet involved w/ the CARNIE!? This game is causing me to lose sleep..HELP!

  37. RK | Profile

    Hello SPC- the games at the carnivals are not usually rigged. They are beatable. I’ve seen it done.

    the solution is in the ‘comments’ above-however, you still need to practice it : )

  38. Rye | Guest

    RK, are you sure about the radius comparison of .6094? I was curious about the ratio of radii myself, so I compared the areas. Assuming one silver disc covers 37% of the red disc’s area, I found the ratio to be 0.6082.

    I imagine that somewhere there exists a more general relationship between the number of smaller discs and the radius ratio so that this brain teaser could be extended to have 6, 7, …, n number of smaller discs!

    99.98% and counting, it’s only a matter of time now =)

  39. RK | Profile

    Hi there, Rye-

    technically, the radius would be: .609382864 if we were dealing with perfect circles. However, when the computer generates circles on the screen, they are ‘jagged’, so the programmer had to modify things a bit (NOT an easy task; after tinkering for 2 months, we gave up and finally found a senior programming genius who managed to get it working right)

    I agree, it’d be neat to see what this puzzle would look like for 9 discs ; )

  40. The Real Hustle: Cover the Spot | Sangent - The Daily Ramblings | Guest

    […] Try this game out for yourself! Click the link below to watch the video. […]

  41. jackj | Guest

    hi im trying to do this but i tried to make1 at home but i want to know wat r the dimensions?????

  42. david91304 | Profile

    I’m 70 years of age and aging very, very quickly since trying unsuccessfully to solve this puzzle for a week (I guess you could call it a weak week!).
    My biggest concern is NOT whether I can solve it; no, it’s will my demise come first!
    Great puzzle…thanks,
    Van Nuys, CA

  43. sarataylor | Profile

    1) What are the dimensions of the spot and circles used in the actual game?
    2) What is the solution?

    Thank you
    Sara Taylor

  44. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    HI RK, the highscore list is not refreshing anymore, but cool, I beat this game up, cool

  45. my2livers | Profile

    I lost a about $15 or $20 years ago on this one. I figured “I’m a mathematician so I can do this.” Whenever I placed the 2nd and 3rd circles in the correct spots, the Carnie claimed to ‘help’ me by moving them up slightly. I was so young and trusting (and stoned) that I failed 2 realize what he was doing. Geez… As my dad used to tell me, “For someone so smart U sure act stupid!” Now that I’m older and wiser and don’t have to bet any money, I’m looking 4ward to trying this game. Hope it’s still avail. cheers.

  46. vagishapurohit | Profile


  47. vagishapurohit | Profile

    WELL I GOT 99.99% BUT NOT 100%. IS IT POSSIBLE???

  48. RK | Founder | Profile

    yes vagishapurohit, it is certainly possible!!


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