Without lifting the pen, how do you make a “X” in a box?

It is impossible to draw a “X” inside a box without lifting your pen or erasing any previously made lines. However, it is definitely feasible if a triangle is added to the top.

Start by drawing a line vertically up the paper in the direction of the top to create this form. Next, draw a line that is diagonally down and to the right. The line should then continue vertically upward toward the top of the page. Now, you ought to have a drawn “N” shape.

Draw the line horizontally to the left while continuing your motion. The top of the box is now sealed. Draw a diagonal line towards the top right from the upper left corner of the box, which is where the pen should be, until you reach the middle of the box. Next, continue moving diagonally down and to the right to cover the box with a roof.

Next, draw a diagonal line going down and to the left. The middle of the box’s “X” is now complete. As you have made a shape that enables you to insert a “X” within a box without lifting the pen off the paper or using the lines you have previously drawn, draw the bottom of the “home” you have made.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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