Wiseman’s Friday Challenge – Anatomy of a Puzzle
This week’s challenge is based on the above graphic. The challenge is as follows:
Can you move one matchstick and still have an equation that is correct? I think there are at least three answers – can you find all three?
The nice thing about this puzzle is it has multiple levels – each of which stretch your imagination to varying degree.
The rest of this post has spoilers, so you might want to check out the original puzzle before going on (and no, I’m not worried about other readers of Wiseman’s blog finding this – my average readership has yet to get into the double digits).
On the first level, this puzzle stretches your visual manipulation skills – you mentally take lines away and add them in to make new numbers. This is how you get the first solution:
With a little more exploration, we realize that that equals sign does not necessarily have to be exactly equals – this gives you the following:
And while we’re at it, equations don’t necessarily need to just be numbers – that’s what variables are for:
Update: I forgot an easy one!
update 2: make that 10: