OK, here we go. The black lines in the diagram below represent matchsticks. Can you make the equation correct by moving only 1 match? Oh, and you can’t place one across the equals sign to make it ‘not equal to’!

As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called **PUZZLED** and is available for the **Kindle** (UK here and USA here) and on the **iBookstore** (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.

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2 seconds. One of the easiest.

Hurrah! 10 seconds once you wrap your head around the numbers in a rational way.

Think I have it in under a min

If it is the answer I am thinking of, it is cute.

I’m predicting objections come Monday…

But then again…

me too

I’m never sure if you’re supposed be thinking literally or laterally for these puzzles.

Easy, but I’m not sure as it’s not really equal.

I wonder what your answer is then…

done in a few minutes but not sure if I’m technically allowed to do what I did

Same here. I have a solution but I doubt its as brilliant as the real answer.

I determined a second solution. This time I think I have got it!

Solved. … Mmm

yeah, as some people said above… got what i think is the intended answer for the puzzle, but believe it makes the puzzle ever so slightly incorrect.

I can only do it by moving 2 matches

I’ve got a correct answer, in a literal way. Although it looks like some of the match sticks are a bit to close to each other to get the one match stick in the right position. But it is a good answer.

Hey, there is a second solution which is very comparable! And that one does fit.

Hahaha, great one! Though the equal-sign might be a wee bit misleading in my solution…

Equal sign is grey – so I dont think we allowed to mess with it. I suppose you could ADD to it.

I quickly came up with three answers, but then realised that they were all wrong.

By Jeeves, I think I’ve got it

Either I’ve got the wrong “answer” or the “answer” is wrong.

Done about 10 seconds, although I can sense some objections coming on Monday

Well it is approximately correct…

Indeed, the equation becomes closer to being correct than it is now 😉

Lovely Jubbly. Sweet as a nut… Sorted!

Yes, easy as….

I’m not sure if the people saying they have a slightly incorrect answer are right. There is, to me at least, a very correct answer

Then you don’t have the intended answer. But you still may have a good answer though…

Bang. Sorted. Spent 5 mins staring at it, bought a coffee, and when I came back the answer jumped out like the bunny girl at the church fete.

Ha, lovely one. Easy once you get it, totally baffling before that. I’m gonna pass this around at work today.

Took me about 30 seconds to figure out what the probably “correct” answer is, although it’s only actually correct to two decimal places.

mmm… I think there’s actually 2 correct answers

Can somebody mail me the answer, please. It’s driving me mad.

mymonkeylife@hotmail.com

Did anyone email you an answer? If so, could you send it on to me, PLEASE? it’s driving me nuts and I want to inflict it on the children when they get home. X

really really fast this week!

Easy as pi

It wasn’t easy as pi for me, but I did get an A plus.

Took me a few minutes, then suddenly got it.

Technically speaking though, the left half of the equation will be slightly larger than the right half of the equation (unless, as Fluffy says, you only do the equation to 2dp)

As easy as pie. Guessed the correct answer, checked with calculator. Took seconds.

If you checked it with a calculator then that calculator is broken.

Got it in under 5 minutes, though the math geek in me screams wildly at the resulting inaccuracy.

I think I’ve found the “slightly” incorrect aswer. It’s maths, people. the answer is simply incorrect; there’s no “slightly” in maths. There’s only equality and inequality. If this turns out to be the solution I’d be very disappointed in the good professor.

I don’t think the ‘slightly” incorrect answer is the answer. There’s another answer I’ve found, which is correct, with no slightly about it. I think people found the first answer, assumed it was that and didn’t bother thinking anymore about it.

I found an elegant solution that doesn’t require approximation. 🙂 And yes, I also know the answer that Richard expects.

got it 🙂 around a minute

the puzzle clearly states that we must “make the equation correct.” not approximately correct, or correct to a certain number of significant digits, but correct.

there is a correct answer, although it’s inelegant for two reasons. but it does “make the equation correct.”

Super easy. Took me about 5 secs.

i did it approximately in just over 3 seconds. need a better answer tho….unless that is good enough for romans

I have one but it requires one very special knowledge… Don’t know how “common” that knowledge is though (but it should).

under a minute, because I was struggling with myself to reject my answer

Two minutes. I have AN answer which I think is pretty clever, but I don’t know if it’s THE answer.

I got an answer, but it’s missing a tilde.

I can make it “right” if I can break a matchstick in addition to moving one… thereby making Mark_D’s tilde…

Yea – spotted the ‘broken’ matchstick straight away – the ‘other’ answer isn’t right as it’s only an approximation!

The approximate answer came in about 10 seconds.

A more exact but “cheating?” answer came after a few more minutes.

I hope that neither of these are the preferred answer, and that I’m missing something.

Blinding light after about 3 min

Easy peasy.

Here’s my question … what if there were three matchsticks on the right side of the equation? That also has a move-one-matchstick solution.

Took about 1.5 minutes :o)

I think I solved it… But I hope that mine´s not the correct answer cause this would be a stupid puzzle…

20 minutes !!!

About 15 sec. Reflecting on my performance: a bigger gap between XX and iii would have made it easier.

One Second.

I am going to bask in my own glory now

Oh, maybe I have the wrong answer.

OK I got an exact answer but I am not proud of it as it requires a bit of perversion of the Roman Numerals.

Took about 30 minutes.

Ah, another one from the bumper book of my first puzzles. I couldn’t find a rational explanation.

I found the approximate answer and another answer that is exact but ends up with the ma thematic notation looking pretty funky.

Really not with this and have only managed to get answers by breaking the rules, no doubt on Monday I will be slapping my forehead in shame!!!

2 secs

Was thinking in terms of floor and ceiling function and then proceeded to square root. And that gave the beginning of how the matchsticks could be oriented. 5 minutes.

This was my 1 sec answer.

If you multiply between each “digit” you can get an exact answer. That took abou 30 min.

Hurrah… i got it in sec.

Its so easy buddy….