Answer to the Friday Puzzle….


On Friday I posted this puzzle…..

Take five matchsticks and form the figure of a giraffe as is shown in the diagram.  Now can you move just one matchstick so that the shape of the giraffe is remained intact but is rotated or reflected?

If you have not tried to solve the puzzle, have a go now.  For everyone else, the answer is after the break.

I guess, technically speaking, the answer is ‘no’ because the head is not exactly square.  However, if you are not deterred by a small slant, you can do this……

Did you solve it? Any other answers?

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


20 comments on “Answer to the Friday Puzzle….

  1. CH23 says:

    Took me 2 seconds(but hey, it’s monday morning)

  2. Goliath says:

    Nope, didn’t got it. But then, my stamina for these riddles is bad…

  3. Jenifer says:

    Yay. I got it right. 🙂

  4. Michael Sternberg says:

    Got it.

    As for the lack of appropriate symmetry – I’d say it’s reaching for straws …

  5. JimC says:

    But surely in this answer the shape is reflected AND rotated, while the question asked if it could be reflected OR rotated…:)

    • Yat says:

      Nope, it’s just reflected !

      (I did the same mistake friday. Axis of reflexion is the neck. Every combination of a reflection and a rotation is a reflection)

    • JimC says:

      I actually had to physically get the matchsticks out before I could see what you meant, but I got there eventually. I guess my understanding was deterred by the small slant.

      Thanks for pointing it out. I love being wrong – means I’ve learnt something.

  6. dharmaruci says:

    is not same giraffe. in original head is looking down. in final head is looking up.

    badly drawn puzzle mr wisard.

  7. Lazy T says:

    I’m not deterred by a small slant

  8. The Quicker Fixer-Upper says:

    …And a GIF showing the solution:

  9. The Masked Twit says:

    Got it in 10 seconds – “No” that is

  10. Alistair Frith says:


  11. safc4ever says:

    To anyone who doesn’t like the angle of the “head” in the answer…

    So, you amputate two of the Giraffe’s legs, re-attach them, not to the body, but to the other two feet and you expect the giraffe not to move its head?

  12. ivan says:

    Unusual of Richard to actually own up to the objection to his answer. Usually he just leaves us to argue over it. Or, in the case of one of the more philosophically tricky he set recently, give no answer at all and just leave us to argue over it.

  13. Richard says:

    This was a good answer, giving both solutions, which is probably how we all felt: “technically no, but allowing for the angle being a minor error, there is a solution”.

  14. Katy says:

    Awwww the head angle makes a huge difference to those of us who get hung up on technicalities. Of course I saw that possible axis of reflection, but technically it did not solve the puzzle!

  15. John Loony says:

    Why was the diagram not drawn with the correct angle in the first place?

  16. Henry Ruddle says:

    I tested this with my kids at the dinner table and they tried every match except the correct one. Oh well.

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