It’s the Friday Puzzle!



Please do NOT post your answer, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

Here is a picture of a house made from matchsticks.  Can you move one stick, and add another, to create two identical houses?









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.


65 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. curtisfrye says:

    Solution in less than five seconds.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Done in few seconds

  3. Eddie says:

    Too easy. Preferred the bus puzzle.

  4. Anonymous says:

    0.0000000000000000001 of a second. Beat that

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. ChrisR says:

    around 3 seconds, in my head, without real matchsticks

  7. brian t says:

    Yep – a couple of seconds. Either that or I’ve misunderstood the question …

  8. Anonymous says:

    that was easy!

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. kroketje says:

    also 3 seconds…… easy one!

  11. mgm75 says:

    I’ve seen this before so I knew how it was done.

  12. Barry Goddard says:

    I was much confused by the instructions saying “picture of a house made from matchsticks”,

    Then I realised it is not a picture made of matchsticks of a house (how could a picture be made of matchsticks?), It is a house made of matchsticks that has been placed in a picture,

    It is only necessary to rotate one matchstick through 45 Degrees. The second additional matchstick is not needed.

    [spoiler]Rotate the matchstick that forms the guttering upwards 45 degrees so it forms a “/” shape. We now have two gable ends (of different houses) each receding into the distance in a different direction[spoiler]

    • Stevie. says:

      Spoiler fail Barry. The puzzle is to move one matchstick and add a second.
      So there!

    • James tucker says:


    • Prat says:

      If you really insist on Barry adding a second matchstick he can place it on top of a existing one.
      Will that do?

    • Anne Elk says:

      As soon as I’d read it.

    • Barry Goddard says:

      @Stephen Jones

      Thank you for your comment, Stevie.

      If a puzzle can be solved with less (fewer) resources than even the puzzle setter imagined then we are eligible to produce such solutions.

      Few puzzles ask you to (say) cross a river with a rowing boat and a cabbage in as many crossings as possible. They want the fewerest crossings. It is maybe possible with a puzzle that has not stood the Test of Time that the solution known to the puzzle setter is not optimum.

      Improving a puzzle by exceeding expectations is a way we give back something to the puzzle world that has offered us intriguing challenges. Please do not be the grump that undoes that impetus.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps I should instead be one of those people who give the answer in the fewerest minutes from the time the puddle is posted?

    • Stevie says:


    • Steve Jones says:

      @Barry Goddard

      Now you are really confusing me as you are replying to a comment that I haven’t made. Well, that’s unless you are prescient, and are replying to this one in advance.

      Clearly more things going on in your mind than a mere mortal can appreciate.

    • Steve Jones says:

      nb. I should add in Barry’s favour is that, whilst Richard’s puzzle says there are two identical houses, it does not say they have to be viewed from the same elevation. For example, one from the gable end and one from the side.

      Although I can’t quite get BG’s solution to work that way as I think it fails on perspective.

  13. Baker's Dozen says:

    Life’s too short really isn’t it.

  14. Alma says:

    Easiest puzzle yet. Even a dimwit like me could solve it in a second. 🙂 But better than all those maths ones which I can never do..

  15. James tucker says:

    Far too easy, I think I’d done it before I finished reading the question! Normally I don’t get any of these Friday puzzles…

  16. Lea says:

    Quite nice =)
    about 10 seconds with pen and paper =)

  17. Louise says:

    Two seconds

  18. aly says:

    easiest one in ages

  19. Arlet says:

    Agreed on a few seconds, really cool blog!

  20. M says:

    I also worked out my answer instantaneously. However, I am not sure how truly ‘identical’ the 2 houses are. It appears they have a shared wall. It might be more accurate to say they are mirror images of each other.

  21. It took me longer than the rest of you. I figured it out in about a minute. Probably because I’ve only been awake for about 10 mins haha!

  22. Alex. says:

    I used actual matches so solution come clear. 1. Add matchstick on left to create separator between roof and base of the house. 2. It become obvious to move top matchstick to finish the roof of another matching house.

  23. The answer appears straightforward. Quite pleased with myself, now. Will look for other answers, just to challenge myself.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Few secs.

  25. ashish shah says:

    5 secs

  26. Mickey D says:

    Half a second!

  27. SilverMarc says:

    Since algebra isn’t involved in this one (nor higher math than that), I refurbished the home into two in about 5 seconds. I’m a very “visual” guy, and I’m sure I got it right on this one. (To make up for most of the others!)

  28. Gus says:

    I have an answer in a couple of seconds, but it assumes the answer to a spoilerific clarifying question. Then again, who cares about spoilers, anyone new the puzzle who was foolish enough to scroll down before solving is already reading the answers posted by apparently illiterate puzzle solvers.

    • Monty Hall says:

      Your second sentence is not very literate Gus. (“anyone new the puzzle”)

    • Gus says:

      Well, Monty, I’d argue that a typo hardly indicates illiteracy. An apparent failure to grasp the meaning of the simplest sentence does.

  29. sai says:

    2 seconds.

  30. Monty Hall says:

    Still working on this one. Seriously tricky

  31. Nathan Zwierzynski says:

    5 seconds

  32. Sari1967 says:

    Conete the puzzle after a little bit of thought.

  33. Jerry says:

    This one is so easy to solve you will see 40 houses go by in one direction and 50 in the other direction.

  34. Deep Vard says:

    Les than 5 seconds

  35. fotoflex2013 says:

    Instantly. identical to each other, though. Not identical to the house pictured above.

  36. Anonymous says:

    easy 3 seconds

  37. Katrina Hill says:

    10 seconds. Nice

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  39. John Cartwright says:

    About 20 seconds, but only if “identical” means that the two new houses are identical to each other, not that they are both identical to the one which exists at the start of the process.

    In other words, I am assuming that the shape of the house shown in the diagram is not necessarily the same shape that I end up with after kerfuffling the matches.

  40. MEILA says:

    less than a minute 🙂

  41. Visual says:

    Figured it out in a few seconds. Easy enough for visual people. Different thinkers would have a harder time.

  42. Lanora says:

    We have the worst memory! I’ve had a notebook/planner for several years…I actually don’t understand what I’d do devoid of it!

  43. Lorraine says:

    Yes. It should get the job done. If it doesn’t send us an email.

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