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.


  1. 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]

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

    2. @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.

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

    4. @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.

    5. 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.

  2. 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..

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!)

  7. 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.

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

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  9. 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.

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