Answer to the Friday Puzzle….


coverOn Friday I posted 2 puzzles…

1) Can you use three 2s to create an expression (such as ‘2+2+2’) that equals 11?

2) Can you use each of the digits 0-9 once to create an expression that equals 1?

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

1) 11=22/2

2) 1 = 35/70 + 148/296

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.


57 comments on “Answer to the Friday Puzzle….

  1. Your answer to question one is an expression equal to 11, not 22.

  2. The Masked Twit says:

    Not too sure about your answer to question 1, Richard.

  3. Geodetective says:

    For the second question: (whatever)^0

  4. RoesAap says:

    1) Agreed with Michael, should =22. (2+2)! – 2 = 22
    2) 9-8-7+6+5-4-3+2+1=1… much easier

  5. Alan says:

    (2+2)! – 2 = 22

  6. Steve Jones says:

    Is Richard trying some bizarre psychological trick by posting up an answer to question 1 which is so clearly wrong? Or has Barry Goddard hacked his acount?

    (2 + 2)! -2 = 22 is the only “right” answer I can find for (1).

    There are several solutions to question 2.

  7. Barry Goddard says:

    The official answer is 11=22/2.

    I have councelled several times that the puzzles need a close reading in order to arrive at the right approach and a correct solution.

    Several people in comments have derided me for “pedentry” and such for looking behind the words to the question.

    This time perhaps we can see my position vindicated.

    NONE of the “solutions” offered on Friday (even mine) were even close to 11=22/2.

    NONE of us correctly read the problem. We were all fooled.

    Let is learn from this in future as indeed will I. I will not cease in reading the question closely before approaching with an answer in future.

    • seePyou says:

      Can you explain then how we were mistaken in interpreting the question? That would be helpful, as I think we all saw “Can you use three 2s to create an expression (such as ’2+2+2′) that equals 22?” as building an equation A = B where A is made up of three 2s and B would be 22.

    • mgm75 says:


    • Barry Goddard says:


      We all saw the WORDS that is true. But none of us saw the TRUE question behind the words. And so we answered the words and not the question.

      Now it seems the words have changed yet the question has NOT changed. That may make it easier for us to answer the question. Or it may make it harder. But it does not change the question that was intended. It only changes our approach to finding that question.

      I feel as stated that my approach has been vindicated by this.

      As an analogy consider astrology. The stars and the moon and the sun and the planets all change position all the time. As do we. Yet for those who look deeply into those changes can see eternal connections.

      Yes I was fooled by the words of this puzzle. But more often than not I see more deeply than others into these puzzles and try to help guide others to the same. My usual reward is ridicule and spelling lesions. I wish it were otherwise but I will persevere nonetheless.

    • Gwyneth says:

      Barry, please explain the question to me, I have tried reading it again and still can’t reconcile it with the answer given. Also as a pedant myself I feel I have to correct your spelling of pedantry.

  8. anaximx says:

    I found sqrt(22)^2 for the first one, as well.
    As for why there’s a wrong answer up there – perhaps Richard mixed up expression with equation and things went downhill from there?

  9. For question 2, the simplest and most obvious answer is:

    23456789 × 0 + 1 = 1

    The answer given for question 1 is just nonsense.

  10. seePyou says:

    I think Richard typed the question wrong… meant to type 11, typed 22… there is no other explanation…

    and for (2) I got (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9)^0

  11. Stan says:

    I very much liked sqrt(22)^2 and (2+2)!-2
    But doesn’t 16+2+2+2 (and a million similar items) satisfy the conditions of the puzzle?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Question one asks for an expression that equals 22 not an equation.

  13. Anonymous says:

    In Base 3, 2 * 2 * 2 = 22

  14. Anne Elk says:

    Question 1 has changed since Friday! We were asked to make an expression to make 22, weren’t we?

    • JayCee says:

      Yes, Definitively!! The question on friday’s blog was also changed today!!
      It said 22 still yesterday – i am 100% sure.

  15. Gwyneth says:

    Now question 1 has been changed.
    Maybe an apology or explanation from Richard is in order. And another from Barry. Hope your lesions heal quickly.

    • Steve Jones says:

      Agreed – quite why Richard has chosen to change the wording of the question retrospectively without acknowledgement, I’ve no idea. It’s odd behaviour.

  16. (9-8)(7-6)(5-4)(3-2)(1-0)=1

  17. Lazy T says:

    Only during bank holidays does 22 = 11, it’s something to do with Saturn going into Barclays.

  18. M says:

    For 1) I had 22/2=11, but I only read the question properly today, solving it instantly. However, I did glance at it on Friday and could not think of an answer at the time. I don’t remember if it was written as 11 or 22. I’d be interested to know if it was changed.
    For 2) I had:

  19. Ken Haley says:

    Question 1 clearly changed from what it was Friday.

    • Steve Jones says:

      The question was changed some time today (Monday), without any acknowledgement, which is going to confuse the hell out of latecomers to the debate.

    • One Eyed Jack says:

      I know it’s a minor thing, but its rather shitty for Richard to make no acknowledgement of the change. He changed Friday’s question today, so now the comments make no sense.

      Bad form.

  20. John Cartwright says:

    You all seem to be suffering from the artificial constraints of reactionary bourgeois consciousness within the paradigm of Newtonism-Leibnitzism. Changing the words, or the meaning, or both, of the answer, or question, or both, can be done at any time and for any reason (or for no reason at all), if the revolutionary fervour and determination of the proletariat and the peasantry is fervent and frenzied enough. It matters not whether 2 + 2 = 4 or 5, and it certainly doesn’t matter whether 2 + 2 + 2 = 11 or 22 or even 22,000,000.

    • Steve Jones says:

      I plead guilty to being a disciple of Newton and Leibnitz, but then I studied physics. Of course, Newton’s physics was very much based on determinism, so when Richard starts playing with those rules by altering past events, it causes a certain disruption in the continuum.

  21. Paul says:

    Question 2: 1=((2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9)*0)+1

  22. deepfield says:

    The first one changed, from a rather hard one to an obvious one.
    The second has plenty of answers. One with the digits in order is 0-1+2+3+4-5+6-7+8-9=1

  23. WTF que vaina es esta; hoy si me perdí.

  24. Barry Goddard says:

    Although no one got the right answer to this puzzle (owing thanks to the misread wording) I can now at least offer my answer to the wrong wording. This is an answer that no one got all weekend.

    (2^2)! – 2

    It is elegant as it does not use either addition or square roots.

  25. Roma Tomato says:

    Why did you post the original question as three 2’s = 22 and then today as 11?

  26. daemian g. says:

    well another possible answer to the first 22 version is to use the boolean operator for disjunction … 22 or 2 = 22

  27. Kenton says:

    I saw 22 as well and came up with (2+2)!-2

    For number 2:
    Any form of 123456789^0
    0/23456789 + 1
    0*23456789 + 1

    I think when you do all the variants there are well over 1 million solutions.

  28. ctj says:

    did anyone else notice how richard went back and sneakily changed the original problem, so now it asks for an expression equal to 11, instead of 22 like it did over the weekend?

    how shameful.

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  30. thornae says:

    I think the actual question is, what sneaky psychological experiment is Richard performing on his regular readers?

  31. mittfh says:

    1) I could if that was what the question actually asked back on Friday, before being edited!

    2) As others have said, there are numerous answers. Mine was 0+1+2+3-4-5-6-7+8+9.

  32. Anonymous says:

    In the email you sent, you asked to make 22, not 11. It makes things a lot easier since it is 11.

  33. Anders says:

    You changed the answer from 22 on friday to 11 today on Question 1? Also, for the second one, i had 0+1-2-3+4+5+6+7-8-9=1 on the second one, which I think is neater, because it uses the actual numbers themselves, instead of using them as digits.

  34. Natalia says:

    On Friday YOU posted 2 puzzles…

    1) Can you use three 2s to create an expression (such as ’2+2+2′) that equals 22 AND NOT 11!!!!!!!!! Do you have problems with memory?

  35. Anonymous says:

    2 is very simple: 23,456,789*0+1

  36. Bístor Penaldo says:

    1+0*(2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9) = 1 :/

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