# Matchsticks: Fix the Equation

Here's a simple puzzle I just created:

Move just one matchstick to fix the next equation:

First move a matchstick like so

Then observe from the other direction

Giving

LI - L = I
a correct equation in Roman numerals.

• Amazing! You were really fast! Just waiting to accept the answer! :)
– Pspl
Oct 19, 2020 at 9:13
• Yes! Thank you, I've spent some time on it, but can't figure it out. Thank you! Oct 19, 2020 at 18:09

Alternatively you can

move the minus sign match and place it next to the equality sign, turning it into identity: 17 ≡ 17 (seventeen is identical to seventeen).

• That's a good answer. The the spacing between the numbers on the picture makes it not a perfect one :) Good thinking though.
– Pspl
Oct 19, 2020 at 9:20
• Another way to do the same thing is to use the minus matchstick to add a cross to a 7 so it just says 17=17 but with two different styles of 7 Oct 20, 2020 at 5:30
• @ToddWilcox You could also use that calculator-style 7 with the upper-left vertical line filled in (so it's like a serif). Oct 20, 2020 at 15:59

Required Equation will be like this:

Attempt 1:

$$1-1=0$$

Attempt 2:

If 17 can not be 0 then I guess we just need to remove hyphen sign and put it aside, so it will become 17=17

Attempt 3: (though answer is already given and accepted. I am trying another way)

If we move horizontal line of 7 and put it diagonal onto equal sign then the equation will be like: 1 - 1 ≠ 17

• Good lateral thinking! You simply don't care about the spacing! Eh eh... However the "perfect" answer was already been discovered.
– Pspl
Oct 19, 2020 at 9:22

Move the stick to form 17>=17

We could also put one matchstick onto another matchstick so it covers it completely, making $$17=17$$.