This is my toughest invention so far, not sure if it's already been done but here it goes.

Move a single stick to obtain a correct equality. (To be clear: the stick needs to be moved and placed down to be part of the new figure; not 'removed').

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Must all numbers be represented as proper Roman or Arabic numerals? $\endgroup$
    – Sean
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'd never seen this before, very clever $\endgroup$
    – qdread
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ I want to answer, but does a rot13(vardhnyvgl) count? $\endgroup$
    – Nautilus
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 10:49

3 Answers 3


I believe what you're looking for is this:

enter image description here



The title alludes to

the complex number $i$ found in the solution.

  • $\begingroup$ Inconsistent that a match is i in one case and 1 in another $\endgroup$
    – stackzebra
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 15:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ not to be that guy, but technically, no match represents the number 1. the roman numerals are iii and iv. I will grant you that they're still interpreted differently haha $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 16:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @juicifer to be fair they're all interpreted as i $\endgroup$
    – somebody
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ true, but they certainly don't mean the same thing $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ @somebody Or rather all interpreted as I (capitalized i). $\endgroup$
    – WhatsUp
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 3:42

My answer:

$-8^{-iii} = ii-iv$

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I was really hoping that would be right too but -8^(1/3) = -2, not -8^-3. $\endgroup$
    – qdread
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ I always intended to start with a bang. How embarrassing for me to have for gotten. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 20:09

Assuming you have bad stick "handwriting"


This gives you

8-3 = 3 + 2

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm finding it difficult to interpret the "-III" as "minus three" instead of "to the negative three" due to its placement in an exponent position $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 23:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's a bit of a stretch, but that was what I was referring to with the bad handwriting comment $\endgroup$
    – Travis
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 23:41

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