# Turn 1111 into zero [closed]

Draw exactly two non-touching straight lines to turn 1111 (as shown below) into zero.

Note: A minus sign is one line

• I thought the non touching part also means no touching the 1111 , does it become easier or something if the 2 lines can touch anything? Nov 16, 2023 at 8:22
• @encryptoferia I interpreted it as the two lines you add can't touch each other, but if it makes you feel better, you can add a little bit of whitespace where my lines touch the existing ones and it'll still read the same Nov 16, 2023 at 13:28

A minus sign is one line.

Fine.

Not nearly as nice as juicifer's answer, mind you.

|0| -> absolute value of 0 is 0

• @Tim it's explained in the second spoiler. Nov 16, 2023 at 16:59

More mathematical then lateral:

$$\overline{11-11}$$ (complex conjugate of 0, which equals 0)

Lateral-thinking

Just strike through everything you don't need, and what remains is "ZERO".

• you could argue the top is a 5 Nov 17, 2023 at 20:14

A very simple solution, without any trick, that doesn't appear to have been proposed yet :

i.e.

II - I - I
The sticks are read as Latin numbers (anyway they don't correspond to any arabic number)

Let's do the maths :

2-1-1=0

• I like your solution, but regarding the "they don't correspond to any arabic number" comment, | | sure looks like 11 to me. Nov 18, 2023 at 18:13
• @JasonPatterson I think it's much more common to write 1 with a small diagonal top left strike, but you're right if we consider old-style numerals. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numeral_variations?wprov=sfla1 Nov 19, 2023 at 9:30

Use 2 straight lines to draw an ! at the beginning of 1111.

You will get

!1111

which, at least, in JavaScript results to false but equals (with == not ===) to 0.

I tried earlier to answer this, realized I was doing basic math wrong, and deleted my answer in a near-fatal bout of self-consciousness. Attempt #2:

$$11^1 - 11$$

NOTE: turns out this is a duplicate of @AxiomaticSystem's answer.

Nothing to see here....

• This answer already exists though (by @AxiomaticSystem). Nov 17, 2023 at 14:07
• @infinitezero, Ah. I had missed that. Thanks for the callout. Nov 19, 2023 at 12:40

Option A (requires $$x$$):

Take the second derivative of a constant:

Option B (requires squinting):

Kind of vaguely the word "NULL":

Explanation:

|-1| - 1 = 0

Another one, if we allow different glyphs:

||| = |

Either 111 = 1, which is false, evaluates to 0 in VAX BASIC; or Roman numeral III = I, false for the same reason.

– Community Bot
Nov 17, 2023 at 18:07

1 - 1/1

Similar in logic to another solution:

Boolean Negate:
$$\lnot 1111$$

Whether the negate is on the first digit or whole expression doesn't matter:
$$\lnot (1\cdot1\cdot1\cdot1) = 0$$ by Idempotence law
($$\lnot 1)\cdot1\cdot1\cdot1 = 0$$ by Annulment law

Flip the picture sideways and visualise it like a digital alarm clock or a scientific calculator:

• How is that a zero? It looks more like some kind of super-8 to me. Nov 17, 2023 at 3:19