I had an equation that made perfect mathematical sense, but my dog ripped it to shreds. Fortunately, I've managed to recover all of the pieces to the equation, but I can't seem to remember how they were arranged.

Everything in the braces below must be used in reconstructing the formula (other than the braces themselves). You can arrange them in any way you want, provided that you don't change their actual shape or orientation (for instance, a + is not the same as a x). What was the original equation?

{ 2 3 4 5 + = }


1 Answer 1


Two possible answers (currently):

$3^2 = 4+5$

$\frac{4}{2} + 3 = 5$

Also, given that you've said 'anything in the braces can be used' and not everything in the braces has to be used:

$3 + 2 = 5$

(Otherwise $ 3 + 2_4 = 5$ works, where 2 is in base 4)

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ First answer was the one I was thinking of. :) Second answer doesn't work because it introduces a symbol (division) that wasn't in the braces. Third answer caught me out on a typo, which I've since corrected. And fourth answer was an out-of-the-box solution technically correct that I definitely would not have thought of. (Though technically 3 base 4 would also work.) There's quite a community here; I never expected the correct answer that quickly. $\endgroup$
    – user24580
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 2:15

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