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After the previous mat(c)h-stick puzzle, this one is relatively old.

The matchsticks

Move only one matchstick to make a square.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice puzzle. I have to say that I like both of the answers below, which makes the puzzle ill-defined, i.e. bad. Going to DV.... Just kidding. I keep that one in memory ;c) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 31 '16 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, i was just going through my questions and recalled this puzzle i had once thought of whilst playing with matchsticks :D $\endgroup$ – ABcDexter Jul 31 '16 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean relatively new? New for you maybe, but not a new puzzle. Maybe even new to be online, but I would be surprised. I first saw this puzzle over a decade ago. I think in a book belonging to my grandmother. With @rgthree's answer $\endgroup$ – Lyndon White Aug 1 '16 at 3:40
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    $\begingroup$ I will one-up @Oxinabox and say I heard about this puzzle at least 20 years ago as a kid. So, no, not new by most definitions of the word. $\endgroup$ – nitro2k01 Aug 1 '16 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Oxinabox Ok, i think this is an old question so am updating the question. $\endgroup$ – ABcDexter Aug 1 '16 at 11:35
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The answer is:

Move the left pointing stick slightly to the left so it's right end edge meets the other matchsticks' ends forking a square in the negative space. enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ And gone in a jiffy :) $\endgroup$ – ABcDexter Jul 31 '16 at 17:56
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Move the right-most match to a diagonal between the top and left matches, making a 4, a square (number)

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    $\begingroup$ While this is clever, since a match length is less than the diagonal, this doesn't really work. See a picture like i.stack.imgur.com/9bOZ4.png $\endgroup$ – Mark S. Aug 1 '16 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkS.; well it sort of works:), anyway you can stick up vertically from the tip of left match to get an LED 4, or even claim its a nine $\endgroup$ – JonMark Perry Aug 1 '16 at 0:36
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkS. Looks fine to me. I don't think that anyone will have difficulty recognizing your figure as a 4, just as people can read these fonts without any trouble. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Aug 1 '16 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkS. It didn't state that the matches needed to be touching $\endgroup$ – mylogon Aug 2 '16 at 0:58
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkS. Or just arrange them in calculator fashion. $\endgroup$ – Neil Aug 2 '16 at 12:42
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The answer:

A match is easy to break The answer

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE, nice out-of-the-box thinking! $\endgroup$ – EKons Aug 1 '16 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ but impossible to break in HALF? $\endgroup$ – JonMark Perry Aug 1 '16 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ @JonMarkPerry It is possible, isn't it? $\endgroup$ – ABcDexter Aug 1 '16 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ If impossible to break in half, also impossible to build exact-length and exact-width matches, so no square-making solution has a non-zero probability. $\endgroup$ – Luis Masuelli Aug 1 '16 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ Even if it wasn't broken perfectly in half, the longer end could stick out some. $\endgroup$ – McKay Aug 1 '16 at 16:25
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Pick up one matchstick and look at the "safe" end. It's a square. (Generally)

or...

Move any of the sticks however you like. Then pick up a pencil and draw a square.

or...

Pick up a fifth matchstick and use it to light all sticks. If done on the right paper you now have a cross-shaped hole in the paper, creating four flaps. Fold back the flaps. The resulting hole is a square.

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    $\begingroup$ Light the match and use the burnt match to write C. C is the square of X in roman numerals. $\endgroup$ – Florian F Aug 1 '16 at 23:40
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    $\begingroup$ Or take the barometer to the building's superintendent and say "Hello Mr XYZ, I have here a very fine barometer, which I would gladly give to you if you will tell me the height of this building." $\endgroup$ – immibis Aug 2 '16 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ Your first and third answers are clever but I don't see how the second one is "moving a matchstick to make a squaare". The use of the preposition "to" (rather than, say, the conjunction "and") implies that the movement of the matchstick causes the square to come into existence. Your second solution moves a matchstick and creates a square but there is no causal relationship between them. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Aug 2 '16 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ @FlorianF, you guys took it too far $\endgroup$ – th3pirat3 Dec 29 '16 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to see more of this. $\endgroup$ – Willtech Mar 26 '18 at 8:48
0
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Select any matchstick to create a triangle, the write out formula for pythagoreans theorem A^2+B^2=C^2, the answer will result with (C) being SQUARED.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! This question isn't marked [lateral-thinking] so this is not likely to be a valid solution. $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel May 15 at 16:18

protected by JonMark Perry May 15 at 16:17

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