# Back to the Matchsticks Version 3

1=850-4-3 as the cotton swab equation, incorrect of course.

By moving 3 swabs or less create a correct equation. It is a standard digital display. You may use numbers, roman numerals or letters in standard digital display. If you use roman numerals, 1 willl have 2 swabs, C will have 4, D will have 6, L will have 3, V and X will have 4, M will have 6. No inequalities or > or <. No significant space creation to insert swabs. Rearranging is a move. No Removing or adding swabs. Use any math functions. Minus and Divide use 1 swab. Plus and multiply and equal to use 2 swabs.

• if it's a standard LED, how do you do equals?
– JMP
Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 16:28
• Do letters have any significance? Do they count for anything, count for nothing? Why would we use them? Can a 1 be the same as a capital i? Or are they not actually intended to be used? Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 20:18
• Yes n_palum. Of course roman numerals are letters but there are others. 1 can be used as I. You are on right track
– DrD
Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 13:26

With only one swab moved:

In standard scientific notation: 1=8e0-4-3

And one funny with 3 swabs moved:

I don't think anything in the question prevents me to view the picture rotated, so: Viewed from above: 59-058=1

• Isn't 8e0 = 1? So 8e0-4-3 = -6? Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 1:13
• @stackreader 8e0= 8*(10^0) Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 2:13
• @DestructibleLemon oh I see. I didn't think this long enough. I thought(8^0) haha. Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 2:39

In 2:

7 = 050 - 43, in 2 by moving middle 8 to left 1 and removing the minus between 4 and 3. BUT we are not allowed to remove swabs, and after a LOT of searching, I found this - a droopy 7 : http://www.josepino.com/microcontroller/7-segment-ascii

• JonMark The rule says no Removing or adding
– DrD
Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 16:40

1-000=4-3. Calculator forgives the leading 0's.
1=850-4-3 (the starting point)
1-850=4-3 (by moving ='s top swab to the first - to make - and =)
1-090=4-3 (by moving 8's central swab to 5 to make a 0 and 9)
1-000=4-3 (by moving 9's central swab to it's corner convert 9 to 0)

• Innovative way of getting there green eggs. My answer is still out there.
– DrD
Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 21:01

A different way of looking at it using Letters

1 = 850 - 4 - 3 START

C850 - 4 - 3 TWO SWABS FROM = SIGN USED TO TURN 1 INTO C

COS0 = 4 - 3 SWAB FROM 8 REMOVED TO MAKE IT O AND MOVED TO MAKE THE - SIGN =

COS0 = 4-3 = 1 THIS WORKS BECAUSE ZERO CAN BE O AND 5 CAN BE S

Cos of 0 is 1

0 moves: upside-down (h as variable being E-59);

or assuming 1 replaced by a capital I

1 move: as 1=8e0-4-3

2 moves: @JonMark Perry

3 moves: @Deepak Mahulikar

• But 8e0 is $8^0=1$, so 1=8e0-4-3 isn't correct. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 15:09
• That could be read as 8 * e^0, which would make it correct.
– Herb
Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 15:31