I present to you...

The Battle of Puzzlings

Your task is to turn 'one' into a letter representation of 1066 (the year of the Battle of Hastings):

Matches in the shape of the word ONE


  • Fewest moves wins.
  • All matches must be used.
  • You cannot 'snap' matches to make multiple matches.

You can use these background and matchstick images in your answer if you're into that sort of thing.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there a limit on the number of matches we can move? $\endgroup$ – benzene Aug 9 '17 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ @benzene Nope... $\endgroup$ – rybo111 Aug 9 '17 at 19:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I suggest that you make it a competition to see who can find the minimum amount of moves, otherwise this is too broad $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 9 '17 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ 0 moves - the "one" actually says "DNE" - the answer does not exist. $\endgroup$ – geokavel Aug 28 '17 at 4:08

I made in 4 moves:

Using A1Z26 to represent 1066 as JFF (10, 6, 6)
enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Clever! Didn't think of doing it that way $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 11 '17 at 11:24

One possible solution is

Use Roman numerals: 10 VI VI

You have 4+3+4 = 11 matches. Use 1 for the 1, 4 for the 0 and 3 for each V1, for a total of 11.

And if we're counting moves:

Four moves are needed. Move the left bar of the N to the left of the O to make the 1, then move all three arms of the E to form the second VI, leaving the back of the E as the I in the first VI.

  • $\begingroup$ Question edited after your answer but bravo anyway! $\endgroup$ – rybo111 Aug 9 '17 at 20:28

The minimum number of moves is

6 with a slanted letter or 7 without

1066 is

MLXVI in roman numerals.

1066 has 11 matches - and so does that so:

enter image description here

Taking either 6 or 7 moves.

This is the minimum because

'ONE' only shares 5 matchsticks in common with 'MLXVI'(slanted V version) - meaning that the other 6 have to be moved. Therefore 6 is the minimum. Here is a diagram:

enter image description here
You can see there are only 5 matchsticks (black) that are shared - and the other 6 green matchsticks have to be moved to red.

PREVIOUS - Thanks HughMeyer for suggesting moving the overlay to the left for less moves

I previously thought it was 8:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This is the answer I was aiming for, but the question needs to be improved. Suggestions appreciated. $\endgroup$ – rybo111 Aug 9 '17 at 20:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @rybo111 I thought it might be from the number of matches. As to how it could be improved - to not make it so broad maybe say it has to be made out of letters? Not sure. There needs to be a 'challenge' of some sort $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 9 '17 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ I've taken both your suggestions on board ('letter representation' and 'fewest moves'). Let's see if you can be beaten! $\endgroup$ – rybo111 Aug 9 '17 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ @rybo111 I know a way to check if this is the minimum - so will see $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 9 '17 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @rybo111 proven this is the minimum. see edit $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 9 '17 at 20:34

A (perhaps cheap) solution in 2 moves:

Use Hexadecimal. 1066 in Hex is 0x42A. Then, move the matches like so:

enter image description here
If you rotate your point of view, you'll find the characters 4, 2, and A stacked one on top of the other:

enter image description here
Admittedly, the 2 looks more like a Z, but is still somewhat believable.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't believe it's right, but it's clever and unorthodox. I like it. $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety Aug 15 '17 at 18:11

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