# Four matchsticks puzzle

Take 4 matchsticks and set them out in this pattern:

VII

In mathematics this is 7 in Roman numerals. Now move just a single matchstick and the answer should be 1 (one).

You

move the right-most matchstick to go above the others and horizontal,

so that

the matches spell out $\sqrt{1}$, which is of course 1.

Like this:

• This is only the correct answer if you focus on the positive side of life. – J A Terroba Aug 23 '17 at 18:46

Move

one of the I's to the beginning

like so:

I V I which in logic and proper numerals is 1 or 1

giving

which is

binary value of 1

Turn the V into an X (XII). In Polish notation this is '* 1 1' = 1.

• That's very creative – smci Aug 22 '17 at 11:45
• This is a different kind of Polishing. – Rand al'Thor Aug 22 '17 at 13:48

I'd say you can

strike through the V with an I, so that the V is a mistake! This gives VI which is one.

I kept thinking that the answer must be in Roman numerals and thus came up with this.

You

take the right-most matchstick, and polish it until it has a mirror-like sheen, then place it above the others and look at it at from a very low viewpoint, so that the matchsticks and their reflection look

like this:

/\ |
\/ |

01

PS

Best of luck with the polishing ;)

• Ho ho ho, very smart – smci Aug 22 '17 at 11:44

Other answers are really so weird... Should not it be like this:

Move the first match below the two last matches
/||
|

• Welcome to Puzzling.SE. This is a very good first try :) – ABcDexter Aug 22 '17 at 11:34

Moving the last match to the first position makes: IVI. This is the roman numeral for one thousand (since the question didn't specify one of what).

\/T

Just move one

to the top - horizontally, so as to make it square root of 1.

• How does this differ from the accepted answer? – F1Krazy Aug 22 '17 at 13:34