Take 4 matchsticks and set them out in this pattern:


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



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:

moving matches

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is only the correct answer if you focus on the positive side of life. $\endgroup$ – J A Terroba Aug 23 '17 at 18:46


one of the I's to the beginning

like so:

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


the answer true

which is

binary value of 1


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

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's very creative $\endgroup$ – smci Aug 22 '17 at 11:45
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This is a different kind of Polishing. $\endgroup$ – 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.



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:

/\ |
\/ |

which reads



Best of luck with the polishing ;)

  • $\begingroup$ Ho ho ho, very smart $\endgroup$ – 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

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE. This is a very good first try :) $\endgroup$ – 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).



Just move one

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

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ How does this differ from the accepted answer? $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Aug 22 '17 at 13:34

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