The word "SIX" can be spelled with six matchsticks (if you'll forgive my "S").

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What is the next whole number n that can be spelled (in English, in all capital letters) with exactly n matchsticks?

You shall not break a match in two, nor redundantly double up matches on the same edge of a letter. You may, however, take advantage of glyph variants like one-stick sans-serif "I" versus three-stick seriffed "I".

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can do it with

10, if you are willing to have a really big capital E (which looks kind of funny, but I'll argue that it's a reasonable way to write the E)


Standard 2 sticks for T and 3 for N, but build the E as a backwards 3 from a digital clock, which uses 5 sticks.

  • Unorthodox, but I'll count it. – dan04 Aug 18 at 2:59
  • @dan04 shouldn't this be the correct answer? – Omphaloskopie Aug 18 at 5:21

You can do


So, it would look like

enter image description here

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