How to solve this equation by removing one element? (one element is one spatially finished item.) enter image description here

hint :

also valid considering

enter image description here

closed as unclear what you're asking by Joe, JonMark Perry, PerpetualJ, Glorfindel, rhsquared Oct 17 at 16:38

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  • Well, I suggest we Remote the equation, since the empati statement is true, I consider it solved – Viktor Jeppesen Oct 17 at 7:18
  • Question seems like vague or not correct. Are you asking to make a true statement by removing one element ? then change the title ... Or are you asking to make an equation by removing one element, which can be solved ? then, change the question to indicate that we should get an equation with atleast one unknown (like x) which can then be solved ... – Prem Oct 17 at 15:21
  • @Prems thanks, fixed – qq jkztd Oct 17 at 15:32
  • @qqjkztd , thanks ! Might be better to remove that word "equation" from the body also ! – Prem Oct 17 at 15:57
  • I know that when you say "one element is one spatially finished item" you think you're making things more clear, but you're not. – A. I. Breveleri Oct 17 at 16:51

You'll note that there are a lot of similarities between

The shape of the 8 and the shape of the 3.

If we

Take away the parts of the 8 that are also on the 3, we're left with a 7. This is more clearly shown graphically below. A red 3 is placed over a blue 8, and the area left is a 7: enter image description here

So what the equation is saying is that

If we visually take a 3-shaped curve out of the 8-shape, we're left with a 7.

  • That's clever! How about the hint though? I don't think it works for that. – Ahmed Abdelhameed Oct 17 at 1:42
  • 2
    In regards to the hint... if we XOR the 8 and the 3, the overlap cancels and you're left with a 7. – Hugh Oct 17 at 2:29
  • 2
    Well spotted. I think you are on the right track but the question is "How to solve this equation by removing one element?". However you didn't remove anything since you state that the equation is already solved. – xhienne Oct 17 at 7:58

Here's a more serious attempt.


enter image description here
You can just about make out $10 - 3 = 7$. The connected-element removed is the 'v' in the top loop of the '8'.


enter image description here
It says $4 + 3 = 7$. The connected-element removed is the bottom of the '8'.

The trick answer (cf 'lateral thinking' tag) is to remove the element of equality. This works for both equations.

Admittedly, it does nothing for the 'visual' tag, other than that the element of equality covers the whole spatially finished equation in each case.


  • This was my first thought too =) – Kroppeb Oct 17 at 15:05
  • I also thought about that but it doesn't become an "equation" in this case. – Ahmed Abdelhameed Oct 19 at 7:19
  • @AhmedAbdelhameed This was always intended as a cheeky answer. The core idea was to remove a conceptual element (not the ‘equals’ sign). If a more literal sense is required, you might consider it to be the removal of the whole equation. Problem ‘solved’. :) – Lawrence Oct 19 at 11:31


Element removal

Maybe a bit too solved, there...

Don't mind my paint skills.

I copied the 7 from the right and made the pixels red to make it clear.
If you Move the 7 from the right inside the 3 on the left, it does perfectly align to be exact as the 8. Which makes the equation "8 - 8 = 0"
enter image description here

  • Gung nafjre vf qvfgenpgvat gur 3 sebz 8.(rot13) Or am I not understanding it correctly? – Thimo Demey Oct 17 at 12:38

Another way to see the equation:

Remove $-$ sign from $8 - 3 = 7 $, and add the slant line on $=$ sign: $$ 83 \neq 7$$

It works with $ 8 + 3 = 7 $ also.

Question is very vague and I have asked OP to clarify in a comment to the question.

Meanwhile, I think to solve an "equation" we require an "unknown".
Here, the 7 is not a 7, rather it is part of a question mark "?" which is the "unknown" in the "equation" and hence 8-3=? is 8-3=5.
Similarly 8+3=? is 8+3=11.

enter image description here Remove the 3 and flip it L = -8

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