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The following Roman numeral equation is of course incorrect.

Make the equation correct by moving exactly one letter anywhere. You must place that letter in the equation (cannot remove it). You can be creative.

Of course "not equal to" or > or < is not allowed.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Can I move rot13(Gur yrggref Q be Z sebz lbhe hfreanzr? be gur yrggre Z sebz "Znxr gur rdhngvba...)? $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Feb 28 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ No I dont think that was my intention. $\endgroup$ – DEEM Feb 28 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ To clarify, you mean move a single character (L, I or M) in the equation to a new location in the equation to make it valid. Would moving an I adjacent to another I to make a V or X be valid? Does the construction have to be valid? i.e. IM for 999 is not a valid Roman Numeral. Do you permit it? $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Feb 28 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ Any single letter needs to be moved. The lateral thinking is "V" in "M " is also a letter. $\endgroup$ – DEEM Feb 28 at 21:12
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Very lateral:

Move the 'v' within the M, then flip the equation. Allow Roman on one side, Arabic on the other with ^ as the exponent sign

Giving:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Ah, This makes sense given the suspicious amount of space between the 'L' and the 'I' $\endgroup$ – omzrs Feb 28 at 16:24
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Again very lateral:

Move the L, rotate and shrink it and stick it between the last two II's, making an M leaving I = M - IM

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    $\begingroup$ Wow. Hats off to your creativity! $\endgroup$ – DEEM Feb 28 at 16:25
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I believe I've gotten it.

Take the bottom of L (which is a sideways letter I) and put it on top of the last I on the right (leave it sideways).
This creates: II = M - IIT
'T' is not a roman numeral, just a line above an I
A line atop a roman numeral designates that it is multiplied by 1000
The equation thus becomes 2 = 1000 - 998, which is correct

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    $\begingroup$ This works, and I like the thinking. However, I'll be disappointed if this is the correct answer as 998 is properly written CMXCVIII -- That is your solution doesn't conform to the rules of construction. $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Feb 28 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisCudmore The formatting might be another part of "lateral thinking". Just a guess. $\endgroup$ – CrescentSickle Feb 28 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ Could be. Good answer, anyways. $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Feb 28 at 18:49
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How's This?

enter image description here

I'll update when I think of a better answer

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry @Joseph. > or < is not what I had in mind $\endgroup$ – DEEM Feb 28 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @DEEM no worries, I'll get there $\endgroup$ – omzrs Feb 28 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Upvote for noticing the "letter" that can be moved. Nice. $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Feb 28 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed. I applaud the creativity $\endgroup$ – DEEM Feb 28 at 16:20
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I've got a solution.

Take the $M$ and split it up into four parts: one "|", one "\", one "/", and another "|".

Next,

Take the "/" and the "\", and put them vertically end-to-end above the "$-$" to make an (admittedly shifted) $L$.

This makes

$LI = LIII$ with two lines that we still need to use. Obviously, we throw them on the left side of the equation between the $L$ and the $I$ to get $LIII=LIII$

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    $\begingroup$ That's really stretching the meaning of "by moving exactly one letter" $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Feb 28 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose. @ChrisCudmore he didn't specifically say if it could be broken up or not. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 28 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ Could the downvoter explain the downvote? The solution is perfectly viable. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Mar 2 at 3:21

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