# Move two matches (no [lateral-thinking])

Move two matches to make the following equation correct:

Despite it commonly applying to puzzles of this kind, there is no [lateral-thinking] tag here, so no spelling out numbers, no turning the picture upside down, only such (decimal!) digits as can be found on a 7-segment indicator, no superscripts or subscripts (I could imagine someone strategically placing primes and declaring that the derivative of a constant function is zero), the equation must remain an equation etc.

To the best of my knowledge the solution is unique.

One way to do this is like this:

I've moved the gray matchsticks to the blue locations, and now the equation reads "4 - 8/3 = 4/3".

• My program that generated this must be flawed, the intended solution was less straightforward :−( May 12, 2020 at 20:04

$$9-3/3=4 \times 2$$

where the matchsticks that are moved are taken from

the top left of the 9, making a 3, and the plus sign

and they are moved to

the top of the 4, making a 9 with no tail, and the second $$/$$, making a $$\times$$

• Hmm, way too many solutions when I erroneously determined there was only one. I’ll try to compose a higher-quality puzzle next time! May 12, 2020 at 20:33

Or, is the intended solution

5-9/3=4/2?

By

(moving the sticks from "+" and "4" to form "5")

Also,

4 - 6 / 3 ≡ 4 / 2

by

1. + 9 becomes - 8
2. 8 and = become 6 and ≡, respectively.

You can also

turn the 9 into a 6, and then take the vertical match from the + and burn it.