# Odd Matchstick Puzzle

EinsteinMind
Posers and Puzzles 08 Jul '10 19:11
1. 08 Jul '10 19:111 edit
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, issued a matchstick puzzle to the members of the Israeli Parliament recently. Only one of his people could solve it, and he solved it in ten minutes. All the rest could not. I am searching for the answer to this puzzle.

Here it is:

1 + 1 + 11 = 130

The 1's require one match, the plus signs require 2, the equal sign is two, the number 3 is four matches, and the number 0 is four.

The idea is to move one match and make a valid equation.

Can you do it?

Edit: The equation cannot have the slash through the equal sign i.e. =/=
2. 08 Jul '10 19:33
Originally posted by EinsteinMind
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, issued a matchstick puzzle to the members of the Israeli Parliament recently. Only one of his people could solve it, and he solved it in ten minutes. All the rest could not. I am searching for the answer to this puzzle.

Here it is:

1 + 1 + 11 = 130

The 1's require one match, the plus signs requir ...[text shortened]... .

Can you do it?

Edit: The equation cannot have the slash through the equal sign i.e. =/=
Take the vertical match off the second plus sign and add it to the first to read 141 - 11 = 130.
3. 08 Jul '10 19:37
1+1+11-13=0

take one of the 'equals' matches and break it in half for '= 0' ?
4. 08 Jul '10 19:54
I like Green Paladin's explanation, though
5. 09 Jul '10 07:09
None of the matches can be broken.
6. 09 Jul '10 21:49
Sorry for the double post.

Green Paladin's solution is correct. Thank you to all contributors.
7. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
10 Jul '10 11:561 edit
Remove the bottom horizontal matchstick and you have 1+1+11=13N

That looks a lot more realistic than that so-called 4 where the diagonal extends way past the intersection of the the ends of the horizontal and vertical matchsticks. If you actually do that it doesn't even come close to looking like a 4.
8. 10 Jul '10 12:32
Originally posted by sonhouse
Remove the bottom horizontal matchstick and you have 1+1+11=13N

That looks a lot more realistic than that so-called 4 where the diagonal extends way past the intersection of the the ends of the horizontal and vertical matchsticks. If you actually do that it doesn't even come close to looking like a 4.
That looks a lot more realistic than that so-called 4 where the diagonal extends way past the intersection of the the ends of the horizontal and vertical matchsticks. If you actually do that it doesn't even come close to looking like a 4.

Why not just place the match vertically?
9. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
10 Jul '10 13:20
That looks a lot more realistic than that so-called 4 where the diagonal extends way past the intersection of the the ends of the horizontal and vertical matchsticks. If you actually do that it doesn't even come close to looking like a 4.

Why not just place the match vertically?
It's still a stretch to call it a 4 since the new vertical would extend way past the other vert. BTW, if someone called me out on just removing the bottom of the zero, you could put it up vertical to the left side vertical and it would then be the letter h. So in that case, 1+1+11=13h.
10. abejnood
Independant Thinker
03 Sep '10 18:33
Originally posted by sonhouse
It's still a stretch to call it a 4 since the new vertical would extend way past the other vert. BTW, if someone called me out on just removing the bottom of the zero, you could put it up vertical to the left side vertical and it would then be the letter h. So in that case, 1+1+11=13h.
Unfotunately you can't say h=1 w.l.o.g. :'(
11. 04 Sep '10 15:291 edit
In England we quite often write fours like this:

|
|_|_
...|

(ignore the dots)

The lefthand vertical is usually higher than the cross
That works better with the matches than the diagonal way of writing it.