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J.G and Benny the Brain

Trick brain teasers appear difficult at first, but they have a trick that makes them really easy.


Puzzle ID:#12752
Fun:*** (2.84)
Difficulty:*** (2.97)
Submitted By:Codammanus***
Corrected By:Jake




Jimmy Foster, better known as "J.G." (Jimmy the Gambler), has decided to give up gambling for good. However, Jimmy decides to make one last wager, a huge one. Jimmy wages $147,000 on a race horse named "End of the line." Unfortunately, Jimmy loses his money on "End of the line." (It really is looking like the end of the line for Jimmy).

Anyway, the person who owns the horse finds out about Jimmy's wager and his loss. He makes him an offer he can't refuse, just the same way he has done dozens of times before. He approaches Jimmy and invites him into his office. The man takes a book of matches out of the inner pocket of his suit coat, rips off 4 matchsticks, and places them on the table. He says to Jimmy: "What is your name?" Jimmy tells him his name. He continues: "Jimmy, you see these four matchsticks here? Well, if you can make me a triangle, and a square using only these four matchsticks, I'll give you double your money back that you lost this afternoon on my horse."

Jimmy responds: "You gotta be kidding me. That's easy. By the way, what is YOUR name?" The man says: "Well, my friends call me Benny. Benny the Brain, and Jimmy, it is not as easy as it sounds. Of course, there is a catch. You must make BOTH the triangle and the square, at the same time, and they have to be joined together. And the end result must have less than seven corners."

Jimmy says: "Now, you're really kidding me. Listen fella, Brainy Ben, or whatever your name is, I don't have time for you and your little matchstick trick. I'm outta here." Jimmy leaves and never looks back.

Jimmy didn't think it was possible to do what Benny the Brain was asking, but it is. Can you make the square and triangle, joined together, using only four matchsticks (of equal length), the end result having less than seven corners?


Benny the Brain was looking for Jimmy to use the matchsticks to create the number 4. It would contain a right triangle with the right angle on the right side, using up 3 of the 4 matchsticks. The remaining matchstick would be placed directly under the right angle (perpendicular), creating the number 4, a perfect square. Thus, a square and a triangle, joined together, using only 4 matchsticks, having less than seven corners.

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