### Brain Teasers

# Menacing Matchsticks II

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You will need twelve matchsticks for this teaser. Take four matchsticks and arrange them into an upright square. Below that, take two matchsticks and connect a backwards L to the lower-right corner of the square. You should now have a 9. With the six other matchsticks, make an identical 9 to the right of the one you have just made. Be sure the space between the two 9s is about one matchstick wide. You should now have 99.

Now, moving only two matchsticks, can you make 9?

You cannot:

Bend or break the matchsticks.

Remove the matchsticks.

Involve a zero in your answer.

Now, moving only two matchsticks, can you make 9?

You cannot:

Bend or break the matchsticks.

Remove the matchsticks.

Involve a zero in your answer.

### Hint

I didn't say you couldn't stack.### Answer

Take the matchstick from the upper-left of one of the 9s and place it diagonally slanting downwards (\) in between the 9 and what now looks like a 3. Take the matchstick from the upper-left of the other 9 and place it diagonally slanting upwards (/) onto the first matchstick.You should now have 3x3, which equals 9.

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## Comments

This bar trick has won a pint or two. Good One.

Good teaser but bad wording. The directions forbid you from removing matchsticks from the numbers, and make it sound like you have two extra matchsticks.

why did it get changed? i remember typing "moving only two matchsticks"

thats better.

I thought it was 4 plus 5.

Another possible solution is to take the upper-right matchstick from one "9" and the upper-left matchstick from the other "9", these now resulting in "5 3" or "3 5", and use these two matchsticks to form a "1", resulting in "5 3 1" or "3 5 1" or any combination of these three digits. Though there is no explicit addition operation, it can be argued that with this configuration "9" has been made, since the totality of the three digits is "9". Good teaser.

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