Braingle Lite

Menacing Matchsticks X

Submitted By:calmsavior
Fun:*** (2.34)
Difficulty:*** (3.09)

You will need twenty-seven matchsticks for this puzzle.

Take sixteen matchsticks and arrange them into the number 188. Next, take another matchstick and place it horizontally after the 188 to form a minus sign. Finally, take the last ten matchsticks and form the number 33. Make sure each digit is at least the width of a matchstick apart.

You should have "1 8 8 - 3 3", which is equal to 155.

The goal of this puzzle is to move two matchsticks from the first term (188), and move them to the second term (33), such that the value of all of the matchsticks is as close to zero as possible.

Notice that if the two central matchsticks from the two 8s in the first term were moved to the two 3s in the second term, you would get "100 - 99", which is equal to 1. While this solution seems strong enough to be the best possible solution, there is yet another solution that is superior to this one.

Can you figure it out? How can you move two matchsticks from the 188 to the 33 such that the value of all of the matchsticks is as close to zero as possible?

There are some rules to this puzzle. You may not break, bend, remove, or stack the matchsticks. You may also not tamper with the matchstick that functions as the minus sign.

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Comments on this teaser

Posted by dalfamnest11/03/09
I thought I had beaten you - removed the minus sign and the bottom left of the first 8. That made 198 33. Then place one match between the 1 and 9, diagonally (1/9) and the other after the 3. ...1/98 331, with value 0.0000102 ... :lol: :D ... ...and then I read the instructions properly :x :( Oh well - I had fun with this teaser; thanks! :D :D

Posted by calmsavior11/03/09
lol, thank you for enjoying it :D

Posted by coolkcoolk11/04/09
good one!

Posted by comeon11/26/09
I turned the middle 8 to an e and the second 8 to a zero giving 1e0 which in scientific notation is equal to 1. Then put the two matchsticks on an angel between the 3's and got 3/3 which is also equal to 1. The result is then 1-1 which is zero. As close as I can get.


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