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Fixxed by James F. FixxApril 7, 2009 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Can you make the equation true by moving only one match?

The following is from "More Games for the Super-Intelligent" by James F. Fixx.

i i = v i

By moving one match, the answer becomes:

i = v t

The t is made by taking one of the matches on the left hand side and putting it on top of the match on the right hand side.

So, I have the question, and I have the answer, but James F. Fixx felt it was obvious without giving a written explanation.

I don't know what i=vt refers to. Could someone tell me?

Thanks so much!
posted by fantasticninety to grab bag (11 answers total)

Could it be length = velocity * time?
posted by zixyer at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2009

It could have been a transformation of the V into a square root sign. There is another solution which is to move one match to transform the equality sign into a non-equal sign; however, some people might consider that to be cheating.
posted by aroberge at 5:30 PM on April 7, 2009

it's not a v and a t

it's a square root sign and a one
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 5:30 PM on April 7, 2009

Couldn't you just take one of the two matches on the left and make the i on the right side of the equation a t? (By laying it across the middle of the i match?)
posted by kate blank at 5:31 PM on April 7, 2009

Oh! I totally misread your question. I don't know what the i, v and t stand for. Sorry!
posted by kate blank at 5:32 PM on April 7, 2009

posted by fantasticninety at 5:44 PM on April 7, 2009

it's a square root sign and a one

Or a square room sign and a minus one, if I marks the complex part of a complex number.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:19 AM on April 8, 2009

Right the answer is 1 = √ 1 (one is the square root of 1).
posted by w0mbat at 12:40 AM on April 8, 2009

This reminds me of one of the worst examples I've seen like this. It was:

III = XXII/VII

fix it by moving one match. The solution?

π = XXII/VII

posted by vernondalhart at 3:17 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Of course, you could also solve the problem by taking one of the matches and crossing the equal sign, so you have

| | (does not equal) V
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:05 PM on April 9, 2009

aroberge> There is another solution which is to move one match to transform the equality sign into a non-equal sign; however, some people might consider that to be cheating.

Oops. Never mind.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 9:53 PM on April 9, 2009

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