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## #1 2005-11-08 13:20:31

Math Guy
Member
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 20

### Matchstick Puzzler

RAY: This puzzler is from the matchstick series. Imagine, if you will, that you have four matchsticks of equal length. From those, you can easily make a square.

At each of the vertices, there is a right angle, or a ninety-degree angle, so there are four right angles.

TOM: I'm with you!

RAY: Now, using those same four matchsticks, make not 4 but 16 ninety-degree angles.

You might say, "Can I use the third dimension?" You can use any dimension you want.

I should mention, you are not allowed to fold, bend, break staple, or mutilate the matches in any other way.

TOM: Can you use mirrors?

RAY: No, but that shows you're on the right track.

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## #2 2005-11-08 16:28:18

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,657

### Re: Matchstick Puzzler

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #3 2005-11-09 06:18:44

mathsyperson
Moderator
Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

### Re: Matchstick Puzzler

I'm not good at visualising things, so I don't know if MathsIsFun's solution works. Here's mine.

Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.

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## #4 2005-11-09 08:44:42

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,657

### Re: Matchstick Puzzler

Doh! It's neater than mine!

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #5 2005-11-09 17:20:18

justlookingforthemoment
Moderator
Registered: 2005-05-26
Posts: 2,161

### Re: Matchstick Puzzler

No! It doesn't show on the pink background.

Last edited by justlookingforthemoment (2005-11-09 17:20:41)

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## #6 2005-11-15 12:28:09

Math Guy
Member
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 20

### Re: Matchstick Puzzler

congratulations all, it looks like a

!

Last edited by MathsIsFun (2005-11-15 17:15:29)

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## #7 2005-11-15 17:16:45

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,657

### Re: Matchstick Puzzler

Great little puzzle.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #8 2005-11-15 20:49:34

jU
Real Member
Registered: 2005-08-17
Posts: 1,923

yes it is

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## #9 2005-11-29 15:07:39

Mick
Member
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 1

### Re: Matchstick Puzzler

I hope I do this right, I am looking for the history and origin of the matchstick puzzle. Does anyone know where I might find this information?