Move three matches to new positions in the diagram so that there are five squares instead of three.
Double click a matchstick to rotate it through 90o or, to rotate the last stick moved:
This type of puzzle has been around for many years. There were particularly popular around one hundred years ago when matches were widely available as many people smoked.
"The definitive modern match was born in mid-19th century by Swedish chemist Gustaf Erik Pasch. His ‘safety match’ design moved the phosphorus away from the match itself and onto safe striking surface, enabling creation of much safer, easier to use, and cheaper matches. His invention was greatly popularized by Swedish industrialist and inventor John Edvard Lundström who started first mass production of this type of matches." (Source: historyofmatches.com)
Today matches are not such common items but the puzzles remain. You can work on them using lolly sticks, toothpicks, headless matchsticks (available from craft shops), pencils, crayons, cotton buds and on a computer as you are doing now.
The solutions to this and other Transum puzzles, exercises and activities are available here when you are signed in to your Transum subscription account. If you do not yet have an account and you are a teacher, tutor or parent you can apply for one by completing the form on the Sign Up page.
A Transum subscription also gives you access to the 'Class Admin' student management system, downloadable worksheets, many more teaching resources and opens up ad-free access to the Transum website for you and your pupils.
Still looking for a challenge? Try one of these activities:
There are many more puzzles on the Transum Puzzle page.
Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.
Mohammad, Puzzle 1
Saturday, December 27, 2014
"Move three matches to new positions in the diagram so that there are five squares instead of three."
Friday, March 17, 2023
"In fairness the instructions should reveal that a matchstick does not have to be a part of a square but can extend as long as it isn't moved."