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Get Out Your Matchsticks

The Puzzler


RAY: Ha! We're back. You're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss cars, car repair and, as promised, the second in the series of matchstick Puzzlers.

TOM: Yeah. So, where is the Puzzler presentation squad? Da, da-da-daah! OK. Yeah.

RAY: Here it is. In contrast to last week's Puzzler, this one is very brief.

TOM: Yeah. This is part of the setting.

RAY: Get out your matchsticks.

TOM: Get out your matchsticks.

RAY: OK? And make with your matchsticks the following Roman numeral: 7, which is V-I-I.

TOM: V-I-I.

RAY: OK? Then an equals sign, two more matchsticks.

TOM: Equals.

RAY: Equals I, one matchstick. So, the equation reads: 7 equals 1.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: OK. Now, as was the case with the other Puzzler like this, you must move one matchstick and make this...

TOM: An equation.

RAY: Right, a valid equation. And you cannot make the equals sign, again, an unequals sign. So, you can't say, 6, for example, does not equal 1. Now there are -

TOM: Nor can you touch the equals sign. All you can touch are the matchsticks making up the number 7, V-I-I, and the matchstick making up 1, the I.

RAY: Exactly. Now, I'll admit there are two possible solutions. One, our Producer Dougie Berman came up with a few weeks ago, and that one we all considered bogus. And then there is the creative one, which is the one that we'll accept.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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