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Matchstick Math

The Puzzler


RAY: Get out a bunch of matches and construct the following equation with Roman numerals: One minus three equals -- using two match sticks to make the equals sign - equals two. Editor's note: this being the Car Talk Puzzler Psychic Friends Network, we can actually diagram this puzzler as...  I - III = II


RAY: Now, if the equation were three minus one equals two, that would be pretty good. But it's not.


The question is, what's the fewest number of match stick movements you can make to make an equation that's correct? You're not allowed to bend, fold, staple or mutilate any of the matchsticks, but you can move them, and you must use all the matches.

 

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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