You never know when a situation will arise where you have to do math on the spot, so it doesn’t hurt to keep those numerical muscles flexing. It’s hard to stop relying on your phone calculator, but practicing your math can help be a great mental exercise like finishing a puzzle or playing a game of scrabble. Here’s one particular math brain teaser that’s been making the rounds online. See if you can solve it!
Basically, you get three number together in one sum: 6+4=4, arranged using color-coded sticks, as seen in the image featured in this article. The trick is to arrange one of the sticks so that the equation actually equals four, and you can even move one of the sticks in the plus sign. The fact that there are many colors for all the sticks is just a distraction tactic and has nothing to do with the actual solution.
In reality, this equation has many possible solutions, all ranging from the simplest to one that involves turning it into a double equation. Users online were quick to point out that it was really easy, while others couldn’t see the solution in the near horizon. The truth is, it depends on how comfortable you are with numerical thinking.
Some people have better luck with visual puzzles and word riddles, and they might not be great at solving this particular sum puzzle. Find out if you got one of the right answers, and if your numerical thinking is in top shape!
The first solution involves turning the equation into 0=4+4 by moving one of the lines in the six to turn it into a zero. The second solution is to remove one of the lines in the plus sign, turning into a minus, and adding that line to the six so it becomes an 8, which makes the resulting equation: 8-4=4.
Another popular solution is to completely change the result by moving one line in the six and putting it on the last four, so that the resulting equation becomes 5+4=9. This one is arguably one of the most creative solutions because it shows that you think outside the box, and you don’t limit yourself to what’s written in front of you.
Also called the Matchstick Puzzle, because you can play this game using a simple set of matches, this riddle was recently posted to a Facebook page called Brain Dare, and it went viral. It generated over 22,000 comments and quite a few amusing answers including one from Clinton Cochran whose solution was rather unorthodox: “Remove one match, ignite it, and set the whole math problem ablaze. Boom, always more than one way to solve a problem.”