07 May 2011

12. Crossing Sticks

Easy Medium Hard Extreme

The challenge in this puzzle is to end with 5 pairs of "crossed" matchsticks.

Matchticks are crossed by picking up one, jumping over 2 matchsticks by going either left or right, and then placing it onto the third one. For example, pick up matchstick number 4, jump over 5 and 6 and place it on 7 to cross it. Remember, a crossed pair counts as 2 matchsticks when jumping over it.

Can you achieve this in 5 jumps?

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Above is only one solution and there are many more.

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  1. Do you have an answer to one where there is two matchsticks in an upside-down v and you have to add 3 matchsticks to make 5 triangles and pentagon

  2. My dad's friend gave me this problem some 30 years ago, and it was great fun finding the solution. Where did you find it? I am trying to learn about the origins of the problem.

    Also, you can also do this with 8 sticks, and therefore any multiple of 8 or 10, but not with 6, nor with 4.

    1. Somebody showed it to me in the early 1990's but I cannot remember who it was. Thanks for your comment.