30 May 2011

35. Create 3 groups with 8 sticks in each group

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The challenge in this puzzle is to end with 3 groups of 8 matchsticks in each group.

There are 11 matchsticks in group 1, 7 matchsticks in group 2 and 6 matchsticks in group 3. The matchsticks must be moved from one group to another BUT, the number of matchsticks you want to move is determined by the number of matchsticks in the receiving group. For example, if you want to move matchsticks from group 1 to group 3, you may move only 6 because there are only 6 in the receiving group. Can you achieve the objective in only 3 moves?

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Step 1: There are 7 matchsticks in group 2, so move 7 matchsticks from group 1 to group 2.
Step 2: There are 6 matchsticks in group 3, so move 6 matchsticks from group 2 to group 3.
Step 3: There are now only 4 matchsticks left in group 1, so move 4 matchsticks from group 3 to group 1. There are now 8 matchsticks in each group which solves the puzzle.

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