Here’s a brain-teaser you can try at home with just a few spare toothpicks and a well-oiled brain.
The challenge was recently posted to Quora by Brian Hoang, who picked it up from his waiter in a restaurant. All you have to do is get 12 toothpicks and set them up in the pattern shown below. The aim of the challenge is to rearrange the four squares into three perfect squares using exactly three moves.
However, there are some rules
- One move classifies as moving one toothpick in any manner.
- A perfect square is one in which all four corners are closed (i.e. the toothpicks are touching).
- You cannot break or otherwise modify a toothpick.
- You cannot put two toothpicks right next to each other and count that as one side.
- You must use exactly three moves as mentioned above. No less, no more.
- All three squares must be of the same size.
- Every toothpick must be part of a square.
If you’re still stumped, we’ve got the answer for you below. You’ll be surprised how simple the solution really is.
All images credit: Brian Hoang via Quora