## Move 5 matches to make the matchstick kite reverse direction and dive down

Kite Matchstick Puzzle: Move 5 matches to make the Kite dive down. This is a direction reversing puzzle that is not easy to solve in given time of 20 mins.

### The Kite Matchstick Puzzle

**Part 1.** A matchstick kite is shown in the figure below. Move 5 matchsticks to make the kite reverse its direction by 180 degrees and dive down*.*

*Recommended time is 20 minutes.*

**Part 2.** How many solutions can you find?

No time limit for this second part of the kite matchstick puzzle.

You should enjoy solving this unusual puzzle.

### Solution to the Kite matchstick puzzle: Move 5 matches to make the kite dive down

#### Analysis of the structure and knowing precisely what you have to do

Do we know exactly which figure of kite we have to form finally? The **first step** should be then to *form this final figure*. It would be the same kite, but flipped upside down by 180 degrees.

In solving earlier matchstick puzzles except one, *you didn't know the final solution figure at the beginning*. In this aspect you have apparently an advantage—*you know the final solution figure here at the start itself*.

Your only job is then to **identify 5 sticks** from the problem figure and move the sticks suitably to transform the heads up kite on the left to the solution figure of nose down kite on the right. Easy?

Let's see.

You find quickly that common stick concept or counting stick technique will not help you at all. To solve this puzzle you have to adopt a different approach.

#### Solution using End State Analysis Approach: Kite matchstick puzzle: Move 5 matches to make the kite dive down

In 5 square puzzle solutions earlier we have used this very powerful approach to compare promising possible final figures with the problem figure and select the promising figure that had maximum similarity with the problem figure.

We compared the End state and the Initial state first to identify the most promising End state, and then found out how we could transform the selected possible final figure from the problem figure.

In our problem now, we know the final solution figure. So *how and why* would we use the End State Analysis?

In End State analysis the *key action is comparison of two matchstick figures* for judging maximum similarity between the two. The *assessment is done visually*.

Here also we will assess the similarity between the two figures—the final solution and the problem. But we will assess **how many sticks** **are common** between the two **when they are superimposed in various positions**.

That's the *key action precisely specified*. We won't assess the similarity with respect to number of squares in same position, but *we'll assess instead, the number of sticks in same position by superimposing the two figures in promising possible ways.*

#### Structural Analysis for finding Promising Ways of Superimposition—Axis of Symmetry: Kite matchstick puzzle: Move 5 matches to make the kite dive down

While analyzing the structure of the kite, you would surely notice that on both sides of an imaginary vertical line passing exactly through the middle of the figure, the two parts of the kite are mirror images of each other. This is the line of symmetry.

Why do we talk about this line anyway? The reason lies in its great use of fixing the relative position of the two figures when superimposed.

Let's show the* axes of symmetry* of the two figures first.

The *blue vertical line* and the *brick-red vertical line* are the axes of symmetry of the problem figure and the solution figure respectively.

You may imagine to hold the solution figure by its axis of symmetry fixed to the kite body, and move it leftwards to examine the effect of superimposing it on the problem figure (assuming that the line is a fixed part of kite body with all the sticks also fixed with each other).

#### First promising superimposition of the two figures: Kite matchstick puzzle: Move 5 matches to make the kite dive down

At the very first attempt, you would superimpose the four squares, the body of the kites, on one another. The effect is shown below with the sticks of the solution faded and the two figures separated a little for ease of visualization.

You have superimposed the tail-joint of the nose-diving solution kite figure with the nose-joint of the puzzle kite figure so that the body of the two figures consisting of two sets of four squares are superimposed on one another.

How many sticks failed to match? It is four on the left of common axes of the two figures plus four on the right of the axes—a total of eight sticks.

Just move sticks 4 and 8 to form the tail of the solution figure (stick positions 3 and 7), stick 2 to stick position 1 and lastly stick 5 to stick position 6. You get the nose-diving kite. In total you have moved 4 sticks.

Instead of solving the given puzzle, you have solved a new puzzle,

Move 4 sticks in the figure of kite to make it diving down nose first.

So you have to *separate the two axes of symmetry when superimposing* and make a second attempt.

The second fact you discover as,

Number of sticks unmatched in the superimposed two figures must be 10, so that moving 5 sticks of puzzle figure to 5 new positions of the solution figure (with rest of the sticks of the puzzle figure kept untouched) you can form the nose-diving kite.

#### Second promising superimposition of the two figures: Kite matchstick puzzle: Move 5 matches to make the kite dive down

This time you are more experienced and coincide the tail-joint of the solution figure with the first right-bottom joint of the puzzle figure. The second superimposed figure is shown below.

Now the number of unmatched sticks as a whole is 10. This should solve the puzzle.

And indeed it is so. Move sticks 2, 3 and 4 to positions 7, 8 and 9, stick 1 to position 6 and lastly stick 5 to position 10 to complete the tail of the nose-diving kite. You have moved exactly 5 sticks to 5 new positions to transform the puzzle kite to the nose-diving solution kite.

Mark that the two axes of symmetry are separated from each other as expected.

Now the second part of the puzzle—how many such solutions are possible?

#### One more solution to the Kite matchstick puzzle: Move 5 matches to make the kite dive down

At this point you are fully experienced on the structure of the kite figures, the process of superimposition and formation of the solution figure. You can easily answer that, only one more solution to the puzzle is possible by equivalent left positioning of the red axis of symmetry of the solution figure.

You should be able to form this second solution yourself easily now.

### Summary

Though we have shown the process of superimposing the nose-diving kite on the puzzle kite in the figures easily, when you actually solve the puzzle, it won't be so easy for you—the sticks won't be fixed together in a figure—you have to either place the sticks one by one alongside matching sticks or better still, carry out the superimposition in your mind. With practice that shouldn't be difficult.

The second interesting point to mark in this puzzle is the use of the same End State Analysis approach, but not counting similar closed shapes of squares (or triangles), but counting unmatched sticks instead.

This is customizing or fine-tuning the same method slightly for solving a different type of problem.

We do this often in real life problem solving also.

### End note

Lastly, **to solve matchstick puzzles you don't need to know maths or any other subject**—you just have to identify key patterns and use your inherent analytical reasoning skills to home in to the solution with assurance and speed.

*The way to the solution, the approach, the thinking are more important than the solution itself. The concepts and methods stay with you and are enriched as you proceed to solve more and more problems.*

And you can take even a short break of fifteen minutes to create a new puzzle of your own and spend the time solving it. If you do it regularly it will sharpen your pattern based problem solving skill, an extremely valuable skill.

### Puzzles you may enjoy

#### Riddles

**Riddle of 4 persons crossing a bridge over a river at night**

**Riddle of PROBLEMSOLVING - Creation and application of Repetition pattern based technique**

#### Mathematical puzzles

**Reverse cheque puzzle solution**

**Counting eggs puzzles based on Euclid's division lemma**

**Monkey and the coconuts puzzle with solutions**

**10 digit Conway number puzzle with solution**

**World's Hardest Easy Geometry Puzzle Solved with Techniques Explained Step by Step**

**Hard Algebra Puzzles Solved by Basic Exponent Concepts and Reasoning**

**Three squares in a triangle puzzle**

**9 squares in a rectangle math puzzle**

**How many addition signs needed to make sum of 99**

#### Logic analysis puzzles

**Method based solution to Einstein's logic analysis puzzle, whose fish**

**How to solve Einstein's puzzle whose fish confidently, improved method based solution**

**Logic puzzle, When is Cheryl's birthday**

#### River crossing puzzles

**Farmer with fox, goose and bag of corn crossing the river puzzle**

**Two pigs and two hens crossing river puzzle**

*3 monkeys and 3 humans crossing river puzzle*

**King queen minister washerman river crossing puzzle**

#### Ball weighing puzzles

**Find the heavier among 8 identical balls in 2 weighing puzzle**

**Find the fake ball among 8 identical balls in 3 weighing puzzle**

**Find the fake ball among 9 identical balls in 3 weighing puzzle**

**Find the fake ball among 12 identical balls in 3 weighing hard puzzle with solution**

#### Matchstick puzzles

**Solution to 6 triangles to 5 triangles in 2 moves, first matchstick puzzle**

**Matchstick puzzle 5 squares to 4 squares in 2 moves**

**Matchstick puzzle 5 squares to 4 squares in 3 moves**

**Matchstick puzzle, Turn around the fish in 3 moves**

**Fifth Matchstick puzzle, Move 3 sticks in tic-tac-toe figure to form 3 perfect squares**

**Hexagonal wheel to 3 triangles by removing 4 sticks**

**Convert 5 squares to 4 squares in 3 stick moves, third 5 square matchstick puzzle**

**Matchstick Puzzle - Make the kite nose-dive in 5 stick moves**

**Make 5 squares from 6 in 2 stick moves - 6 square matchstick puzzle**

**Move 3 sticks and convert 5 squares to 4 squares in 4th 5 square matchstick puzzle**

**Move 3 sticks and convert 4 squares to 3 squares matchstick puzzle**

**Move 8 sticks and convert 5 squares to 2 squares matchstick puzzle**

**First Move 3 sticks and make 2 squares matchstick puzzle**

**Second Move 3 sticks and make 2 squares matchstick puzzle**

**Remove 3 matchsticks to leave 6 triangles puzzle**

**Add 3 matchsticks to make 4 triangles - lateral thinking stick puzzle**

**Move 1 stick to make 4 closed shapes each with 3 or 4 sides**

**Move 2 sticks to make 5 closed shapes matchstick puzzle**

**Move 2 to make 7 squares matchstick puzzle - solution based on problem solving and innovation model**

**Move 4 to turn the tower upside down Matchstick puzzle**

**Move 2 matches to make 6 squares and move 8 matches to make 6 squares - a pair of matchstick puzzles**