Move 2 to form 11 squares is a tricky matchstick puzzle to solve in 5 minutes. Give it a try and then learn problem solving in puzzles from the solution.

### The matchstick puzzle move 2 to form 11 squares

In the following figure, move 2 matchsticks to transform the figure into 11 squares. Each matchstick must be a part of one of the 11 squares.

**Recommended time** to solve: 10 minutes.

Think with reason, you’ll get the solution.

### Solution to the matchstick puzzle move 2 to form 11 squares: Problem solving by analyzing the puzzle figure

Problem solving essentially involves applying analytical reasoning to discover key patterns and make key conclusions step by step each step focused towards the solution.

You have to make 11 squares. What can then be the first conclusion that you can make from the puzzle figure?

**Reason:** Each side in a square in the new solution figure must be a horizontal or a vertical stick. It cannot be an obliquely placed slanted stick like to two making up the roof of an outline of a university building from the old times.

Conclusion 1:The two sticks to be moved must be the two slanted sticks at the top.

Good progress till now. The first breakthrough quickly achieved.

Now we have to face the second hurdle.

Question 1:How can we make as many as 11 squares from only a total number of 11 matchsticks? Would these be of the same size?

The number of matchsticks and the size of the new squares form two important items of inquiry and analysis.

The next conclusion follows easily,

Conclusion 2:With 11 matches, no way can you form 11 squares of the same size!

Out of the 11 squares in the solution figure then, most of the squares must be of small size (of side-length a half matchstick). That is now obvious.

But the more obvious conclusion drawn from conclusion 1 is,

Conclusion 3:As the two sticks to be moved must be the top two slanted sticks, the rest of the sticks forming the body of the building must remain in their places, as shown.

You have to place each of the top two sticks on this body made up of 9 sticks to increase the number of squares drastically. And the 11 squares formed must be of unequal size.

Of course that can be done easily.

Conclusion 4:Just place the two top sticks horizontally across the middle of the vertical sticks. Eight small squares are straightway created.

The figure shown.

Eight small squares plus 2 larger boundary squares, a total of 10 squares can surely be identified. But where is the 11th square?

Conclusion 5:The 11th square must be hidden in this figure itself. We just have to identify it.

With this assurance when you count the larger squares, you face no difficulty in identifying three numbers of larger squares.

It is shown in the solution figure below. The **two red colored vertical centrally placed sticks** along with the straight line top and bottom form the extra third square.

Two of the earlier larger squares are already there in the original puzzle figure. Now these three green colored sticks make up the vertical sides of two adjacent larger squares.

#### End note

When you apply your reasoning ability on the facts and figures of a problem systematically, you would get breakthroughs one after the other reaching the solution easily and quickly.

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