Matchstick squares to rectangles puzzle: Move 3 Matches to Form Exactly 3 Rectangles
The matchstick puzzle figure comprise only of squares. Can you move 3 matchsticks to form a matchstick figure comprising only of 3 rectangles and no square?
Recommended time to solve is 5 minutes.
Try before going through the solution.
Solution to move 3 matches to form exactly 3 rectangles puzzle: Identify the first stick that must be moved
Not all the 5 squares are equivalent. The fifth square at the bottom differs from all the other 4 squares.
The only way to destroy this bottom square and form a rectangle containing it is to move the top horizontal stick of the square.
In the final solution, this stick must be one of the three sticks moved as shown.
The stick labeled 1 must be moved to form the first rectangle comprising squares A and B.
Solution to move 3 matches to form exactly 3 rectangles puzzle: Identify the second stick that must be moved
When stick 1 is moved all six side sticks of the first rectangle A-B become fixed. You cannot move any of these.
Question now is how to destroy the square C?
The only way to destroy the square C now is to move the stick 2 bordering square C and D.
When this second stick is moved, the second rectangle is formed comprising the squares C and D as shown.
With all the sticks forming the sides of the two rectangles A-B and C-D now untouchable, you can only move either of the two corner sticks that are marked as shown above.
Each move of the third stick option will give you a unique solution.
Two solutions to the move 3 matches to form exactly 3 rectangles puzzle: Vertical third stick moved
In the first solution, the upper horizontal side of square E is kept fixed and the right vertical side is moved. With these three sticks moved, three sides of the second square component of the third rectangle is formed as shown.
In the same way, keeping the right vertical side of square E fixed, the second solution is formed, as shown.
The solutions obtained using step by step reasoning and structural analysis.
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