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Move 4 matches to make 4 squares matchstick puzzle

Move 4 matches to make 4 squares matchstick puzzle

In the puzzle figure, move 4 matches to make four squares. No matchstick should be left hanging. Recommended time to solve 10 minutes.

Move 4 matches to make 4 squares matchstick puzzle graphic

Give it a try before you go through the solution.

Solution to the matchstick puzzle move 4 sticks to make 4 squares: Visualization of the final solution

In solving matchstick puzzles, the first thing to do often is to count the number of sticks and analyze.

Here, it is 16. We know four independent squares need 16 matchsticks to form. The solution would comprise then of four independent squares.

What would exactly be the solution shape? Let us consider a familiar shape of four independent squares. We’ll compare it with the puzzle figure to examine whether it can be a candidate final solution.

Comparison of 5 square figure and 4 square figure

With three squares A, B and C common between the two figures, in only 2 stick moves you’ll get the 4 independent squares on the right. The check-marked sticks are the two sticks moved.

This cannot be the solution. But this small trial gives us the breakthrough idea.

What if the 12 sticks of square A, B and C were kept untouched and the rest 4 sticks were moved to form the fourth square!

This must be it. And we can form this fourth independent square anywhere we like. No restriction on its placement. For symmetry we have chosen the following solution figure.

Move 4 matches to make 4 squares matchstick puzzle solution

The original positions of the four sticks moved are shown faded. There can be an infinite number of solutions, as the new fourth square can be placed anywhere.

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