The matchstick puzzle of turn around the face of the pig in 2 moves
In the matchstick puzzle figure of a pig, turn around the face of the pig in 2 moves. Do give a try to solve this interesting little puzzle.
In the following matchstick pig figure, turn around the face of the pig by moving 2 matches.
Hint: Imagine the pig as an alive one and behaving so.
Recommended time to solve is 10 minutes.
After the solution we will solve a second pig puzzle.
Solution to the pig puzzle move 2 matches and turn the face of the pig: Analyze the structure and Identify insurmountable barriers
When you solve any difficult problem, you identify the barriers that are stopping you to reach your solution. And next you identify the most critical barrier among all. If you can breakthrough the most critical barrier, half the battle is won.
When you analyze the matchstick structure of the pig, you notice that the four sticks forming the legs and the four sticks forming the body need not be considered for movement or further analysis. Whatever way you turn the face of the pig, these will not change their positions.
Easiest way to turn around the face of the pig is to move the two face sticks and place it along the hindquarters of the pig as shown.
No doubt that your friends would have laughed at the pig, but don’t be disheartened. It is you who are solving the puzzle all alone. You are free to make any experiment and learn from it.
What do you learn from the awkward pig figure? Its tail is missing. Not exactly missing—the tail is attached to its head rather than its hindquarters. You cannot move the tail now as you have already moved the two matches comprising the head.
From this you realize,
Conclusion 1: No way can you move both the matches comprising the face of the pig.
Now when you look at the strange new pig again, the significant relationship of the sticks 1 and 2 dawns upon you. All along, you have assumed that the turned around pig will have its tail upright. But who is stopping the pig from lowering down its tail when it is turned around! After all, as hinted, it is to be considered as a pig alive.
With this realization, the solution becomes clear to you.
The tail in the original figure is lowered now to make it a part of the new turned around face and the lower part of the original face is moved to fit as the other part of the new face. The upper part of the original face is not touched. It serves now as the lowered down tail of the turned around pig.
We will now present you the second pig puzzle.
The second pig puzzle
In the following matchstick figure of a pig, move 2 matches to make the pig look in the opposite direction but keeping its tail upright as it is.
Solution to the second pig puzzle
When you analyze the structure of the pig figure, you realize that this time you cannot move eight sticks of the body and the legs and also the tail stick.
You don’t have any other option than to move the two sticks making up the face. If you move these two sticks to the hindquarters of the pig, again you will end up with the strange pig.
What is the way out then?
You realize thinking deeper into the problem,
First conclusion: The direction of movement of the pig is defined by the upright tail and the two face sticks.
But comparing the two, you further realize,
Second conclusion: The upright tail defines without any doubt that the hind quarters of the pig is on the right and the face is on the left of the pig figure. This is the more important indicator.
With no movement of the tail allowed (if you move the upright tail, you cannot move the face), the pig must remain standing with its hindquarters on the right of the figure as it is now.
The only option of the pig looking the other way then is to turn around the face only without changing any other part. The solution to the second pig puzzle shown.
Like humans, pigs must also be able to turn around their head without turning around their body.
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