Answer to the Saturday Puzzle

On Saturday, I gave the following puzzle:

Can you make the following equation correct by moving just one number?:

45 – 46 = 1

Answer below the jump.

Short answer: no, you can’t.

Longer answer: none of the following equations are true:

  • 54 – 46 = 1
  • 54 = 46 = 1
  • 5 – 446 = 1
  • 5 – 446 = 1
  • 5 – 44×6 = 1
  • 5 – 464 = 1
  • 5 – 464 = 1
  • 5 – 46 = 41
  • 5 – 46 = 14
  • 5 – 46 = 14
  • 4 – 546 = 1
  • 4 – 456 = 1
  • 4 – 45×6 = 1
  • 4 – 465 = 1
  • 4 – 465 = 1
  • 4 – 46 = 51
  • 4 – 46 = 15
  • 4 – 46 = 15
  • 445 – 6 = 1
  • 445 – 6 = 1
  • 44×5 = 6 = 1
  • 454 – 6 = 1
  • 454 – 6 = 1
  • 45 – 64 = 1
  • 45 – 64 = 1
  • 45 – 6 = 41
  • 45 – 6 = 14
  • 45 – 6 = 14
  • 645 – 4 = 1
  • 465 – 4 = 1
  • 46×5 – 4 = 1
  • 456 – 4 = 1
  • 456 – 4 = 1
  • 45 – 64 = 1
  • 45 – 4 = 61
  • 45 – 4 = 16
  • 45 – 4 = 16

Posted

in

by

Comments

2 responses to “Answer to the Saturday Puzzle”

  1. Mike Huben Avatar
    Mike Huben

    You omitted the possibility of rotating the 6 to a 9.

    That still leaves the same answer.

    1. arensb Avatar

      Good point. Though depending how broadly the judges are willing to interpret “move”, you could, in one fluid movement, both rotate the 6 into a 9 and turn it into an exponentiation superscript. I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure that raising anything to the ninth power makes it large enough that the equation still won’t hold.