Math

# 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

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

## 2 thoughts on “Answer to the Saturday Puzzle”

1. Mike Huben says:

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

That still leaves the same answer.

1. 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.