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Mensa Quiz Question

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The fish-catching thread prompted me to post this because I'd like to know if I'm right.

I found an old Omni magazine — Feb./March 1993 — that ran this ad for Mensa.
TAKE THIS INSTANT TEST TO SEE IF YOU'RE A GENIUS.

Rearrange these six matchsticks to make "nothing."
No matchsticks may be bent, broken or placed over each other.


| | | | | |

This problem stumps 60% of the Mensa members who try it. And they all have IQs in the top 2% nationswide. If you can solve it, you maight have what it takes to join us. To find out, get our practice test by sending $12 (check or M.O. blah blah blah. . . .
I think I figured it out, but there's no answer in the ad, and no suggestion of a time limit to do so, though 14 years would be a bit much.

Anyone know the answer? I'm not sure whether mine would be considered "lateral thinking" or not.
 
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I think I've seen this before. Don't you just make a big 0?

_
| |
| |


I did my best to post it but there really is no good way to make a horizontal line on here
 
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I don't think so, because a rectangle isn't a zero.

I suppose not. In that case, here's your answer:
msol6.gif


And more matchstick puzzles and the site from whence the answer came:
http://www.iamawiz.com/lunch/match.htm
 
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I would think that a more appropriate response would be a "null set". Ø

Something like the attached picture:

matches.jpg
 
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Unless my thought that a rectangle or square can't be a zero is a stupid restriction on my part, Nil would have to be it. I had thought a square or rectangle would be too obvious, but maybe not.

I had come up with NIL, and also |/0 but had rejected the second one because of the rectangle/square thing. I wouldn't have thought of a "null set" in a million years.

I guess |/0 would be indeterminate, anyway, not zero.

michaelstumpf, thanks for the link.
 
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I'd go with either the "zero" or "nil" responses. Especially since this was from 1993, it was the norm to see LED number displays that used 7 bars, 3 horizontal and 4 vertical. A zero would have looked just like the one suggested by michaelstumpf.
 
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I'd go with either the "zero" or "nil" responses. Especially since this was from 1993, it was the norm to see LED number displays that used 7 bars, 3 horizontal and 4 vertical. A zero would have looked just like the one suggested by michaelstumpf.
Yeah. I was looking for zebras instead of horses.
 
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All depends on what do they mean with "nothing". The question says "to make 'nothing'", not to simbolize "nothing". If that is the case, as long as they don't represent/symbolize/resemble something, they are "nothing".
 
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Personally, I would have lost interest after the request for money, but I have a couple ideas off the top of my head.

1. burn all the matches into nothing, but something would be left behind.

2. Arrange them to look like a math problem with a zero answer like 1 - 1.

Good luck, let me know if I should send $12 to someone who can make me a genius.
 

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