Removing The Cherry In The Cocktail Glass: A Match Puzzle

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Here is a creative match puzzle by Martin Gardner.

Suppose that the four matches in the illustration above represent a cocktail glass. The objective of this puzzle is to remove the cherry from inside the glass without touching it. Also, you can only change the positions of two of the matches. The glass can either end up lying sideways or upside down provided that the size and the shape of the glass stay the same.

Solution (Click to Show)

Most people who I challenged with this puzzle insisted that it can only be solved by moving three matches. Of the 15 people I challenged, only four of them realized the solution.

The solution is not immediately apparent and it requires some divergent thinking.

Step 1: Move the horizontal match halfway its length to the right.

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Step 2: Move the top left match to the lower right.

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

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