Interview Question: Crazy Roman Math

Sample Question #36 (brainteaser)

(The interviewer writes down the following equation on the whiteboard…)

XI + I = X

This is an equation expressed in Roman numerals. Imagine this equation is actually written out using sticks. Without touching or adding any stick, how can you make this equation true?

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6 Responses to Interview Question: Crazy Roman Math

  1. ChrisPS3 says:

    Are the sticks metal sticks? I can use a magnet, right? 

  2. Brett says:

    Nice try, Chris. 🙂  Those sticks are wooden sticks.  More generally, you cannot move any stick (but this last condition is really a hint!). 

  3. quant says:

    move one stick to change XI to IX, which reads 9+1=10. Don’t understand the "cannot move" or "without touching" …

  4. quant says:

    or, one could look at the equation upside-down, when it reads 10=9+1

  5. Anil Kumar says:

    XI = I + X ; atleast we can move other stuff around

  6. Brett says:

    The comment from 8/6/2007 is correct: you just look at the equation upside-down!

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