Can You Solve the Coin Puzzle?

February 4, 2016 | Elizabeth Knowles

A seven point star. If each of the remaining coins must be slid into place along a single line (where both ends are empty), can you fit all the pennies onto the star?

Better get some pennies out

This puzzle requires you to think about many elements at the same time, so it may be easier to try with actual pennies or other coins. You can attempt it by trial and error for a while, but the real trick is that there are only two spots where you can start and manage to place all of the pennies.

SEE ALSO: Matchstick Brain Teaser

If we number the spots, it will be easier to see how they relate. If you imagine that they are all connected by a piece of string, you can untangle them into a single line.

If you imagine that all of the spots are connected by a piece of thread, you can cut the thread and untangle them out into a single line.

You know spot 1 is already taken, but you can place a coin on spot 3 and slide it to spot 2. Then you can place a coin on spot 4 and slide it to spot 3 and so on. Of course, it can also be done backwards, starting with sliding a coin from 7 to 8 and another from 6 to 7.

Any other method you use will leave an empty spot (other than the last one) on the star that can never be filled.

Once you’ve got it down pat, why not challenge your friends and see whether they can figure it out too!

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