# Puzzles

## Is it equilateral?

In the diagram below, \(ABDC\) is a square. Angles \(ACE\) and \(BDE\) are both 75°.

Is triangle \(ABE\) equilateral? Why/why not?

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The triangle is equilateral.

To see why, add a copy of point \(E\) rotated by 90°. This is labelled \(F\) on the diagram below.

Angles \(BDE\) and \(CDF\) are both 75°. Therefore angles \(CDE\) and \(BDF\) are both 15°. This means that angle \(FDE\) is 60°.

Line \(AD\) is a line of symmetry of the diagram, so angles \(DFE\) and \(DEF\) are equal and both 60°. Therefore, triangle DEF is equilateral. This triangle is show in green in the diagram below.

Lines \(EF\), \(DF\) and \(BF\) are all equal length, so triangles \(BFE\) and \(BFD\) are isosceles.
Angles \(BDF\) and \(FBD\) are both 15°. Angles \(FBE\) and \(FEB\) are equal, and the angles in triangle \(BED\) add to 180°: this means that angle \(FBE\) is 15°.

Angles \(FBE\) and \(FBD\) are both 15°, and so angle \(EBD\) is 30°. Angles \(EBD\) and \(ABE\) add to 90°, and so angle \(ABE\) is 60°.

By symmetry, angle \(BAE\) is also 60°. Angle \(BEA\) must therefore also be 60°, so triangle \(ABE\) is equilateral.

## Squared circle

Each side of a square has a circle drawn on it as diameter. The square is also inscribed in a fifth circle as shown.

Find the ratio of the total area of the shaded crescents to the area
of the square.

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Let the radius of the small circles be \(r\). The are of half of one of these circles is \(\frac{1}{2}\pi r^2\).

The side of the square is \(2r\) and so the area of the square is \(4r^2\). Therefore the area of the whole shape is \((4+2\pi)r^2\).

By Pythagoras' Theorem, the radius of the large circle is \(r\sqrt{2}\). Therefore the area of the circle is \(2\pi r^2\). This means that the shaded area is \((4+2\pi)r^2 - 2\pi r^2\) or \(4r^2\).

This is the same as the area of the square, so the ratio is **1:1**.

## Square deal

This unit square is divided into four regions by a diagonal and a line that connects a vertex to the midpoint of an opposite side. What are the areas of the four regions?

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The square is unit, so \(a+b+c+d=1\). By the definitions of the lines, \(a+d=\frac{1}{2}\) and \(a+b=\frac{1}{4}\).

\(a\) and \(c\) are similar triangles. The vertical side of \(c\) is twice that of \(a\) so \(c=4a\).

Therefore we have the system of simultaneous equations:

$$a+b+c+d=1\\a+d=\frac{1}{2}\\a+b=\frac{1}{4}\\c=4a$$

These can be solved to find:

$$a=\frac{1}{12}\\b=\frac{1}{6}\\c=\frac{1}{3}\\d=\frac{5}{12}\\$$

#### Extension

What would be the areas if the lines were a diagonal and another line which divides the sides in the ratio \(x:y\)?

## Light work

"*I don't know if you are fond of puzzles, or not. If you are, try this. ... A gentleman (a nobleman let us say, to make it more interesting) had a sitting-room with only one window in it—a square window, 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. Now he had weak eyes, and the window gave too much light, so (don't you like 'so' in a story?) he sent for the builder, and told him to alter it, so as only to give half the light. Only, he was to keep it square—he was to keep it 3 feet high—and he was to keep it 3 feet wide. How did he do it? Remember, he wasn't allowed to use curtains, or shutters, or coloured glass, or anything of that sort.*"

## Chessboard squares

It was once claimed that there are 204 squares on a chessboard. Can you justify this claim?

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There are 64 1×1 squares, 49 2×2 squares, 36 3×3 squares, 25 4×4 squares, 16 5×5 squares, 9 6×6 squares, 4 7×7 squares and 1 8×8 square on a chessboard.

This can be shown by counting how many positions the top left corner of the square can sit on. For example, the top left corner of a 5×5 square can be in the first four rows and columns of the board (otherwise the square will go off the board) and 4×4=16.

64+49+36+25+16+9+4+1=204.

#### Extension

How many rectangles are there on a chessboard?

## Equal areas

An equilateral triangle and a square have the same area. What is the ratio of the perimeter of the triangle to the perimeter of the square?

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Let \(A\) be the area of the square (and the triangle).

The length of a side of the square is \(\sqrt{A}\), so the perimeter of the square is \(4\sqrt{A}\).

Let \(l\) be the length of a side the triangle. Then \(\frac{1}{2}l^2\sin{60}=A\), so \(l^2=\frac{4A}{\sqrt{3}}\). Therefore \(l=\frac{2\sqrt{A}}{3^\frac{1}{4}}\) and the perimeter of the triangle is \(\frac{6\sqrt{A}}{3^\frac{1}{4}}\).

Hence the ratio of the perimeters is \(\frac{6\sqrt{A}}{3^\frac{1}{4}} : 4\sqrt{A}\) which simplifies to **3**^{3/4}:2

#### Extension

If an \(n\) sided regular polygon has the area \(A\), what is the length of one of its sides?