Three Japanese ladies possessed a square ancestral
carpet of
considerable
intrinsic value, but treasured also as an interesting heirloom in the
family.
They decided to cut it up and make three square rugs of it, so
that each should possess a share in her own house.
One lady suggested that the simplest way would be
for her to
take a
smaller share than the other two, because then the carpet need not be
cut
into more than four pieces.
There are three easy ways of doing this, which I
will leave
the reader
for the present the amusement of finding for himself, merely saying
that
if you suppose the carpet to be nine square feet, then one lady may
take
a piece two feet square whole, another a two feet square in two pieces,
and the third a square foot whole.
But this generous offer would not for a moment be
entertained
by the
other two sisters, who insisted that the square carpet should be so cut
that each should get a square mat of exactly the same size.
Now, according to the best Western authorities,
they would
have found it
necessary to cut the carpet into seven pieces; but a correspondent in
Tokio assures me that the legend is that they did it in as few as six
pieces, and he wants to know whether such a thing is possible.
Yes; it can be done.
Can you cut out the six pieces that will form
three square
mats of equal
size?
See answer
