Tag Archives: Dissection

Square Stumper

Square Stumper

The object of this puzzle is to divide the large square into four equal regions, each with the same size, shape, and number of circles. Although this puzzle may seem easy at first glance, it will soon become apparent that more than a simple trial-and-error approach is needed.

A better method is to approach the puzzle mathematically by thinking about the size and shape of each region. Since the larger square is comprised of 16 smaller squares, each of the four equal regions would be comprised of four small squares. The four squares in each region can be put together in a limited number of ways. Furthermore, since there are twelve circles that must be divided equally among the four regions, each region would have three circles. After students have analyzed the puzzle in this way, they have a better chance of solving it.

The square below can be divided into four equal regions, each with the same size, shape, and number of circles. Identify the four regions by coloring each one differently.

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Solution

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Stumper Solution

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Shape It Up

Shape It Up

The Puzzle Corner this week comes from the great American puzzle genius of a century ago, Sam Loyd, and was originally published with the name “The Royal Road to Mathematics.” Shape It Up, as we have renamed it, is similar to tangrams, but uses only five pieces that are all different from each other, unlike the seven tangram… Continue Reading