Math puzzler: can you make a rectangle with one cut?




wait, what’s wrong with just cutting it horizontally through the middle?


That’s what I came up with too.


Haven’t watched the video, but don’t these work? (shoddy MS Paint work notwithstanding)



I cut off the whole left side, rotated it 90 degrees, and sat it on top. Also a rectangle. (edit: @daneel had not posted when I wrote it!!)

Tangrams are where it is at


It’s interesting that there are at least three solutions. I chose a different one from the author of the video. Yet this fact was not addressed.


I agree. This “puzzle” looks incredibly simple.


I get the impression that there’s an unstated assumption in the original problem. While it challenges you to “cut the shape into two pieces, using all the area, that can form a rectangle”, what they actually appear to mean is “cut the shape into two pieces, using all the area, that can form a rectangle [without rotating the resultant pieces]

(Though daneel’s second solution still appears to work even then.)


I am beginning to think we are not the target audience…


Very annoying. Whether these “solutions” work or not depends on the relative edge sizes… and the author doesn’t supply those sizes.


This puzzle needed a Facebook-like “93% can’t do it!” sub-headline.


I do not see any math.


Okay, I’m going to be the jerk and just say it: that was stupidly easy.


yeah, I came up with a different solution, and I don’t think I would have come up with their solution because of the BB headline including “one cut” which I took to mean one straight cut…


That was my feeling. I saw both of @daneel’s solutions, but I was pretty sure that whatever answer I came up with it would be disallowed because I wasn’t doing the kind of “lateral thinking” that the puzzle-maker wanted me to.


Stupid-easy is right. I was so sure that the first solution I thought of (which everyone else also got) was way too obvious to be the right one, so I spent a lot of time overthinking it.
Then it just turns out to be something that he probably copied from the back of Highlights Magazine.


I, too, thought it was easy-peasy. But, racked with self doubt, I rushed to the Polygon Outlet and bought a fresh new rectangle, just to be safe.


Is it still buy 12 polygons and get the 13th for just one quatloo?


For newcomers, yes.