Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Vincent, a student:

I'm in 7th grade and I don't understand how to do this problem. The back of the book has an answer of 225 tulip bulbs. I just don't understand how they came up with it.
Solve by showing a diagram.
Each year Brandon plants tulip bulbs in a square flower bed. This year Brandon's flower bed has 29 more bulbs than it had last year. If the flower bed is still square how many tulip bulbs are in it this year?

Can you help?


Hi Vincent,

When in doubt draw a picture.


The dark brown square is a diagram of last year's arrangement of tulips and the larger square is this year's arrangement. The difference is two strips, one along the bottom and one along the right and a small square of tulips in the lower right corner. In these three light brown pieces there are 29 tulips and the number in the lower right corner is a square so it must be 1 or 4 or 9 or...

Does this help?

Penny s

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