Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Barbara, a student:

A rectangular flower bed measuring 10 feet by 15 feet has a surrounding walkway on all sides that measure 186 square feet. How wide is the walkway?


You should draw a diagram. I assumed the walkway was the same width all the way around and called the width x feet. I then cut the walkway into 4 pieces as in the diagram.

flower garden

Two of the pieces are 15 feet by x feet and the other two are 10 + 2x feet by x feet. What is the total area of the four pieces? Set this equal to 186 square feet and solve for x.



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