Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Austin, a student:

A rectangular piece of plywood is trimmed to make it square by cutting a 4cm strip off the top and a 2cm strip off one side. If the area of the original piece is 74cm2 greater than the area of the square, find the dimensions of the rectangle.

Hi Austin,

Suppose a side of the square has length x cm. Here is my diagram of the rectangle and the pieces trimmed off.


What is the area of each of the three pieces trimmed off? The sum of these areas is 74 cm2. Solve for x.

What are the dimensions of the rectangle?


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