Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Milorad, a student:

Two girls agree to mow a lawn 60m by 80m so that the first girl cuts one half by
cutting a uniform strip around the lawn. How wide a strip should the first girl cut?

I've been struggling with the question above, mainly with the equation and I have
set it up as 2400=(60-2x)(80-2x), if this is incorrect I would like to know where I've
gone wrong and also would like a full answer to see it properly done. I need an algebraic
answer and not one with a diagram.

Hi Milorad,

You didn't say what x is but I expect it is the width of the uniform strip. If that is true then the expression you have, 2400 = (60 - 2x)(80 - 2x), is correct. Did you try to solve this equation for x? What did you get?


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