Figure It Out
ONE OF MY FAVORItE tHINgS tO dO after a hard day at
work is retreat to my home office. I count myself fortunate to have
this little sanctuary where I can read a book or work on a project away
from the distractions of the world. It’s not a large room. In fact, it’s not
a room at all, but part of a converted garage. By converted, I mean that
there’s a curtain that separates it from the rest of the garage. By cur-
tain, I mean an old bed sheet. But the thing is, it’s a space all my own—a
refuge from the world that I need not share with anyone else (except,
of course, anyone who needs to use the washer or dryer).
In one corner of my office, I have a modest display case that I designed to hold
my bowling trophies. ( Well, bowling trophy—there’s only one, a garage-sale bargain.) In addition to the bowling trophy,
I have various other knick-knacks and a
small collection of Warhammer figurines
(97 of them).
The point is not the trophy and figurines, but the case itself. The design is
a sort of pyramid, with a square base, a
smaller square on top of it, and a third,
even smaller, square on top. The neat
thing about the case is that the squares
are sized such that the area left uncovered
on both the bottom and middle square is
exactly 5 square feet—that is, the bottom
square is 5 square feet bigger than the
middle square, and the middle square is
5 square feet bigger than the top square.
I have a small home office with
a very large display case—you probably suspected that much already. And
you’re probably guessing that this issue’s puzzle is to tell me the dimensions of the three squares. But there
you’re wrong. I already know the dimensions of the three squares. They’re
in my office, after all, and I do have a
The puzzle arises from the fact that
my mom is sending me a box with all my
old D&D figurines, requiring me to get a
bigger display case. In fact, I’m going to
need 7 square feet of space on the bottom and middle squares. So please, find
the dimensions of the three squares, in
arithmatic progression, with a common
difference of 7 square feet.
You might want to try the three
squares with a common difference of 5
square feet as a warm-up.
Solutions may be e-mailed to
the author at cont.puzzles@gmail.
com. In order to make the solver list,
your solutions must be received by July
previous issue’s puzzle
I was in trouble. I had to drive the twins,
Flo and Kelly, across the entire state of
Wisconsin. They had DVD players, MP3
players, books, and magazines. As you
might expect, within seven minutes of
pulling out of the driveway, they were
occupied primarily with arguing with
each other. In order to save my sanity
(or what was left of it), I had to find a
way, quickly, to distract them.
“I betcha Flo can count better than
Kelly,” I shouted, interrupting their
“Better how?” Kelly asked, obviously
“Better like, if you take turns adding
a number no more than 10 to a running
total, Flo can get it to exactly 100 and
keep you from getting there first.”
“No way!” Kelly rejoined, and I told
her she could go first.
First round, Kelly chose seven, then
Flo added eight to get 15. Kelly then
chose eight to get 23, Flo chose nine to
get 32, and from there they went to 39, 47,
51, 61, 67, 75, 78, 88, 89, 93, with Kelly triumphantly adding seven to get to 100.