PAPA'S PUZZLE.





Here is a puzzle by Pappus, who lived at Alexandria about the end of the
third century. It is the fifth proposition in the eighth book of his
_Mathematical Collections_. I give it in the form that I presented it
some years ago under the title "Papa's Puzzle," just to see how many
readers would discover that it was by Pappus himself. "The little maid's
papa has taken two different-sized rectangular pieces of cardboard, and
has clipped off a triangular piece from one of them, so that when it is
suspended by a thread from the point A it hangs with the long side
perfectly horizontal, as shown in the illustration. He has perplexed the
child by asking her to find the point A on the other card, so as to
produce a similar result when cut and suspended by a thread." Of course,
the point must not be found by trial clippings. A curious and pretty
point is involved in this setting of the puzzle. Can the reader discover
it?





PAINTING THE LAMP-POSTS. PHEASANT-SHOOTING. facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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