Enigma 544a: Merry Christmas
6 April 2020
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From New Scientist #1696, 23rd December 1989 [link]
Arranging and displaying the Christmas cards is always a problem. This year all our cards are either 10cm × 20cm or 20cm × 10cm. We managed to arrange them together like a jigsaw, just covering (without overlapping) a square piece of paper.
Then we found that there was no convenient place to display the square so we decided to cut it either horizontally or vertically into two rectangles. But no matter how we tried it was impossible to do this without cutting through at least one of the cards. So we cut the square into two rectangles in such a way that we had to cut through the minimum number of cards, but it still meant that we cut over five per cent of our cards.
How many cards did we receive this year, and how many did we cut?
Enigma 192 was also called “Merry Christmas”.