1990 AHSME Problems/Problem 28


A quadrilateral that has consecutive sides of lengths $70,90,130$ and $110$ is inscribed in a circle and also has a circle inscribed in it. The point of tangency of the inscribed circle to the side of length 130 divides that side into segments of length $x$ and $y$. Find $|x-y|$.

$\text{(A) } 12\quad \text{(B) } 13\quad \text{(C) } 14\quad \text{(D) } 15\quad \text{(E) } 16$


Let $A$, $B$, $C$, and $D$ be the vertices of this quadrilateral such that $AB=70$, $BC=110$, $CD=130$, and $DA=90$. Let $O$ be the center of the incircle. Draw in the radii from the center of the incircle to the points of tangency. Let these points of tangency $X$, $Y$, $Z$, and $W$ be on $AB$, $BC$, $CD$, and $DA$, respectively. Using the right angles and the fact that the $ABCD$ is cyclic, we see that quadrilaterals $AXOW$ and $OYCZ$ are similar.

Let $CZ$ have length $n$. Chasing lengths, we find that $AX=AW=n-40$. Using Brahmagupta's Formula we find that $ABCD$ has area $K=300\sqrt{1001}$ and from that we find, using that fact that $rs=K$, where $r$ is the inradius and $s$ is the semiperimeter, $r=\frac{3}{2}\sqrt{1001}$.

From the similarity we have \[\frac{CY}{OX}=\frac{OY}{AX}\] Or, after cross multiplying and writing in terms of the variables, \[n^2-40n-r^2=0\] Plugging in the value of $r$ and solving the quadratic gives $n=CZ=71.5$, and from there we compute the desired difference to get $\fbox{(B) 13}$.

See also

1990 AHSME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 27
Followed by
Problem 29
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