1994 AHSME Problems/Problem 26


A regular polygon of $m$ sides is exactly enclosed (no overlaps, no gaps) by $m$ regular polygons of $n$ sides each. (Shown here for $m=4, n=8$.) If $m=10$, what is the value of $n$? [asy] size(200); defaultpen(linewidth(0.8)); draw(unitsquare); path p=(0,1)--(1,1)--(1+sqrt(2)/2,1+sqrt(2)/2)--(1+sqrt(2)/2,2+sqrt(2)/2)--(1,2+sqrt(2))--(0,2+sqrt(2))--(-sqrt(2)/2,2+sqrt(2)/2)--(-sqrt(2)/2,1+sqrt(2)/2)--cycle; draw(p); draw(shift((1+sqrt(2)/2,-sqrt(2)/2-1))*p); draw(shift((0,-2-sqrt(2)))*p); draw(shift((-1-sqrt(2)/2,-sqrt(2)/2-1))*p);[/asy] $\textbf{(A)}\ 5 \qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 6 \qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 14 \qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 20 \qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 26$


To find the number of sides on the regular polygons that surround the decagon, we can find the interior angles and work from there. Knowing that the measure of the interior angle of any regular polygon is $\frac{(n-2)*180}{n}$, the measure of the decagon's interior angle is $\frac{8*180}{10} = 144$ degrees.

The regular polygons meet at every vertex such that the angle outside of the decagon is divided evenly in two. With this, we know that the angle of the regular polygon is $216/2=108$ degrees. Using the previous formula, $n=5$ $\boxed{\textbf{(A) }5}$

See Also

1994 AHSME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 25
Followed by
Problem 27
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