2000 AIME I Problems/Problem 4

Problem

The diagram shows a rectangle that has been dissected into nine non-overlapping squares. Given that the width and the height of the rectangle are relatively prime positive integers, find the perimeter of the rectangle.

[asy]draw((0,0)--(69,0)--(69,61)--(0,61)--(0,0));draw((36,0)--(36,36)--(0,36)); draw((36,33)--(69,33));draw((41,33)--(41,61));draw((25,36)--(25,61)); draw((34,36)--(34,45)--(25,45)); draw((36,36)--(36,38)--(34,38)); draw((36,38)--(41,38)); draw((34,45)--(41,45));[/asy]

Solution

Call the squares' side lengths from smallest to largest $a_1,\ldots,a_9$, and let $l,w$ represent the dimensions of the rectangle.

The picture shows that \begin{align*} a_1+a_2 &= a_3\\ a_1 + a_3 &= a_4\\ a_3 + a_4 &= a_5\\ a_4 + a_5 &= a_6\\ a_2 + a_3 + a_5 &= a_7\\ a_2 + a_7 &= a_8\\ a_1 + a_4 + a_6 &= a_9\\ a_6 + a_9 &= a_7 + a_8.\end{align*}

Expressing all terms 3 to 9 in terms of $a_1$ and $a_2$ and substituting their expanded forms into the previous equation will give the expression $5a_1 = 2a_2$.

We can guess that $a_1 = 2$. (If we started with $a_1$ odd, the resulting sides would not be integers and we would need to scale up by a factor of $2$ to make them integers; if we started with $a_1 > 2$ even, the resulting dimensions would not be relatively prime and we would need to scale down.) Then solving gives $a_9 = 36$, $a_6=25$, $a_8 = 33$, which gives us $l=61,w=69$. These numbers are relatively prime, as desired. The perimeter is $2(61)+2(69)=\boxed{260}$.

See also

2000 AIME I (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 3
Followed by
Problem 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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