2018 AMC 10A Problems/Problem 23

The following problem is from both the 2018 AMC 12A #17 and 2018 AMC 10A #23, so both problems redirect to this page.

Problem

Farmer Pythagoras has a field in the shape of a right triangle. The right triangle's legs have lengths 3 and 4 units. In the corner where those sides meet at a right angle, he leaves a small unplanted square $S$ so that from the air it looks like the right angle symbol. The rest of the field is planted. The shortest distance from $S$ to the hypotenuse is 2 units. What fraction of the field is planted?

[asy] draw((0,0)--(4,0)--(0,3)--(0,0)); draw((0,0)--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--(0,0)); fill(origin--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--cycle, gray); label("$4$", (2,0), N); label("$3$", (0,1.5), E); label("$2$", (.8,1), E); label("$S$", (0,0), NE); draw((0.3,0.3)--(1.4,1.9), dashed); [/asy]

$\textbf{(A) }   \frac{25}{27}   \qquad        \textbf{(B) }   \frac{26}{27}   \qquad    \textbf{(C) }   \frac{73}{75}   \qquad   \textbf{(D) } \frac{145}{147} \qquad  \textbf{(E) }   \frac{74}{75}$

Solution 1

Let the square have side length $x$. Connect the upper-right vertex of square $S$ with the two vertices of the triangle's hypotenuse. This divides the triangle in several regions whose areas must add up to the area of the whole triangle, which is $6$.

[asy] draw((0,0)--(4,0)--(0,3)--(0,0)); draw((0,0)--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--(0,0)); fill(origin--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--cycle, gray); label("$4$", (2,0), S); label("$3$", (0,1.5), W); label("$2$", (.8,1), E); label("$S$", (0,0), NE); draw((0.3,0.3)--(1.4,1.9), dashed); draw((0.3,0.3)--(4,0), dashed); draw((0.3,0.3)--(0,3), dashed); label("$\small{x}$", (0.15,0.3), N); label("$\small{x}$", (0.3,0.15), E); [/asy]

Square $S$ has area $x^2$, and the two thin triangle regions have area $\dfrac{x(3-x)}{2}$ and $\dfrac{x(4-x)}{2}$. The final triangular region with the hypotenuse as its base and height $2$ has area $5$. Thus, we have \[x^2+\dfrac{x(3-x)}{2}+\dfrac{x(4-x)}{2}+5=6\]

Solving gives $x=\dfrac{2}{7}$. The area of $S$ is $\dfrac{4}{49}$ and the desired ratio is $\dfrac{6-\dfrac{4}{49}}{6}=\boxed{\dfrac{145}{147}}$.

Alternatively, once you get $x=\frac{2}{7}$, you can avoid computation by noticing that there is a denominator of $7$, so the answer must have a factor of $7$ in the denominator, which only $\boxed{\dfrac{145}{147}}$ does.

Solution 2

Let the square have side length $s$. If we were to extend the sides of the square further into the triangle until they intersect on point on the hypotenuse, we'd have a similar right triangle formed between the hypotenuse and the two new lines, and 2 smaller similar triangles that share a side of length 2. Using the side-to-side ratios of these triangles, we can find that the length of the larger similar triangle is $\frac{5}{3}(2)=\frac{10}{3}$. Now, let's extend this larger similar right triangle to the left until it hits the side of length 3. Now, the length is $\frac{10}{3}+s$, and using the ratios of the side lengths, the height is $\frac{3}{4}(\frac{10}{3}+s)=\frac{5}{2}+\frac{3s}{4}$. Looking at the diagram, if we add the height of this triangle to the side length of the square, we'd get 3, so \[\frac{5}{2}+\frac{3s}{4}+s=\frac{5}{2}+\frac{7s}{4}=3 \\ \frac{7s}{4}=\frac{1}{2} \\ s=\frac{2}{7} \implies \textrm{ area of square is } (\frac{2}{7})^2=\frac{4}{49}\]

Now comes the easy part: finding the ratio of the areas: $\frac{3\cdot 4 \cdot \frac{1}{2} -\frac{4}{49}}{3\cdot 4 \cdot \frac{1}{2}}=\frac{6-\frac{4}{49}}{6}=\frac{294-4}{294}=\frac{290}{294}=\boxed{\frac{145}{147}}$.

Solution 3

We use coordinate geometry. Let the right angle be at $(0,0)$ and the hypotenuse be the line $3x+4y = 12$ for $0\le x\le 3$. Denote the position of $S$ as $(s,s)$, and by the point to line distance formula, we know that \[\frac{|3s+4s-12|}{5} = 2\] \[\Rightarrow |7s-12| = 10\] Obviously $s<\frac{22}{7}$, so $s = \frac{2}{7}$, and from here the rest of the solution follows to get $\boxed{\frac{145}{147}}$.

Solution 4

Let the side length of the square be $x$. First off, let us make a similar triangle with the segment of length $2$ and the top-right corner of $S$. Therefore, the longest side of the smaller triangle must be $2 \cdot \frac54 = \frac52$. We then do operations with that side in terms of $x$. We subtract $x$ from the bottom, and $\frac{3x}{4}$ from the top. That gives us the equation of $3-\frac{7x}{4} = \frac{5}{2}$. Solving, \[12-7x = 10 \implies x = \frac{2}{7}.\]

Thus, $x^2 = \frac{4}{49}$, so the fraction of the triangle (area $6$) covered by the square is $\frac{2}{147}$. The answer is then $\boxed{\dfrac{145}{147}}$.

Solution 5

[asy] draw((0,0)--(4,0)--(0,3)--(0,0)); draw((0,0)--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--(0,0)); fill(origin--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--cycle, gray); draw((0.3,0.3)--(3.6,0.3), dashed); draw((0.3,2.7)--(0.3,0.3), dashed); label("$S$", (-0.05,-0.05), NE); draw((0.3,0.3)--(1.41,1.91)); draw((1.63,1.78)--(1.48,1.56)); draw((1.28,1.70)--(1.48,1.56)); label("$4$", (2,0), S); label("$3$", (0,1.5), W); label("$\frac{10}{3}$", (2,0.3), N); label("$\frac{5}{2}$", (0.3,1.5), E); label("$2$", (1,1.2), E); draw((3.6,0)--(3.6,0.3), dashed); draw((0,2.7)--(0.3,2.7), dashed); label("$\small{l}$", (3.6,0.15), W); label("$\small{l}$", (0.15,2.7), S); label("$\small{l}$", (0.3,0.15), E); label("$\small{l}$", (0.15,0.3), N); [/asy]

On the diagram above, find two smaller triangles similar to the large one with side lengths $3$, $4$, and $5$; consequently, the segments with length $\frac{5}{2}$ and $\frac{10}{3}$.

With $l$ being the side length of the square, we need to find an expression for $l$. Using the hypotenuse, we can see that $\frac{3}{2}+\frac{8}{3}+\frac{5}{4}l+\frac{5}{3}l=5$. Simplifying, $\frac{35}{12}l=\frac{5}{6}$, or $l=2/7$.

A different calculation would yield $l+\frac{3}{4}l+\frac{5}{2}=3$, so $\frac{7}{4}l=\frac{1}{2}$. In other words, $l=\frac{2}{7}$, while to check, $l+\frac{4}{3}l+\frac{10}{3}=4$. As such, $\frac{7}{3}l=\frac{2}{3}$, and $l=\frac{2}{7}$.

Finally, we get $A(\Square S)=l^2=\frac{4}{49}$, to finish. As a proportion of the triangle with area $6$, the answer would be $1-\frac{4}{49\cdot6}=1-\frac{2}{147}=\frac{145}{147}$, so $\boxed{\textit D}$ is correct.

Solution 6: Also Coordinate Geo

Let the right angle be at $(0,0)$, the point $(x,x)$ be the far edge of the unplanted square and the hypotenuse be the line $y=-\frac{3}{4}x+3$. Since the line from $(x,x)$ to the hypotenuse is the shortest possible distance, we know this line, call it line $\l$, is perpendicular to the hypotenuse and therefore has a slope of $\frac{4}{3}$.

Since we know $m=\frac{4}{3}$ , we can see that the line rises by $\frac{8}{5}$ and moves to the right by $\frac{6}{5}$ to meet the hypotenuse. (Let $2 = 5x$ and the rise be $4x$ and the run be $3x$ and then solve.) Therefore, line $\l$ intersects the hypotenuse at the point $(x+\frac{6}{5}, x+\frac{8}{5})$. Plugging into the equation for the hypotenuse we have $x=\frac{2}{7}$ , and after a bit of computation we get $\boxed{\textbf{(D) } \frac{145}{147}}$


Solution 7(Slightly different from first solution):

Same drawing as before:

[asy] draw((0,0)--(4,0)--(0,3)--(0,0)); draw((0,0)--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--(0,0)); fill(origin--(0.3,0)--(0.3,0.3)--(0,0.3)--cycle, gray); label("$4$", (2,0), S); label("$3$", (0,1.5), W); label("$2$", (.8,1), E); label("$S$", (0,0), NE); draw((0.3,0.3)--(1.4,1.9), dashed); draw((0.3,0.3)--(4,0), dashed); draw((0.3,0.3)--(0,3), dashed); label("$\small{a}$", (0.15,0.3), N); label("$\small{a}$", (0.3,0.15), E); [/asy]

Let's assign $a$ as the side length of box S. We then get each of the smaller triangle areas. The sum of all the triangular areas(not including the box) is equal to $\frac{(3-a) \cdot a}{2} + \frac{(4-a) \cdot a}{2} + \frac{5 \cdot 2}{2} = \frac{3 \cdot 4}{2} - a^2$

You can solve for $a=\frac{2}{7}$

Then, the ratio would be $1-\dfrac{{\frac{2}{7}}^2}{6}$ which is equal to $\boxed{\textbf{(D) } \frac{145}{147}}$

~Starshooter11

Solution 8(Similar but cleaner than first solution):

Instead of dividing the large triangle into three right triangles plus a square, simply draw one diagonal of the square (can someone asymptote this for me I don't know how) divide the large triangle into three triangles with the sides $3,4,$ and $5$ as their bases. The total area is $6$ as found above, and the square's side length is $x$. The area equation is: \[\dfrac{3x}{2}+\dfrac{4x}{2}+\dfrac{5\cdot2}{2}=6,\] which solves to $x=\dfrac{2}{7},$ the same as the first solution (but easier to calculate). The final answer is $\boxed{\dfrac{145}{147}}$.

Hardness of Problem

This problem is medium hard or on a scale of 10, a 6.5. The problem itself requires the drawing of a few obvious lines and algebra, although the image deceives the solver.

Comment: Hardness and difficulty are relative to the problem solver. It's can be useful in personal situations to label questions with a hardness scale, but it may not suffice for other problem solvers. Please don't feel pressured to spontaneously know concepts that are difficult for you. Additionally, nothing is 'obvious' because it's all relative to the problem solver and individual minds. Happy mathing :P

Video Solution by Richard Rusczyk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9npzq4FY_Y

~ dolphin7


See Also

2018 AMC 10A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 22
Followed by
Problem 24
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AMC 10 Problems and Solutions
2018 AMC 12A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 16
Followed by
Problem 18
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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