1998 AHSME Problems/Problem 29

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Problem

A point $(x,y)$ in the plane is called a lattice point if both $x$ and $y$ are integers. The area of the largest square that contains exactly three lattice points in its interior is closest to

$\mathrm{(A) \ } 4.0 \qquad \mathrm{(B) \ } 4.2 \qquad \mathrm{(C) \ } 4.5 \qquad \mathrm{(D) \ } 5.0 \qquad \mathrm{(E) \ }  5.6$


Solution

[asy] real e = 0.1;  dot((0,-1)); dot((1,-1)); dot((-1,0)); dot((0,0)); dot((1,0)); dot((2,0)); dot((-1,1)); dot((0,1)); dot((1,1)); dot((0,2)); dot((-1,-1)); dot((2,2)); dot((1,2)); dot((2,1)); dot((2,-1)); dot((-1,2)); draw((0.8, -1.4+e)--(1.8-e, 0.6)--(-0.2, 1.6-e)--(-1.2+e, -0.4)--cycle); [/asy] The best square's side length is slightly less than $\sqrt 5$, yielding an answer of $\boxed{\textbf{(D) }5.0}$

See also

1998 AHSME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 28
Followed by
Problem 30
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