2014 IMO Problems/Problem 4

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Points $P$ and $Q$ lie on side $BC$ of acute-angled $\triangle{ABC}$ so that $\angle{PAB}=\angle{BCA}$ and $\angle{CAQ}=\angle{ABC}$. Points $M$ and $N$ lie on lines $AP$ and $AQ$, respectively, such that $P$ is the midpoint of $AM$, and $Q$ is the midpoint of $AN$. Prove that lines $BM$ and $CN$ intersect on the circumcircle of $\triangle{ABC}$.


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We are trying to prove that the intersection of $BM$ and $CN$, call it point $D$, is on the circumcircle of triangle $ABC$. In other words, we are trying to prove angle $BAC$ plus angle $BDC$ is 180 degrees. Let the intersection of $BM$ and $AN$ be point $E$, and the intersection of $AM$ and $CN$ be point $F$. Let us assume (angle $BDC$) + (angle $BAC$) = 180. Note: This is circular reasoning. If angle $BDC$ plus angle $BAC$ is 180, then angle $BAC$ should be equal to angles $BDN$ and $CDM$. We can quickly prove that the triangles $ABC$, $APB$, and $AQC$ are similar, so angles $BAC$ = $AQC$ = $APB$. We also see that angles $AQC = BQN = APB = CPF$. Also because angles $BEQ$ and $NED, MFD$ and $CFP$ are equal, the triangles $BEQ$ and $NED$, $MDF$ and $FCP$ must be two pairs of similar triangles. Therefore we must prove angles $CBM$ and $ANC, AMB$ and $BCN$ are equal. We have angles $BQA = APC = NQC = BPM$. We also have $AQ = QN$, $AP = PM$. Because the triangles $ABP$ and $ACQ$ are similar, we have $\dfrac {EC}{EN} = \dfrac {BF}{FM}$, so triangles $BFM$ and $NEC$ are similar. So the angles $CBM$ and $ANC, BCN$ and $AMB$ are equal and we are done.

Solution 2

Let $L$ be the midpoint of $BC$. Easy angle chasing gives $\angle{AQP} = \angle{APQ} = \angle{BAC}$. Because $P$ is the midpoint of $AM$, the cotangent rule applied on triangle $MBA$ gives us \[\cot \angle{MBC} - \cot \angle{ABC} = 2\cot \angle{BAC}.\] Hence, by the cotangent rule on $ABC$, we have \[\cot \angle{BAL} = 2\cot \angle{BAC} + \cot \angle{ABC} = \cot \angle{MBC}.\] Because the period of cotangent is $180^\circ$, but angles are less than $180^\circ$, we have $\angle{BAL} = \angle{MBC}.$

Similarly, we have $\angle{LAC} = \angle{NCB}.$ Hence, if $BM$ and $CN$ intersect at $Z$, then $\angle{BZC} = 180^\circ - \angle{BAC}$ by the Angle Sum in a Triangle Theorem. Hence, $BACZ$ is cyclic, which is equivalent to the desired result.

--Suli 23:27, 7 February 2015 (EST)

Solution 3

Let $L$ be the midpoint of $BC$. By AA Similarity, triangles $BAP$ and $BCA$ are similar, so $\dfrac{BA}{AP} = \dfrac{BC}{CA}$ and $\angle{BPA} = \angle{BAC}$. Similarly, $\angle{CQA} = \angle{BAC}$, and so triangle $AQP$ is isosceles. Thus, $AQ = AP$, and so $\dfrac{BA}{AQ} = \dfrac{BC}{CA}$. Dividing both sides by 2, we have $\dfrac{BA}{AN} = \dfrac{BL}{AC}$, or \[\frac{BA}{BL} = \frac{AN}{AC}.\] But we also have $\angle{ABL} = \angle{CAQ}$, so triangles $ABL$ and $NAC$ are similar by $SAS$ similarity. In particular, $\angle{ANC} = \angle{BAL}$. Similarly, $\angle{BMA} = \angle{CAL}$, so $\angle{ANC} + \angle{BMA} = \angle{BAC}$. In addition, angle sum in triangle $AQP$ gives $\angle{QAP} = 180^\circ - 2\angle{A}$. Therefore, if we let lines $BM$ and $CN$ intersect at $T$, by Angle Sum in quadrilateral $AMTN$ concave $\angle{NTM} = 180^\circ + \angle{A}$, and so convex $\angle{BTC} = 180^\circ - \angle{A}$, which is enough to prove that $BACT$ is cyclic. This completes the proof.

--Suli 10:38, 8 February 2015 (EST)

Alternate solutions are always welcome. If you have a different, elegant solution to this problem, please add it to this page.

See Also

2014 IMO (Problems) • Resources
Preceded by
Problem 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 Followed by
Problem 5
All IMO Problems and Solutions
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