2020 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 21

Revision as of 19:27, 18 November 2020 by Scrabbler94 (talk | contribs) (clarify solution 1)

Problem 21

A game board consists of $64$ squares that alternate in color between black and white. The figure below shows square $P$ in the bottom row and square $Q$ in the top row. A marker is placed at $P.$ A step consists of moving the marker onto one of the adjoining white squares in the row above. How many $7$-step paths are there from $P$ to $Q?$ (The figure shows a sample path.)

[asy]//diagram by SirCalcsALot size(200); int[] x = {6, 5, 4, 5, 6, 5, 6}; int[] y = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7}; int N = 7; for (int i = 0; i < 8; ++i) { for (int j = 0; j < 8; ++j) { draw((i,j)--(i+1,j)--(i+1,j+1)--(i,j+1)--(i,j)); if ((i+j) % 2 == 0) { filldraw((i,j)--(i+1,j)--(i+1,j+1)--(i,j+1)--(i,j)--cycle,black); } } } for (int i = 0; i < N; ++i) { draw(circle((x[i],y[i])+(0.5,0.5),0.35)); } label("$P$", (5.5, 0.5)); label("$Q$", (6.5, 7.5)); [/asy]

$\textbf{(A) }28 \qquad \textbf{(B) }30 \qquad \textbf{(C) }32 \qquad \textbf{(D) }33 \qquad \textbf{(E) }35$


Solution 1

Noticing that we can only move along white squares, to get to a white square we can only go from the one or two white squares immediately beneath it. In the following diagram, each number represents the number of ways to move from $P$ to that square. [asy] int N = 7; for (int i = 0; i < 8; ++i) { for (int j = 0; j < 8; ++j) { draw((i,j)--(i+1,j)--(i+1,j+1)--(i,j+1)--(i,j)); if ((i+j) % 2 == 0) { filldraw((i,j)--(i+1,j)--(i+1,j+1)--(i,j+1)--(i,j)--cycle,black); } } } label("$1$", (5.5, .5)); label("$1$", (4.5, 1.5)); label("$1$", (6.5, 1.5)); label("$1$", (3.5, 2.5)); label("$1$", (7.5, 2.5)); label("$2$", (5.5, 2.5)); label("$1$", (2.5, 3.5)); label("$3$", (6.5, 3.5)); label("$3$", (4.5, 3.5)); label("$4$", (3.5, 4.5)); label("$3$", (7.5, 4.5)); label("$6$", (5.5, 4.5)); label("$10$", (4.5, 5.5)); label("$9$", (6.5, 5.5)); label("$19$", (5.5, 6.5)); label("$9$", (7.5, 6.5)); label("$28$", (6.5, 7.5)); [/asy] So the answer is $\boxed{\textbf{(A)}28}$ ~yofro (Diagram credits to franzliszt)

Solution 2

Suppose we "extend" the chessboard indefinitely to the right:

[asy] int N = 7; for (int i = 0; i < 10; ++i) { for (int j = 0; j < 8; ++j) { draw((i,j)--(i+1,j)--(i+1,j+1)--(i,j+1)--(i,j)); if ((i+j) % 2 == 0) { filldraw((i,j)--(i+1,j)--(i+1,j+1)--(i,j+1)--(i,j)--cycle,black); } } } draw((8,0) -- (8,8),red); label("$P$", (5.5,.5)); label("$Q$", (6.5,7.5)); label("$X$", (8.5,3.5)); label("$Y$", (8.5,5.5)); [/asy] The total number of paths from $P$ to $Q$ (including invalid paths which cross over the red line) is $\binom{7}{3} = 35$. We subtract the number of invalid paths that pass through $X$ or $Y$. The number of paths that pass through $X$ is $\binom{3}{0}\binom{4}{3} = 4$ and the number of paths that pass through $Y$ is $\binom{5}{1}\binom{2}{2} = 5$. However, we overcounted the invalid paths which pass through both $X$ and $Y$, of which there are 2 paths. Hence, the number of invalid paths is $4+5-2=7$ and the number of valid paths from $P$ to $Q$ is $35-7 = \boxed{\textbf{(A)} 28}$. -scrabbler94

See also

2020 AMC 8 (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 20
Followed by
Problem 22
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 AJHSME/AMC 8 Problems and Solutions

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