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by William Armstrong
25 Sep 2011
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Cutting Blocks Puzzle

Genre: Math Rating: 5 - Medium Source: William Armstrong
Brain Functions: Calculations / Analysis Hint    Solution

We have a piece of wood with the following dimensions:

15 x 19 x 21 centimeters

How many blocks measuring 5 x 8 x 14 centimeters could be cut from the piece of wood? Ignore any loss from the cutting process (the width of the blade creating sawdust, etc.).

We start with 5,985 cubic centimeters of wood. The finished blocks are 560 cubic centimeters each. This means that there is enough material for 10 blocks, but how many blocks can you really cut?

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