The Square Window*

 

after Lewis Carroll

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A nobleman had a sitting-room with only one window in it - a square window, 1 meter high and 1 meter wide - as is shown in the diagram. He had weak eyes, and the window gave too much light. He sent for the builder, and told him to alert the window, so as to give half the light. Only he was to keep it square - the same 1 meter high and 1 meter wide. How did he do it? The builder wasn't allowed to use curtains, or shutters, or colored glass, or anything of that sort.

*This is a retelling of the problem posed by Lewis Carroll in a letter to Helen Fielden, then fourteen, which he wrote in March 1873.

Posted: April 30, 2009
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