Subject: the nine dots
Date: 97-09-02

The way your "dots" are drawn (on the hint page,, and indeed they always are drawn when this problem is given, it is possible to use only three lines. Sufficiently long and almost parallell to each other, they will touch 3 dots each (although not in the center, but who said they had to?). I have not invented this solution myself, and you may think it is silly, but I think it is ingenious. I saw it in a book about children's inventiveness when given different problems and "free hands" to solve them. Indeed one child suggested a way to do it with only one or two lines. I do not remember how, but it involved folding the paper with the dots (will not work on a screen!).


Lars Hellvig, Stockholm, Sweden

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