Problems & Puzzles: Puzzles

Puzzle 610. Rectangling the square-II.

Let's continue rectangling the square using rectangles of unequal prime sides as we did in Puzzle 609.

In puzzle 609 we accepted imperfect & compound dissection.

In this new puzzle we will increase the requirements asking for perfect & simple dissections and will maintain the condition of using inner rectangles of unequal prime sides.

First let's show a SPRR-UPS (simple & perfect rectangled rectangle, using unequal prime sides for each inner rectangle) that I produced during this week:

This is a 10x15 SPRR-UPS, which means a 10x15 Simple (no two or more inner rectangles produce another inner rectangle) perfect (all the inner rectangles are distinct) Rectangle Rectangled using Unequal Prime Sides.

Q1. Is this the smallest SPRR-UPS?
Q2. Can you produce a SPSR-UPS (Simple Perfect Square Rectangled)

Contributions came from Giovanni Resta, Jan van Delden & Hakan Summakoğlu.


Giovanni wrote:

Q1: yes, your solution is the smallest one

[Is minimal in the sense of using 5 rectangles, but is not the minimal in the sense of the area of the rectangle overall. See belo solutions by Jan & Hakan, CR]

Q2: the smallest square is 18x18.

I discovered that I actually attacked this problem
during the Christmas holidays of 2006. It took me quite a while to
understand my old outputs.

All the sides up to 32 are possible, apart from 19 and 23.

[New question: Can you get the SPSR-UPS for 19 & 23?]

For sides from 18 to 25 I have explored all the possibilities.
There are tilings with:

S  : Tiles
18 : 7, 8
20 ; 9, 11
21 : 9, 11, 13
22 : 11, 12, 14
24 : 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
25 : 9, 12, 13, 14, 15

Here are two examples: 18x18 & 27x27

Any special approach for your solutions to Q2?

Actually no, I do not exploit the fact that the numbers involved are primes. I have written a general little recursive program to pack a subset of a given set of rectangles into a larger one. The program is simple and not very clever.

Given a goal rectangle of size R x C (rows x columns),
I recursively try to fill it from the bottom to the top, without leaving holes. Given this property, the goal area can be represented by an array of C integers, one for each column, that tells me how many cells from the bottom are already filled.
For example (assuming O=empty and X=fill), the half filled board:
is represented by the numbers 4,4,2,2,1,5.
At each recursive step, I detect the narrower "well" in the current board and I continue the filling from the bottom-left corner of it.
Clearly, other heuristics are possible.

2) Has some meaning that the only two unsolved cases in the range 18-27
are prime numbers (19 & 23)?

I really do not know. However, 29 and 31 are solvable.

3) Where you solving a published/posted puzzle in 2006 from someone out
there, or it was an idea from your own?

Few years ago I was playing with my programs for packing rectangles and I explored several possibilities, some of them involving primes.


Jan wrote a short and a long contribution. The following is a copy of his short one explanation:

Question 1:

The only 5-configuration necessarily looks like (prove omitted):

Descripción: Tiles52.jpg

The rectangle with the smallest area (if no dissection exists with 6 tiles, prove omitted) 7x16:

Descripción: Rectangle.jpg

It has area 112.

Question 2:

An infinite number of rectangles/squares exist of the following 7-configuration:

Descripción: Tiles74.jpg

Conditions for this configuration to have a solution can be easily derived.
For this configuration the above assignment of sidelengths, with p,r,s>2 is the only possibility.

If we choose p=3 and r=s we get a square with sides s+7, area (s+7)^2.
There is a square of this type for every value s, the lesser of a twin prime.

The square 18x18 with the smallest area:

Descripción: Square.jpg

The square [p,r,s]=[3,659,659] has side 666, a real monster.

The rectangle with the smallest area of this type, [p,r,s]=[11,17,3], with sides 10,32 area 320.


Hakan wrote:

I found 7x16 SPRR-UPS.

[it's the same reported by Jan above, area 112]


On my request, Giovanni Resta sent his solutions for 19x19 & 23x23 squares relaxing the UPS condition to accept both rectangles & squares inside the squares. Here are his drawings:

and this is the minimal square gotten with this relaxed condition, using rectangles &squares.





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