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Geometry Misha Lavrov

The Area Method (Solutions)


Western PA ARML Practice October 18, 2015

1 Warm-up problems

1. In square ABCD, line segments are drawn from A to the midpoint of BC, from B to the
midpoint of CD, from C to the midpoint of DA, and from D to the midpoint of AB. The
four segments form a smaller square within square ABCD. If AB = 1, what is the area of
the smaller square?

We can rearrange the pieces of square ABCD, as shown above, to form five squares congruent
to the small one. Therefore the area of the small square is 15 .
2. In the diagram below, what is the ratio of the areas of the two shaded triangles?

3 4 5

Draw heights of the two triangles (as shown above). Similar triangles allow us to conclude
that the large triangle has height 95 of the height of the small triangle. Its base is 45 of the
base of the small triangle. Therefore its area is 94 of the small triangle.
3. In the diagram below, what is the ratio of the shaded area to the area of one of the five
congruent triangles?

By similar triangles or otherwise, we observe that the biggest shaded region extends 54 of the
way along the right side of its triangle, so it is 45 of the area of one of the triangles. The next
shaded region extends 34 of the way along the left, and 35 of the way along the right, so it is
9
20 of the area of one of the triangles. The next shaded region extends 12 of the way along the
left, and 52 of the way along the right, so it is 51 of the area of one of the triangles. The last
shaded region extends 14 of the way along the left, and 15 of the way along the right, so it is
1 4 9 1 1 3
20 of the area of one of the triangles. Adding these up, we get 5 + 20 + 5 + 20 = 2 .

2 The area method


SCEF
1. (ARML 1996) In 4ABC, AB = AC = 115, AD = 38, and CF = 77. Compute SDBE .

D
E

A C F
77
DE SDBC S
115 ABC
We have FE = SF BC = 77
− 115 SABC
= −1, so DE = EF .

Therefore SCEF = 12 SCDF = 1


2 · 77
192 SADF = 1
2 · 77
192 · 38
115 SABF .

On the other hand, SDBE = 21 SDBF = 1


2 · 77
115 SABF .
38 19
Taking the ratio and simplifying, we get 192 = 96 .

2. (ARML 2000) In rectangle ABCD, G and H are trisection points of AD, and E and F are
trisection points of BC. If AB = 360 and BC = 450, compute the area of P QRS.
B E F C

P R

A G H D

We find the area 4P QR first, then double due to symmetry.


1
BQ SBAE S
6 ABCD 1 1
R is the midpoint of BH, and HQ = SHAE = − 1 SABCD = 2 , so Q is 3 of the way from B to
3
H. Therefore QR = 61 BH, and SP QR = 61 SP BH = 12
1
SGBH = 1
72 SABCD . Doubling, we get
1 1
SP QRS = 36 SABCD = 36 · 360 · 450 = 4500.
3. (ARML 2012) Given noncollinear points A, B, C, segment AB is trisected by points D and
E, and F is the midpoint of segment AC. DF and BF intersect CE at G and H, respectively.
If SEDG = 18, compute SF GH .
C

F
H
G

B D E A

We begin by locating G and H along CE.


By the intersection lemma, EG CG
= SSEDF
CDF
. We have SCDF = 12 SCDA , while SEDF = 12 SADF =
1 2
4 SADC , so the ratio is 2 : 1 and G is 3 of the way from C to E.

By the intersection lemma again, EH CH


= SSEBF
CBF
. WE have SCBF = 12 SCBA , while SEBF =
2 1 3
3 SABF = 3 SABC , so the ratio is 3 : 2 and H is 5 of the way from C to E.

In particular, GH = ( 23 − 53 )EC = 1
15 EC.

Therefore SEDG = 13 SEDC = 19 SABC , while SF GH = 1


15 SF EC = 1
30 SAEC = 1
90 SABC , which is
1 18 9
10 SEDG = 10 = 5 .

4. (ARML 2015) In trapezoid ABCD with bases AB and CD, AB = 14 and CD = 6. Points
E and F lie on AB such that AD k CE and BC k DF . Segments DF and CE intersect at
G, and AG intersects BC at H. Compute SSABCD
CGH
.

D C

H
G

A E F B
SCDF 6
From parallelograms, we get AE = DC = F B = 6, leaving EF = 2. Therefore SEDF = 2 = 3,
so G is 43 of the way from C to E; similarly, it is 34 of the way from D to F .
CH
We have BH = SSBAG
CAG
by the intersection lemma. By the vertex sliding lemma, SCAG =
3 3 6 9 1
4 SCAE = 4 · 14 SCAB = 28 SABC . By another application of vertex sliding, SBAG = 4 SBAC ,
CH 9
so BH = − 7 .
9
Since CH = 16 CB and CG = 34 CE, we have SCGH = 64 27
SCEB . If h is the height of ABCD,
then |SCEB | = 21 · 8 · h = 4h, while |SABCD | = 6+14
2 · h = 10h, so SCGH = 64 27 4
· 10 SABCD , whcih
27
simplifies to 160 .