### A way to attack the 8-15-17 squares puzzle

Draw the 15-square and the 17-square on graph paper.
A good guess is to assume that the 8-square doesn't
get cut. If so, where should it go in the 17-square?
How about in one of the corners of the 17-square,
say, the upper left corner.

This leaves a backwards L-shaped piece to be cut into 3
pieces that make the 15-square. But how to do it?:

Try dotting the 15-square in the lower right corner
of the 17-square, leaving two rectangular pieces
from the 17-square which stick out beyond the dotted 15-square.
If you cut them both off, they won't fit in the remaining
6 x 6 hole. So just cut off one rectangular piece (2 x 9)
from, say, the left side.

Off the top of the 17-square, try cutting more off than just the
9 x 2 rectangle. It would be great if the piece that
you cut fits (without rotation) into the upper left corner
of the 15-square. What you need is a funny-shaped piece,
6 high on the left and 6 long starting from the bottom left
(to help fill in the 6 x 6 hole).

To fit in the length of 9 along the top left,
cut down from the top of the dotted 15-square at a
point 6 over from the dotted 15-square's upper right corner.
If you follow this through, you get a sort of
irregular c-shaped piece.

When you move this c-shaped piece into position,
you see that the remaining portion of the 15-square
is exactly a 9 x 2 rectangle into which you can put
the rectangle that you cut off!

At least one person who has played around with these hints
has been able to solve the puzzle:
"Last Saturday, with your hints in
hand, I solved it. Thank you for a great problem."

*Last updated March 29, 2000.*