The World’s Hardest Easy Geometry Problem

Every once in a while a math problem takes the world by storm … at least the world of nerds.  About five years ago, the “World’s Hardest Easy Geometry Problem” hit the internet.  Not that this problem was new or unique.  After all, it has been around for hundreds of years.  However, with the speed and ease of communication of the internet, the problem spread like wildfire.  In fact, according to rumors, the problem was so addictive that the whiteboards in the offices of Google were filled with attempted solutions.  As the story goes, one employee said that the problem probably cost Google about a quarter of a million dollars in lost time.

What was the problem that people couldn’t stop thinking about?  Think you can solve it?  Enjoy … and no cheating!  (For a PDF version of the problem, click World’s Hardest Easy Geometry Problem.)


37 Responses to The World’s Hardest Easy Geometry Problem

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Musings on Math! « Musings on Math

  2. hitokiri vanguard says:

    he value of X is 10degrees, considering the given measures for size which is 60° 20° and 10° and 70°
    So basically each given side is 80°,
    To find value of x add the amount of each given side, then minus the subordinate, and you’ll solve x which is 10°
    I can also give you y
    Which is 60°

  3. charles says:

    x=10 degrees ,easy and simple

  4. Mihlali Blekiwe says:

    X=#### degrees n I’m a grade 10 learner am I correct?

  5. vipul says:

    Is it 60 degrees. ^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^)^).

  6. Ray says:

    Is it 90 degrees?

  7. haffar says:

    Sorry I believe there might be an inconsistency here. If angle A and angle B are each 80 degrees, C must be 40 degrees. This means that in triangle ACE, angle E must be 130 degrees. Now, if you were to solve for E a different way: If you solve for the bottom triangle, you would have one angle 70 degrees and 80 degrees (given), and the remaining angle must be 50 degrees. Using supplementary angle law, we know that the two angles next to it must be 130 degrees. Using this, we solve triangle BEX(X is the middle point with the 50 degree and 130 degree angle), we find that E is equal to 30 degrees. Using supplementary angle, we find that angle E in triangle ACE must also be 150 degrees (180 – 30 degrees). This means that E is equal to either 150 degrees or 130, which is an inconsistency. I checked my math so I think that is the case, but if it isn’t, can you please let me know?

    • The issue with the problem is that it is not drawn to scale. The diagram is intentionally misleading. As such, there are certain results that will appear correct until the diagram is drawn to scale. I hope this helps a little bit.

  8. Conner Duran says:

    x=80 degrees? I took geometry last year so I’m curious if I’m correct. I hope I am or I just might make myself retake it lol

  9. foram koyani says:

    i guess it’s ## degree

  10. foram koyani says:

    i guess its ## degree …

  11. ash lal says:

    is it 70

  12. Eushra says:

    Is it 30° ? I’m in grade 8

  13. Phan says:

    The answer is ##

  14. Nick says:

    Is it ## degrees?

  15. Nick says:

    Is it ## degrees.?

  16. Austin Williams says:

    x=70, am i correct?

  17. Chris Lanier says:

    is it x=#### degrees?

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