full transcript
"From the Ted Talk by Gordon Hamilton: Can you solve the Mondrian squares riddle?"

#### Unscramble the Blue Letters

Dutch artist Piet Mondrianâs abstract, rectangular paintings inspired mthiaamceatins to create a two-fold cagnhllee. First, we must completely cover a square canvas with non-overlapping rectangles. All must be unique, so if we use a 1x4, we canât use a 4x1 in another spot, but a 2x2 rcgetlnae would be fine. Letâs try that. Say we have a canvas mrneiusag 4x4. We canât chop it directly in half, since that would give us identical rectangles of 2x4. But the next closest option - 3x4 and 1x4 - works.

#### Open Cloze

Dutch artist Piet Mondrianâs abstract, rectangular paintings inspired ______________ to create a two-fold _________. First, we must completely cover a square canvas with non-overlapping rectangles. All must be unique, so if we use a 1x4, we canât use a 4x1 in another spot, but a 2x2 _________ would be fine. Letâs try that. Say we have a canvas _________ 4x4. We canât chop it directly in half, since that would give us identical rectangles of 2x4. But the next closest option - 3x4 and 1x4 - works.

#### Solution

1. rectangle
2. measuring
3. challenge
4. mathematicians

#### Original Text

Dutch artist Piet Mondrianâs abstract, rectangular paintings inspired mathematicians to create a two-fold challenge. First, we must completely cover a square canvas with non-overlapping rectangles. All must be unique, so if we use a 1x4, we canât use a 4x1 in another spot, but a 2x2 rectangle would be fine. Letâs try that. Say we have a canvas measuring 4x4. We canât chop it directly in half, since that would give us identical rectangles of 2x4. But the next closest option - 3x4 and 1x4 - works.

#### Important Words

1. abstract
2. artist
3. canvas
4. challenge
5. chop
6. closest
7. completely
8. cover
9. create
10. dutch
11. fine
12. give
13. identical
14. inspired
15. mathematicians
16. measuring
17. option
18. paintings
19. piet
20. rectangle
21. rectangles
22. rectangular
23. spot
24. square
25. unique
26. works