_______ 20090215—0220 Here is a problem that can be solved many ways. My good friend C. Blanco sent it to me to solve using the methods of classical geometry, coordinate geometry, and trigonometry. But being how I take the MacGyver approach to solving math problems, I have found an unconventional and improvised way to solve the problem. Here is the problem: Two buildings, I and II stand next to each other forming an alleyway between them. Two ladders, ladder A and ladder B in the alley cross each other touching a the point where they cross. The bottom of A sits against the base of building I, and leans over on building II. The bottom of ladder B sits against the base of building II, and leans over on building I. Ladder A is 3 meters long, ladder B is 4 meters long. The point where ladder A and ladder B cross is 1 meter above the ground. What is the width of the alleyway? As shown in the following diagrams my approach is graphical. There is just about a graphical representation for anything in geometry. However a simple solution can be hidden among the lines drawn by the imagination.

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