My friend presented me with a puzzle: Construct a geometric shape with 7 points such that there are 6 straight lines, and each line must pass through 3 points.

My friend came up with a solution, but he wasn’t sure, so he consulted me. Actually there was a “model” answer, but he wanted to find another solution. So we had 2 solutions. I’ll present that model answer here so you can understand the puzzle better.

Points A, B and C form an equilateral triangle. Points D, E and F are the midpoints of lines AB, AC and BC respectively. Point G is the centre of the triangle.

Note: 3 points are collinear if they lie on a straight line.

The 7 points are A to G. The 6 lines are formed by ADB, AEC, BFC, AGF, BGE and CGD.

[I’m not going to go too much into math theories and proofs. Besides, I’m not even sure if I can recall them after losing track for so long…]

The first three lines should be easy to understand. D is the midpoint of AB, so ADB is a straight line. So it is for AEC and BFC.

E is the midpoint of AC, and BE is the perpendicular bisector (remember ABC is an equilateral triangle). And G lies on the line BE, since G is the centre of the triangle. So BGE is a straight line.

Using this reasoning, AGF and CGD are also straight lines.

I know, the explanation I gave isn’t quite backed up with math proofs, more with intuitive reasoning. But I’m sure they are (I just don’t know exactly which theorems to cite…).

So I have 2 favours:

- Send me a more proper explanation of the solution given above
- Or send me another solution (remember I have another one?)

I know there are at least 2 solutions. Just wondering if there are more. I will post my other solution, together with any submissions from you next Monday. Or earlier, depending on the number of submissions. You’re welcome to do both. *smile*

Since this is a geometric construction, a picture together with some explanations is appreciated. You can host the image on a site like Flickr, then add a comment to this post with a link to that image and a brief explanation.

Or you can send me your solution via email to vincent **at** polymathprogrammer **dot** com. Let me know if you want to remain anonymous (why?), and I’ll just post your solution only.

Your construction doesn’t have to be exact in proportions. Meaning if there’s a right angle, it doesn’t *have* to be 90 degrees exactly, so long as it *looks* like it’s 90 degrees. Just add some explanation to supplement the drawing. Try Paint.NET if you don’t have any image editing software.

Have fun!

[…] with 7 points such that there are 6 straight lines, and each line must pass through 3 points. The first solution was already discussed last […]