The Billionaire's Lawn

Jul 30, 2016

RAY: This was sent in by Daniel Reiss. An eccentric billionaire decided to interview landscapers for his newly constructed estate. Part of the interview was a simple test. He said:

"Four is my lucky number. So I want every tree and bush and shrub you plant to be in groups of four. Got it? But in addition, I want each of these four things that you plant to be the same distance from one another.

"For example, if you plant four rhododendron, I want them all to be equidistant, i.e., each one is the same distance from each of the other three."

The question is, can it be done?

RAY: You put the first three plants at the three points of an equilateral triangle, and then you plant the fourth one on the top of a hill which is precisely in the middle of the three, at a height such that the size of the three new triangles that you make are the same as the original triangle that was made by the first three things. And that's how you get four things that are equidistant. So who's our winner?

TOM: The winner this week is Eric Sosman from Auburndale, Massachusetts. Congratulations!

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