School-Safe Puzzle Games

Cutting into 7 pieces

Don’t normally put up puzzles on a Friday, but couldn’t quite get around to posting this earlier on in the week. So…How would you cut the above paper figure into 7 pieces, with 2 straight clips of the scissors, so that each part contains 1 of the little rectangles? You may not bend or fold the paper in any way.

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14 Comments to “Cutting into 7 pieces”


  1. Hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Use the scissors with their 2 straight clips to cut the paper in 7 pieces as required. You would need 7 cuts.


    clips = shears :)


    Note: It could be done with a single cut as well by going into circles around the rectangles. But that would rely on the same concept above (clips = shears).


  2. Hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    A 2nd possibility exists if the paper is not a rectangle, but rather has a horseshoe shape:
    - Cut just below the top 3 rectangles (1st cut). This will yield 3 pieces.
    - Stack the 3 pieces so that one cut will separate the top rectangle from the lower 2 rectangles, and each of the bottom ones from the ones above them (2nd cut)


  3. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    RK: I have a doubt about this problem: 2 straight clips of scissors mean two lines ???? .. or there is some wording trick.. and that mean the two blades of a scissor, cause I dont find a visualization of seven areas using only 2 lines….. maybe I am just vacation mind numbed but just to clarify if possible


  4. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile

    It’s been so long since I’ve seen this one, I’m not sure if I solved it correctly the first time or not, but here’s how to do it.


    Cut the horseshoe in half making an east-west cut so that the two “legs” of the horseshoe have two rectangles each, and the remaining top portion of the shoe has three rectangles.
    Take the two legs, place them onto the top portion of the shoe, and make the second cut, bisecting the rectangles on the “legs,” and isolating the topmost rectangle.


  5. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Ok, yo cannot bend or fold.. but you can move the paper while you are doing your 2 straight clips or cuts of scissors… another interpretation is that there are two “straight” or two 90 degrees cuts… same result two X interlocking forming seven shapes.. already sent the pic to RK, cool man this was hard.. i am not even close to be sure of my answer but is my best shot.. jajaja cool.


  6. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    nice answer, much better than mine, this is a sequential problem.. state 1… state 2… not so good at sequencing… nice the topping, cool


  7. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    However,I thought that was the paper the one to be divided in 7 areas not only the shoe horse, because I think the sequential solution works only for the horse shoe portion.. not the whole paper


  8. RK | Founder | Profile

    This one was tough! Should have allowed a few more days before unmasking…


    There are several ways of looking at this problem, but the official answer is as Hex and Shawn describe above


    Will try to put up another puzzle before the night is over :)


  9. engjs1960 | Profile

    There is a clear problem with the presentation of this puzzle. The obvious interpretation is that you have a square of red paper with a figure drawn on it. The colouring and wording emphasise that. Cutting the square into seven parts is impossible, unless you are allowed to turn the paper while cutting in which case it is trivial. I don’t mind lateral puzzles, but not ones where the answer contradicts the supplied parameters of the puzzle.


  10. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile

    I agree that this is a tricky problem, but aren’t those the best kind? If it’s too easy to figure out, why bother?


    The trick in this puzzle was subtle, you had to recognize that the directions said to cut the “figure” into 7 pieces. The horseshoe is drawn on a solid background, your eye is drawn to the red, but your mind has to read the clue carefully and overrule your eyes.


    I like the way this was presented. Keep up the good work, RK!


  11. jaykay | Profile

    Just cut it six times one after the other, after each rectangle. Six cuts is going to yield seven pieces!


  12. tomlaidlaw | Profile

    I think there is a rule somewhere that says at least three cuts are needed to make seven pieces. Since the paper cannot be folded or bent so after the first cut the two pieces woujld be stacked for the second cut. I’m sure I could do it with actual paper but I’m having trouble seeing it in my head only.


  13. darvz | Profile

    just cut & cut!!! (:|


  14. lc169100 | Profile

    Cut the paper diagonally twice, making an X shape?????


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