During a gale a maypole was broken in such a manner that it struck the ground at a distance twenty feet from the base of the pole.
It was repaired and later broke a second time at a point five feet lower. This time it struck the ground thirtyfive feet from the base.
What was the original height of the pole?
I assume that when it breaks, the two pieces and the ground
make a right triangle. Let L denote the original height of
the pole and H the height of the first break. Then
(LH)^2 = H^2 + 20^2
[(LH)+5]^2 = (H5)^2 + 35^2
Solving for L gives 82.5 feet.

Posted by Bractals
on 20060501 15:33:54 