Can you Solve This?
What is the shortest path for the wire?
During a recent county political convention, an electrician was hired to install an annunciator at the back of the meeting hall. It was to be connected to a push button at the front door, so that the managers could notify the long-winded orators when to ring off. The length of wire required for this job was a topic of debate among the workmen, and the question was referred to me.
The hall, as shown in the sketch on the left, was just 12 feet wide by 12 feet high, and 30 feet in length. The wire was to go from the annunciator, three feet from the ceiling at the center of the back wall, to a push button three feet from the floor at the center of the front wall. The wire can be strung along walls, ceiling, or floor. The problem is to determine the shortest possible route that the wire can take. The thickness of the wall at the push button need not be considered.
This puzzle comes from the mathematical puzzles of Sam Loyd which is a registered trademark of The Sam Loyd Company and used with permission.