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What is the maximum number of pieces that a circular pie can be divided into by four linear cuts?

A. 6 B. 8 C. 9 D. 10 E. 11

Can someone show this to me with a picture?

Such kind of combinations problems are always about a pattern recognition.

Maximum pieces: 0 line gives 1 whole piece; 1 line will gives 2 pieces: 1+1=2; 2 lines will give 4 pieces: 2+2=4; 3 lines will give 7 pieces: 4+3=7; 4 lines will give 7+4=11 pieces.

Similarly: 5 lines will give 11+5=16 pieces; 6 lines will give 16+6=22 pieces; 7 lines will give 22+7=29 pieces.

So, generally kth line will add k new pieces.

Answer: E.

P.S. Though I agree, it doesn't seem to be GMAT type of question.
_________________

1. 1st line can divide a circular pie by maximum 2 pieces 2. 2nd line gives us maximum 4 pieces 3. 3rd line can cross 3 pieces (to cross 4 piece is impossible) and we obtain 1+3*2=7 pieces 4. 4th line can cross maximum 4 pieces and we obtain 3+4*2=11

It can be solve less than 1min by means of the consecutive steps
_________________

the key of this problem is the next line must be intersect all the previous line.so the answer is 2+2+3+4=11.Paint a chart is a directly and simply method. sorry ,my english is so poor and I can't clearly express my viewpoint.

If I see this in real gmat I'll never eat a cake again ...

hahahaha.. that's really funny. In my case, I'll be only focused on food after that point and not the quants. GMAT will be creaming me with such a question as my brain would immediately start thinking about food..

Re: What is the maximum number of pieces that a circular pie can [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2012, 03:23

I personally don't like this question because it resembles too much of those brainteasers and I ended up with 14 pieces... 3 cuts would equal 7 pieces and then one linear straight slice horizontally would give me 14 pieces...

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