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Trick brain teasers appear difficult at first, but they have a trick that makes them really easy.
Can you fold a 8.5 in x 11 in (US Standard) piece of notebook or typing paper in half and draw a single 13 inch straight line on ONE of the four faces of the folded paper?
HintThink of different ways you can fold the piece of paper so it is ALWAYS folded in half.
An unfolded sheet has two sides (faces); front and back. A sheet folded in half has four faces (sides); two each on what was the *front* and two each on what was the *back*.
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Answer
Fold the paper corner to corner so the crease is diagonal. Don't fold it horizontally or vertically. The four faces, or sides, would then be triangular and not rectangular (as other folds might be). But the paper IS folded in half. Then, along the longest edge of one of the four faces, draw your single 13 in. straight line.
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Comments
unklemyke
Mar 18, 2005
 Again, not trick, just SIMPLE math, with the emphasis on Simple, as in simpleminded. Put these in the math category where they belong! 
badbunnee
Mar 18, 2005
 Hi, unklemyke. Thanks for the visit and the comment. I'm glad you solved it so quickly.
And I'm sure you'll have lots of fun doing it with some of your friends who are not quite so mathsavvy !!

aardvark
Mar 18, 2005
 Easy, but fun. Thanks badbunnee 
badbunnee
Mar 18, 2005
 Thanks, aardvark, I appreciate the visit and comment.
This one works MUCH better *live* and *in person* than textually (as here).
Get with a friend or friends who don't know the *trick* (I've discovered that their *math* skills are largely irrelevant) and go through the instructions verbally stepbystep.
Just say ... *Take this piece of paper and fold it in half*. Almost everyone will fold it vertically or horizontally in the typical, learned manner.
This involves a psychologial phenom known as *set*. Once a person gets *set* in a thought or routine it's hard to break out of it.
Then tell them to draw the 13 in. line on ONE of the four sides.
Don't give them any help, just keep repeating the instructions but don't give any additional help.
Eventually, maybe, one or more of them will figure it out. They must do so, however, by withdrawing from their *set* thinking and rethink the problem. Often very difficult to do when the problem is given verbally in a live situation.
This illustrates, of course, a creative, or *lateral*, or *cluster* thinking capability of some people.

froggygg
Mar 18, 2005
 Kinda like making paper airplanes! 
badbunnee
Mar 18, 2005
 Ya, frogg !!!
Glad you dropped in and gave it a shot !!!

nishjunankar
Mar 18, 2005
 Very very fun and interesting 
runscapekiller
Mar 18, 2005
 i tried but it didnt work how do u fold it corner 2 corner 
badbunnee
Mar 18, 2005
 Hi, runscape.
OK ... Imagine you are looking at the paper page. The upper left corner is UL, the upper right corner is UR, the lower left corner is LL, and the lower right corner is LR. Mark them so with a pencil if you wish.
Now, take the LR corner and move it up toward the UL corner. Don't fold it yet. The paper will be sort of rolled over and up and toward the left and you should have something that looks like a triangle (two cut edges of the paper and a third edge that is not yet folded). Now ... keeping the paper that way, crease (fold) the paper along the line between the two other corners; LL and UR in an exact line from the LL corner point to the UR corner point. That should give you a folded sheet that has four *sides* or *faces*. Each of the sides will be a threeedged shape (a triangle). Draw a line VERY close to the longest edge on ONE of the four faces of your folded paper and it should be a little longer than 13 inches.

badbunnee
Mar 18, 2005
 Hey, runscape. Send me back a comment here if you got it ... or PM me if you wish.

r3lish
Mar 19, 2005
 was thinking it was exact oh well im just complicating myself 
badbunnee
Mar 19, 2005
 Hello, again, KB123. Thanks for the *gay stupid crap* comment !!!
I happen to be a devoted fan of happy, dumb, BS puzzles. More interesting, more fun, and more challenging. Glad you took the time to stop by and take a look.

badbunnee
Mar 19, 2005
 Hi, r3lish. Thanks for the visit and comment.
I hope you discovered it needn't be complicated. I've used this puzzle with lots of workshop groups and found they solve it three different ways. It can be solved as a math problem (as unklemyke did above). It can be solved as a logic problem by going through all the possible alternatives of folding a piece of paper in half. It can also be solved as a *creativity* problem by simply looking at the page and *seeing* the longest straight dimension (corner to opposite diagonal corner) and folding it that way. Actually those individuals who jump (sometimes called the *intuitive leap*) to the creative approach will get the solution faster and easier.
But that, of course, involves a nontraditional way of folding a sheet of paper.

freezequeen
Mar 20, 2005
 My head hurts!!!
Thats hard. 
badbunnee
Mar 23, 2005
 To freezequeen: Thanks for taking a shot at it.
Yes, it CAN be difficult, but read my comment immediately preceding your comment about several ways to solve it. AND .... thanks for your comments on a couple other of my rebuses. I read those, too.

krabcat
Apr 01, 2005
 to baddbunny your coments on your teaser make my head hert
and have u ever tryed to fold a pice of paper diagnaly eaven if u hold the side the paper twists to mak an eser fold but in reality its not dooing what u want it to do and i hope this is making your head hert too becuse its making my feble litle brain try and morph into it when i want to go threw it
the mening to life is cheese 
LittleBrownElf
Apr 23, 2005
 To krabbie ...
Whenever I do this puzzle with workshops I find that people work it lots of different ways. Folding the paper diagonally cornertocorner seems to be a problem with about 10% of the group.
Maybe they are "looking" at the problem differently than the others in the group.
Next time I do it I'll try to find out why they have difficulty. And let you know.
Thanks for your visit and your comments. You might want to try this out with some of your friends ... and see how they do it.
yladsLBE
(exBadBunnee) 
krabcat
Apr 24, 2005
 its also posible to draw a line compleatly accross and get a(close to) 14.5 in. line 
shandela
May 02, 2005
 how is 14.5 inches possible. using pythagoreus theorum, only 13.9 inches is possible from diagonal to diagonal. which the line being drawn first may make folding easier. 
shandela
May 02, 2005
 btw, i liked. it was ultimately easy but not immediately easy. also like to have to think for a little bit first. otherwise it's boring. 
krabcat
May 06, 2005
 i used the parigarium therum but i mostly did it in myt head so maybe i got 1 of the numbers mixed up 
celebrity
May 06, 2005
 Sorry, but i am not the best at math AT ALL... This is totally confusing but its just my opinion other people seem to like it or w/e good job i guess... 
xsadclowneyezx
May 07, 2005
 this is extremely easy 
jakeodee
Jun 11, 2005
 my answer was just YES 
amelia639
Jul 17, 2005
 i just don't get it 
mejoza
Aug 30, 2005
 But mathwise, this is not folding a piece of paper in half, correct? 
mejoza
Aug 30, 2005
 These are not equal triangles, obviously. 
mejoza
Aug 30, 2005
 Ok, I get it... You are not matching the edges. Your instructions for folding are a little confusing. However, you do get the equal triangles that don't "match" on top of each other. 64 + 132.25 = 196.25 so the longest edge of the right triangle is 14 inches and you can draw a 13 inch line. I like it. I rated it well. i just don't care for your instructions via message board. It works better IRL. 
jsdodgers
Jul 14, 2006
 you cant fold it corner to corner and have i in wo halves if it is an 8.5x11 piece of paper 
dicaela
Aug 15, 2007
 I suppose this all depends on whether or not you consider folding it that way to truly be considered as folding it in half. 
Shadows
Dec 19, 2008
 Look. If you fold it corner to corner, each half has the same area, so why shouldn't it be folding in half? And, person up there, how could a teaser be gay?! 
Light
Jul 04, 2009
 It said "can you" not "HOW can you" so the correct answer for this teaser would be "Yes" 
brainhurricane
Aug 22, 2013
 i agree to light's comment
shoudn't the answer be "yes"? 
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