Problem of the Month (July 2005)

This month we consider no-touch tilings. These are reptile tilings in which no two congruent shapes are adjacent. Karl Scherer and Patrick Hamlyn completely classified no-touch tilings of n x n squares into smaller integer-sided squares: they exist for n=16, n=18, and n≥22. We say that these are the no-touch numbers of a square.


n=16 (Karl Scherer)

n=18 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=22 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=23 (Karl Scherer)

n=24 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=25 (Karl Scherer)

n=26 (Karl Scherer)

n=27 (Karl Scherer)

n=28 (Karl Scherer)

This month we ask which other reptiles have no-touch tilings, and for those that do, what are their no-touch numbers?

Can you show that equilateral triangles and cubes do not have no-touch tilings? Can you find a no-touch tiling of a bent triomino? Can you show that that dominoes have no-touch tilings for n≥5? What are the no-touch numbers of other rectangles? Other polyominoes? Polyiamond or polytan trapezoids? Other shapes?

We continue the recent tradition of offering a $10 prize to solver offering the best solutions.


ANSWERS

Joseph DeVincentis proved that tans, equilateral triangles, and cubes do not have no-touch tilings.

Tino Jonker noted that all integer-sided right triangles have non-touch tilings, because the altitude to the hypotenuse divides the triangle into two similar triangles. He was also able to prove that almost all tritans have no-touch tilings.

ShapeKnown No-Touch NumbersUnknown
16, 18, 22+ 
5+ 
14+ 
34, 4428-33, 35-43, 45+
16, 18, 21+ 
16, 18-20, 22+ 
15, 16, 18+ 
7, 10-4647+
 23+
none 
7, 10, 11, 13+ 
19, 24, 25, 27-3031+
17, 18, 2021+
7, 10, 13-2425+
1920+


Here are 1×2 rectangle no-touch tilings that do not come from square or smaller tilings:


n=5

n=6

n=7

n=8

n=9

n=11

n=13

n=17

n=19


Here are 1×3 rectangle no-touch tilings that do not come from square tilings:


n=14 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=15

n=17 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=19 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=20

n=21


Here are 1×4 and 1×5 rectangle no-touch tilings that do not come from square tilings:


n=21 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=19 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=20 (Patrick Hamlyn)


Here are 2×3 rectangle no-touch tilings that do not come from square tilings:


n=15 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=19 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=20 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=21 (Patrick Hamlyn)


Here are small bent triomino no-touch tilings:


n=34 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=44


Here are small tritan no-touch tilings that do not come from smaller tilings:


n=7 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=10 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=11 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=12 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=13 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=15 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=16 (Joseph DeVincentis)

n=17 (Joseph DeVincentis)

n=18 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=19 (Joseph DeVincentis)

n=23 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=25 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=27 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=29 (Joseph DeVincentis)

n=31 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=37 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=41 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=43 (Patrick Hamlyn)


Here are small triamond no-touch tilings that do not come from smaller tilings:


n=7 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=10

n=11 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=13

n=15

n=16

n=17

n=18

n=19

n=22


Here are small straight pentiamond no-touch tilings:


n=19 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=24 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=25 (Patrick Hamlyn)


n=27 (Patrick Hamlyn)


n=28 (Patrick Hamlyn)


n=29 (Patrick Hamlyn)


n=30 (Patrick Hamlyn)


Here are small octiamond no-touch tilings:


n=17 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=18 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=20 (Patrick Hamlyn)


Here are small tridrafter no-touch tilings:


n=7 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=10 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=13 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=15 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=16 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=17 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=18 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=19 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=22 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=23 (Patrick Hamlyn)

n=24 (Patrick Hamlyn)


Here are small pentadrafter no-touch tilings:


n=19 (Patrick Hamlyn)


And the winner of the $10 prize is Patrick Hamlyn.


If you can extend any of these results, please e-mail me. Click here to go back to Math Magic. Last updated 7/30/05.