This is another puzzle where precise wording is important -- I'll try to get it right, but if anything is unclear, please ask ... I'll start out by saying that all the circles in this puzzle have the same radius, the aspect ratio of the rectangle is not specified and does not matter, and its size, relative to the size of the circles is only indirectly implied. Only the constraints stated in the puzzle should be assumed.

I've drawn 17 circles that at least partially overlap a rectangle.

Their centers all lie within the rectangle.

None of the circles overlap or even touch any of the other circles.

There is no room for an 18th circle to be added to the group.

That is, the circles are drawn in such a way that even though there is space between them, it is impossible to draw another circle whose center lies within the rectangle that does not at least partially overlap one of the first 17 circles. That is all you know about the relative sizes of things. And it is enough information to answer the following question:

First, let's erase the circles that I drew. Then I will paint the rectangle red and give you a large supply of opaque white circles. What is the smallest number of circles you will need to completely cover the rectangle? (so that no red will be showing.) The centers of the circles, again, must lie within the rectangle, but now, of course, the circles can overlap each other,

Edit: The puzzle can be solved as stated, but in order to guarantee the solution is the absolute smallest number, the following constraint is added to the original placement: The 17 circles were drawn as densely as possible without overlap. Thanks to @Molly Mae for raising this point.

This is another puzzle where precise wording is important -- I'll try to get it right, but if anything is unclear, please ask ... I'll start out by saying that all the circles in this puzzle have the same radius, the aspect ratio of the rectangle is not specified and does not matter, and its size, relative to the size of the circles is only indirectly implied. Only the constraints stated in the puzzle should be assumed.

That is, the circles are drawn in such a way that even though there is space between them, it is impossible to draw another circle whose center lies within the rectangle that does not at least partially overlap one of the first 17 circles. That is all you know about the relative sizes of things. And it is enough information to answer the following question:

First, let's erase the circles that I drew. Then I will paint the rectangle red and give you a large supply of opaque white circles. What is the smallest number of circles you will need to completely cover the rectangle? (so that no red will be showing.) The centers of the circles, again, must lie within the rectangle, but now, of course, the circles can overlap each other,

Edit: The puzzle can be solved as stated, but in order to guarantee the solution is the absolute smallest number, the following constraint is added to the original placement: The 17 circles were drawn as densely as possible without overlap. Thanks to @Molly Mae for raising this point.

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