# How to cut 12 in half and get 7

Here's a puzzle that a teacher told me today:

How can you cut twelve in half and get seven?

Hint (only if you're stumped):

Don't let just regular numerals control you

Another Hint

Notice that I didn't use the math tag

Slice XII across the middle to get VII.

I'm pretty sure that's what Quark's answer is facetiously alluding to.

• Yep this is what I wanted. Good Job Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 3:49

Here's a more mathematical answer from a programmer:

If we use the base 12 numbering system then 12 (in base 12) == 14 (in base 10), and half of that is 7 (in both base 10 and 12).

• Although I think the expected (and now accepted) answer is the Roman Numerical one, I actually like your answer better. +1 from me. Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 10:35
• 12 (in base 12 (in base 10)) :P Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 11:24
• But the body of the question explicitly spells out t-w-e-l-v-e and s-e-v-e-n. Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 11:13
• @200_success In numeration systems (which happens to be my field of study), we often use "eleven" for what is written as "11" in the base we work in, so "twelve" need not be 2*6 always :)
– yo'
Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 19:17

Cut perfectly in half we have a 7 folks!

12 is a base ten number. Cut the base in half, and you get 7.
(base five) 12 = (base ten) 7

• Now this one is a great way how to think out of the box!
– yo'
Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 19:18
• That's brilliant! Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 18:52

Here's how you can get seven by cutting twelve in half:

• I like this, but it's not what I was looking for. And what happens to the extra part of the one? Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 3:38
• That isn't cutting 12 in half. Still, nice one! Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 3:40
• Doesn't this make 71? Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 17:32
• Well you do get "a" 7. This is a common puzzle and I wanted to try to be funny instead. Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 18:59

This is 12 points:

. . . .
. . . .
. .
. .


Cutting it diagonally from top right to bottom left, we get two sets of 7 points:

. . . .
. . .


and:

  .
. .
. .
. .

• Before you comment, try halving a single point. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 10:15

@CoolGuy I disagree that it isn't cutting "12" in half. No matter which of the resulting fragments you take, you get 7.

Lines in PS are to ensure that they are exactly (100/100 pixels above and below guide lines) cut in half.

• But isn't that 77? Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 17:42
• @Imray Nah, it's just two sevens. Two sevens are better than one!
– Doc
Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 18:27

Using roman numbering seems to do the trick : 12 is : XII, cut it horizontally and you have VII at the top

/||
/\||

• This has already been answered 3 times Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 20:33
• I feel like at this point it's a running joke. Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 20:40

12 = XII

strike through the middle

the top half now becomes VII

VII = 7