Problem #1539


A 16-step path is to go from $(-4,-4)$ to $(4,4)$ with each step increasing either the $x$-coordinate or the $y$-coordinate by 1. How many such paths stay outside or on the boundary of the square $-2 \le x \le 2$, $-2 \le y \le 2$ at each step?

$\textbf{(A)}\ 92 \qquad \textbf{(B)}\ 144 \qquad \textbf{(C)}\ 1568 \qquad \textbf{(D)}\ 1698 \qquad \textbf{(E)}\ 12,800$

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

Note: you aren't logged in. If you log in, we'll keep a record of which problems you've solved.

Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

For questions or comments, please email