I would like to repost this question as I have not gotten an answer to it yet.
I have clarified about the question that was asked
Let m be the distance the squares overlap on the long edges.
First, express the area of the region the squares don't overlap in terms of the variable. (You can probabally skip this part, I'm just struggling to find more ways to use the variable :/ )
The 2 comes from there being two rectangles, 7 is the height and 7-m is the width.
Now express the length of the total idth in terms of the variable.
With no overlap, the width would be 14, but to find the width after overlaping you have to subtract the distance they overlap
Set it equal to 10
Sutract 14 from each side
Divide by -1
Now that we have the distance they overlap, plug it into the equation from the beginning to get the answer.
The area the squares don't overlap is 42
This question is flawed....to see why....
If the squares overlapped to a width of 10....it would mean that each square would have to contribute a width of 10.....but.....the width of each square is only 7, so this is impossible
Mathematically.....let x be the width of each of the unshaded rectangles
Then....the width of the overlap must just be 7 - x
And this equals 10
7 - x = 10
-x = 3
x = -3 which is impossible