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Start with defining a variable to represent the length of a side of the original square, let's call it x.
So the area of the original square would be
The new square is 2 cm shorter on each side, so one of the sides must measure
, and the area of the new square must be
But we know that
Now, expand the binomial, collect terms, and put the equation in standard form.
So the original square was 10 cm on a side.
Let's check the answer.