At newspapers, being math challenged extends to spokeswomen, also

I’m confused by an article on the Editor & Publisher website that says the New York Times “is cutting its size by 9% according to a Times spokeswoman.”

As the phrase “cutting its size” can mean lots of things, the article should have been more precisely written to indicate it’s the magazine’s “trim size” that is being reduced. However, that’s not what confuses me.

I understand where the 9% figure came from: the total square inches in the new magazine trim size is 9% less than the total square inches of the old trim size. However, there is another way to view this: each edge of the magazine is being reduced approximately 6%.

However, that’s not what confuses me, either.

I’m confused by how 8 15/16 inches by 10 7/8 inches will be a shape “more square” (as discerned by the human eye) than 9 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches.