# Thread: How should I answer this trick question?

1. ## How should I answer this trick question?

A 120 meter board is cut into 3 pieces. The second piece is 40 meters longer than the first piece and the third piece is two times as long as the second piece. Find the length of the longest piece.

How should I answer? Nothing can be 0m in length, therefore no first piece exists and "no solution" is an option. Or, should I simply answer the question that the longest piece is 80m in length despite there being only two pieces.

2. Originally Posted by kalani
A 120 meter board is cut into 3 pieces. The second piece is 40 meters longer than the first piece and the third piece is two times as long as the second piece. Find the length of the longest piece.

How should I answer? Nothing can be 0m in length, therefore no first piece exists and "no solution" is an option. Or, should I simply answer the question that the longest piece is 80m in length despite there being only two pieces.
let x be the length of the first piece.

then the length of the second piece is (x + 40)

and the length of the third piece is 2(x + 40)

now set up the appropriate equation to solve for x and continue