Originally Posted by

**jerry** Thanks Flyingsquirrel: your explanation for Problem 147 helped. I understand the solution now.

Sean, thanks for your help on 154. I understand everything you did but I've run into a problem. Each time I solve simultaneously, I get $\displaystyle a=\frac{-8}{3} , b=\frac{2}{3}$ which works fine for $\displaystyle 2+a+b=0$ but yields a very strange, nonzero value indeed for $\displaystyle 10+4a+b$. I've tried a few times and get the same values every time.

Here's my working:

$\displaystyle 2+a+b=0$

$\displaystyle a=-2-b$

$\displaystyle 10+4(-2-b)+b=0$

$\displaystyle

b=\frac{2}{3}$ and $\displaystyle a=-2-\frac{2}{3}=\frac{-8}{3}$

Does this happen for you as well? Or am I erring?