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Heavy Enough ?

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1. Bodo weighs 120 pounds more than his sister Maria. Their combined weight is 180 pounds. How many pounds does Bodo weigh?
Answer: 150

Solution:

"Bodo weighs 150 pounds" is the correct answer. His sister weighs 30 pounds. Thus, Bodo weighs 120 pounds more than his sister and their combined weight is 180 as per the problem requirements.

The common mistake is to quickly jump to the conclusion that "Bodo weighs 120 pounds and his sister weighs 60 pounds." But, Bodo would then erroneously weigh 60 pounds more than his sister.

Alternative Solution through Equations:

Let b be Bodo's weight and s be his sister's weight. Then,

bs = 120; and
b + s = 180.

On solving the above two equations, we get

b = (120 + 180) / 2 = 150.


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