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Heavy Enough ?

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1. Bodo weighs 140 pounds more than his sister Susan. Their combined weight is 180 pounds. How many pounds does Bodo weigh?
Answer: 160

Solution:

"Bodo weighs 160 pounds" is the correct answer. His sister weighs 20 pounds. Thus, Bodo weighs 140 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 140 pounds and his sister weighs 40 pounds." But, Bodo would then erroneously weigh 100 pounds more than his sister.

Alternative Solution through Equations:

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

bs = 140; and
b + s = 180.

On solving the above two equations, we get

b = (140 + 180) / 2 = 160.


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