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Heavy Enough ?

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1. Bodo weighs 140 pounds more than his sister Martina. Their combined weight is 160 pounds. How many pounds does Bodo weigh?
Answer: 150

Solution:

"Bodo weighs 150 pounds" is the correct answer. His sister weighs 10 pounds. Thus, Bodo weighs 140 pounds more than his sister and their combined weight is 160 as per the problem requirements.

The common mistake is to quickly jump to the conclusion that "Bodo weighs 140 pounds and his sister weighs 20 pounds." But, Bodo would then erroneously weigh 120 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 = 160.

On solving the above two equations, we get

b = (140 + 160) / 2 = 150.

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