Part 2 – (‘Siderodromophobia’ and Other Word Problem Woes)

Okay, dear reader, I hate to keep you in suspense any longer as to the solution to the word problem I blogged about in my previous blog….

My hubby, David, solved it. I had also sent the problem out to my kids – all grown, via text on their phones. The discussion went like this:

“Can you solve this word problem? I

couldn’t. But your dad did. That

second sentence is the foggiest of

any sentence I’ve seen in my 62 1/2 years”

**Meredith**, our daughter-in-law, answered back within 5 minutes …

“30.333333 for her, 60.333333

for him….?”

**Me**: “‘A’ for speedy response.

He must have robbed the cradle

for sure..”

**Meredith**: “Sugar Daddy.

I think my decimals are off tho…

Math gives me question marks.

Oh, duh, 30.5 and 60.5

Wait, no, that’s not it either. I’m

bowing out and leaving it to the scientists”

**Me**: “I hear you Meredith. I’m into

pulling numbers out of a hat

here and seeing if they fit. Yet,

more inclined to think about this

relationship, why they are

together in the first place and

assuming money is a factor”

Then son, **Ben** pipes in:

“He is 52 and she is 39.

Pretty simple system of

equations.” (Ben has a Physics degree)

**Meredith**: “LOL, Jody. I guess we’ll just have

to stick to sparkling narratives”

**Ben**: “Kind of crazy that they were

born on the same date, and

today is their birthday.” *(HUH?)*

**Meredith**: “Maybe that’s what brought them

together … they met at a Red

Lobster where they were both

getting a stupid birthday song

with their all-you-can-eat shrimp.”

Son,** Adam **(married to Meredith) joins the conversation:

“Nice try, Ben, but it’s a trick

question. He’s actually a

schizophrenic and there is no wife!”

**Meredith**: “Hahahahaha”

“Oh I love you”

**Ben**: “LOL”

Okay, so here’s the solution, the set of equations that describe the word problem, per my husband, David, the physicist:

“If you add the age of a man to the age of his wife, the result is 91”

x (his age) + y (her age) = 91

“He is now twice as old as she was when he was as old as she is now” (HUH?)

Okay, since the difference in their ages is a constant, (x-y), when he was her age, y, she was (x-y) years younger.

So mathematically that statement is written as:

x (his age now ) = 2 [y-(x-y)]

To solve:

x = 2(y-x+y)

x = 2(2y-x)

x = 4y-2x

3x = 4y

x = 4y/3

Substitute into the first equation: x+y = 91 (where x = 4y/3)

4y/3 + y = 91

4y + 3y = 273

7y = 273

y= 273 / 7

y = 39

So, …. x + 39 = 91

x = 91-39

x = 52

So he is 52 and she is 39. (Yes, he did rob the cradle.)

And now, somehow, when I think about this problem I can’t get beyond the vision in my head of me at Red Lobster, smelling shrimp, with a bunch of employees around my head singing “Happy Birthday”, surrounded by schizophrenics.