Bugs on the Go

Posted January 13 - 19, 1997

20 cm = 200 mm.At 2/3 of a mm per minute, Woody will arrive in 300 minutes.

Grassy moves 1mm every two minutes, until the last mm, when he crashes exhausted. Grassy will arrive in 399 minutes.

Woody wins by 99 minutes. Or, 60 x 99 = 5,940 seconds.

Way to go, Woodster!

Mr. T gave his "Little Einsteins" this question as their Problem-of-the-Day. Using a five-step problems solving process, his class came up with the perfect solution. It looks like Minus is going to have to work extra hard to come up with a problem to stump all ya folks in Texas.

This seemingly simple problem became tricky because 1) you mixed measurements and 2) it's a "Fox in the hole" type problem.Rob Watson, of Calgary, Alberta, knew Minus' game from the start. He sent in his answer without a solution, but challenged our Math Shark to produce tougher questions. Watch-out, Rob! Our mascot smells blood in the water...CHOMP!Grassy travelled 1 millimeter/minute and then rested a minute, giving him a basic speed of 1 mm/2 min. Since he wants to travel 20 cm and there are 200 mm in 20 cm, you would think it would simply take 400 min. However, Grassy would not need to rest after the last mm, so the trip would take him exactly 399 min.

Woody, on the other had, travelled at a constant rate of 2/3 mm per minute.

20/(2/3) = 30

30 x 10 = 300 minutes.Therefore, Woody would arrive at the mound of paradise first, at a whopping 99 minutes, or (as you specifically requested) 5,940 seconds sooner than Grassy.

Your math challege is too easy.

The answer is: Woody wins by 99 minutes or 5940 seconds.

Minus appreciates a well-balanced

meal of solutions and comments!