Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Mike, a student:

Day 1 started with 80 heads of lettuce and x were sold.
Day 2 started with two times the number of heads of lettuce that was left
over. Again, only x were sold. Day 3 started with 3 times the number
of lettuce from what was left over from day 2 and all was sold. What
was the # of lettuce sold on each day?

Hi Mike,

I think you are missing something. I think that on day three x heads were sold and that is all that were left from day 2.

I'm going to use a table to show you how I think about this problem.

Day Start Sold Remaining
1 80 x 80 - x
2 2(80 - x) x  
3   x 0

Each row of the table is an equation

Start - Sold = Remaining.

Fill in the two empty cells in the table. Write the equation for the last row. Solve for x. Check your answer.


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