Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from lois:

a man has a stack of boards, he cuts 3/5 off each board, after he cuts the boards he finds he has enough pieces left to make 4 boards the length of the original boards. how many boards did he start with.

Hi Lois,

Suppose he has $n$ boards, each $l$ units long. He cuts off $\large \frac35$ of each board so the remaining pieces are each $\large \frac25 \normalsize \times l$ units long. Hence the total length of the remaining pieces is $n \times \large \frac25 \normalsize \times l$ units. But this will make 4 boards, each the length of the original boards so this length is $4 \times l.$ Solve for $n.$


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