Word Problems
by M. V.
Montgomery
1. Bill and Julie
are seeing one another. Bill has angered Julie
and she has been rather curt with him on the
phone, claiming she is busy. They live 100 miles
apart. It would be possible for Bill to reach
Julie in 2 hours if he averages 50 miles per hour
in his car. But he doesn’t know if Julie
will welcome a visit and so queries with an email
first. Julie doesn’t reply, so he sends
another email later the same day and cc’s
it to 2 other addresses. He also leaves 3 voice
mails, 2 in the evening and 1 the next morning.
Later he tries calling Julie at work but is told
she is in a meeting. This is Tuesday. The
question is, how many days will Julie stay mad at
Bill?
2. Bill is trying
to lose weight by cutting calories. He is very
fond of the Jimmy’s Titanburger, which
contains layers of bacon, fried eggs, and suet
and tips the scales at circa 6000 calories. Bill
weighs 286 pounds and has a size 48 waist. His
BMI is a whopping 38.8 and his LDL cholesterol is
nearly 200, although this latter number is skewed
by the fact that Bill can never fast 12 full
hours before his checkups. After 7 or 8 hours,
he hears a Titanburger calling his name and makes
for the allnight drivethrough like he is
fleeing a robbery in a getaway car. Using his
calorie calculator, Bill discovers that he must
lower his intake to 2898 per day just to reach
the “maintenance level” and 2288 to
reach the “fatburning level.” The
question is, how can he do this without
sacrificing his daily Titanburger? Also, if Bill
does lose weight, will Julie find him more
attractive?
3. Bill likes to
drive to work contemplating his retirement
account. He is 40 years old and has let this
matter slide. Using his 401K account calculator,
he discovers he will need to save the maximum of
$500 a month for the next 10 years, then an
additional $100 under the “catch up”
provision after he turns 50 in order to retire
comfortably at age 80. The problem is, Bill can
only afford to put $50 in his retirement account
per month and layoffs are looming at work. Bill
wonders whether he should stow money away in a
shortterm “emergency” fund earning 0.67
% interest instead. Even if he loses his job and
health care, he calculates that by the end of 4
years, he will have enough money saved to pay for
a short ride to a hospital in an ambulance. The
question is, how will he then be able to sneak
out of the room to avoid paying his bill with all
those tubes sticking out of his arm? Also, what
is the probability of Julie’s ever coming to
visit?
Answers:
1. She will file a
restraining order after 11.5 days.
2. a) Bill must
learn to chew without swallowing.
2. b) n/a
3. a) Bill must
remove the tubes first.
3. b) < 0
