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Pole in lake


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115 replies to this topic

#91 jimlyc

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 03:32 AM

"There is a pole in a lake. One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third is covered by water and eight feet is out of the water. What is the total length of the pole in feet?"

Grammatically, there is only one way to read the statement. "One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third (of it - the pole) is covered by water and eight feet (of it) is out of the water. The words in parentheses are implied, UNLESS otherwise stated.- for instance, "one third of the rest...". We must always assume that the rest of the statement applies to the original subject, unless otherwise qualified. The answer, therefore must be 48 feet.

Edited by jimlyc, 16 July 2008 - 03:36 AM.

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#92 Lost in space

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:42 AM

"There is a pole in a lake. One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third is covered by water and eight feet is out of the water. What is the total length of the pole in feet?"

Grammatically, there is only one way to read the statement. "One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third (of it - the pole) is covered by water and eight feet (of it) is out of the water. The words in parentheses are implied, UNLESS otherwise stated.- for instance, "one third of the rest...". We must always assume that the rest of the statement applies to the original subject, unless otherwise qualified. The answer, therefore must be 48 feet.

We must assume the litigators have you in their pocket :P , they are bound to be busy with contracts worded in this manor - are you familiar with the phrase - Never assume anything!


This is one of my fav riddles - ambiguous
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#93 smashedapples

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 09:30 PM

There is a pole in a lake. One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third is covered by water and eight feet is out of the water. What is the total length of the pole in feet?


I don't understand why this statement is so hard to understand. Go with simplest and most logical answer.

it says, "another one third is covered by water." This DOES NOT mean one third of one half. If that's what the problem meant, it would have said, "another one third of what's left is covered by water," or something along those lines.

The way it's written, it is valid to add in the assumed words (in brackets in the quote following)

"One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third [of the pole] is covered by water and eight feet is out of the water."

That's how the English language works.

Now if you want to debate whether or not the half that's in the ground counts as "out of the water," go at it. I think it depends on if there is any water in the ground (which is probably a safe bet...)
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#94 Ben Law

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:45 AM

There is a pole in a lake. One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third is covered by water and eight feet is out of the water. What is the total length of the pole in feet?

Spoiler for it is

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#95 livestrong9008

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 04:28 PM

i think its 15.9999 or 16 feet long.

you do 8ft out of the water x0.3333 in the water

8 x .0333 = 2.6666

take 8 plus the 2.6666

8 + 2.6666 = 10.6666

the take 10.6666 multiplied by the 1/2 thats in the ground

10.6666 x .5 = 5.3333

then add the 10.6666 to the 5.333

10.6666 + 5.3333 = 15.9999 or 16 feet

am i right? :wacko: to much math for me. :D

Edited by livestrong9008, 25 July 2008 - 04:29 PM.

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#96 lytefoot

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 08:36 PM

Wow, I'm sure going to bring this up the next time math ed people are debating about word problems...

I think the funniest thing about the whole flame war is that everyone is attacking people's "math" when the calculations everyone made are clear. It depends on the interpretation of the problem.

If I were writing this problem, I would expect the answer 48'. I probably wouldn't give more than half credit for 24', since any reasonable interpretation of the problem as written, interpreting "another" as "an additional," suggests that the amount in water is 1/3 of the whole pole. But with the argument given that the 1/2 is no more in the water than the 1/6 in the air, I'd give full points for 12'. It's the reasoning that's important, you see.

The people who'd take the biggest hit on my math tests, though, are the fraction-phobes, who can't deal with thirds because they MUST round them. Bah.

Mwahahaha! Now I've perpetuated the flame war!
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#97 justhisbranch

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 02:32 PM

hmmmm.... methinks it's more than that.... Cos if 50% of pole is in the ground and 33% (one third) is in the water then only 17% is sticking out of the water. The eight feet represents 17% of the total length of the pole there fore the total length is 331 feet!



This problem cna be solved this way. Only using 16.66666666666% of x = 8.

8 / .16666666666 = 48

331? you're mind dangles from the cliffs of insanity.
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#98 Cuitarded

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:09 PM

I hope none of you work for NASA.
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#99 itsclueless

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:58 AM

Let's stop arguing and let TEX provide us the right solution.
All three answers :48", 24" and 12 could be correct depending on how you interpret this puzzle.

If the 1/3 submerged in water, is 1/3 of the whole pole then 48" is the right answer as most of you have posted here.

If the 1/3 submerged in water, is 1/3 of the remaining half then 24" is the right answer.

Also, if the part covered in ground represents the remaining 8" part not in water (air + ground), then 12" is the right answer

:rolleyes:


Why don't we combine them both for the fun of it!

1/2 is in the ground. 1/3 of the remaining 1/2 (1/6) is in the water. Therefore 5/6 of the pole are not directly submerged in water, and measure a total of 8 feet. That makes the total length clearly 9.6 feet! ;)
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#100 Prime

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:23 AM

There is a pole in a lake. One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third is covered by water and eight feet is out of the water. What is the total length of the pole in feet?

Me think it is null. The problema say the pole is in a lake. It say nothihg about no pole in feet. If you swim up to it and hold with your feet, mayhap you can tell.
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Past prime, actually.





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