Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Sleight of Mind

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Sleight of Mind

Article excerpt

The correct response to our January puzzle: SIMPLY BASIC is simply basic. In math you cannot divide by zero. See the table below.

STEP 1: Given a = b No problem

STEP 2: multiply by b ab = [b.sup.2] No problem

STEP 3: subtract [a.sup.2] ab - [a.sup.2] = [b.sup.2] - [a.sup.2] If you insist

STEP 4: factor a(b - a) = (b + a) (b - a) Makes sense

STEP 5: cancel (b-a) a = b + a This is not logical Nr. Spock. Since (b-a) = 0. Dividing both sides by 0 is not kosher.

STEP 6: substitute a for b a = a + a Acceptable

STEP 7: combine a = 2a A legal move

STEF 8: divide by a 1 = 2 Except for one move, you might have had a career developing tax forms.

In January we also burdened you with our "One for the Road" teaser: AVERA6E SPEED. The correct answer is 48 mph. It is arrived at by taking the total mileage traveled (120 miles), divided by the total time taken. …

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