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xarqi, Generalist
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 596
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question (math)

Customer Question

If there are four cars ahead of a car, and a car in the middle, what is the fewest number of cars in line? The answer is not 5
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  xarqi replied 11 years ago.
With respect, the answer is 5 if the information you have
provided is correct, complete, and all words have their usual
interpretation.
Expert:  jacket replied 11 years ago.
It has to be 11.
Because, for 1 thing, the middle car can't be among the other car and the four cars ahead of it, since its stated as a separate car.
And another thing, it can't be in between those same cars.
So, it has to be before those cars, or after them.
And in order for it to be the middle car, there has to be 5 more cars.
So, 5 + 5 + 1 = 11.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to xarqi's Post: its not suppose to be 5 ??
Expert:  jacket replied 11 years ago.
To jrock : Well, you said it's not 5.
Expert:  xarqi replied 11 years ago.
Then one of the conditions I stated must apply.

If, for example, the car that is in the middle must be a different
car from the one that has 4 ahead of it, that constitutes
additional information since the English indefinite article "a", is
just that - indefinite.
Expert:  T. R. Miller replied 11 years ago.

I am beginning to think that this is a type of question that should be banned from Just Answer!

It appears to be a "trick" question that is being manipulated by the questioner to the frustration of all concerned. This is not my idea of the purpose or function of Just Answer!

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to xarqi's Post: thanks for the input, this is killing me. I will check the statement again.

thanks

Jay
Expert:  xarqi replied 11 years ago.
Ok - let's creep up on it.
One car - A. No good. No car has 4 ahead of it.
Two cars - AB. The same.
Three cars - ABC. The same.
Four cars - ABCD. The same.
Five cars - ABCDE. Bingo. Car A has four cars ahead of it. Car
C is in the middle. The conditions are satisfied, and 5 is the
minimum.

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