lner.gif Stupid Question

Do you remember all those stupid exercises we were set at school and for which even if you understood the question you would never, ever, need to know how to answer it in real life?

One of my best answers and one for which Vlad the Impaler, our Maths teacher, actually gave me an hour and a half punishment detention, went something along the lines of:-


"Smith! A train leaves London Kings Cross at 10.00am bound for Edinburgh Waverley and travels at exactly 70mph. Another train leaves Edinburgh at the same time bound for King's Cross but travelling at 80mph*. The distance between the two places is about 332 miles. At what point along the track do these two trains meet?"

My answer; following ten minutes of furious scribbling.

"Well, if both trains are on the same track let's hope they don't meet otherwise there will be a very large bang. Anyway, they're very odd trains that don't require any initial acceleration period before reaching cruising speed. The departure times of 10:00am are irrelevant. Just a Red Herring. I suspect thrown in intentionally to confuse. In any event London trains bound for Edinburgh Waverley don't leave from King's Cross Station but Liverpool Street Station (which they did in those days) but the answer is:- Somewhere near Lincoln. Sir!”

When quizzed as to why I'd supplied such a facetious answer I replied.

β€œThe question is silly and incorrect. It's the best answer I could come up with. Sir!””

The sod never did like me much after that.

* I guess some hard to please people want to leave Scotland's beautiful, hospitable country faster than they entered, but I digress.

The 'correct' answer of course is:- 155 miles north from King's Cross. So there.
Na, na na na, nah! You thought I didn't know how to work it out, didn't you?     click_to_return.gif Close and return