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A rectangular piece of cloth 2 feet wide was cut lengthwise [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2010, 00:47

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A rectangular piece of cloth 2 feet wide was cut lengthwise into two smaller rectangular pieces. The shorter piece was one-third the length of the longer of the 2 new pieces and had an area of 12 square feet. What was the length in feet of the original piece of cloth before cutting?

Second sentence is terrible, how could it be "the shorter part......" if there is a rectangle cut lengthwise, so both parts must have the same length.
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answer should be 36 the rectangular cut lengthwise here suggests that the length is divided and the breadth remains the same
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Could you translate this task into human language? The task is simple, but wording is terrible.

A rectangular piece 2 feet wide was cut lengthwise into two pieces. This means the width of the two pieces is still 2 feet each. The total length has got split into two parts. The smaller part has area 12 sq feet so its length must be 6 feet. Since this is 1/3rd of the length of the bigger piece, the length of the bigger piece must be 3 * 6 = 18 feet. Hence total original length must be 6 + 18 = 24 feet.
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Could you translate this task into human language? The task is simple, but wording is terrible.

A rectangular piece 2 feet wide was cut lengthwise into two pieces. This means the width of the two pieces is still 2 feet each. The total length has got split into two parts. The smaller part has area 12 sq feet so its length must be 6 feet. Since this is 1/3rd of the length of the bigger piece, the length of the bigger piece must be 3 * 6 = 18 feet. Hence total original length must be 6 + 18 = 24 feet.

Don't you mean that since L/3 = 6, therefore total length, L = 18?

Don't you mean that since L/3 = 6, therefore total length, L = 18?

Consider this: The question says, "Length of shorter piece is 1/3rd the length of longer of the two new pieces" This means after I split it into two pieces, I have a shorter piece and a longer one. The length of shorter is 1/3rd the length of longer. The 6 I found out was length of shorter piece. Then length of longer should be 18 and total length should be 24.

Had it been the other way, the questions would have said "The length of shorter piece is 1/3rd the total length."
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Don't you mean that since L/3 = 6, therefore total length, L = 18?

Consider this: The question says, "Length of shorter piece is 1/3rd the length of longer of the two new pieces" This means after I split it into two pieces, I have a shorter piece and a longer one. The length of shorter is 1/3rd the length of longer. The 6 I found out was length of shorter piece. Then length of longer should be 18 and total length should be 24.

Had it been the other way, the questions would have said "The length of shorter piece is 1/3rd the total length."

Thanks for the explanation Karishma. I misunderstood the language of the question. My apologies!!

I agree with @ VeritasPrepKarishma. I got 24 too. I've learnt one thing from NOVA GMAT Prep book. For any hard problems, always remove answer choices which are result of elementary operation( like +,-,/ and*) on numbers mentioned in the question. It won't be a hard problem if answer can be reached using simple elementary operations.

(L/3)*2=12 => L=18 So we can remove B option.

VeritasPrepKarishma explained the solution correctly.
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Firstly, understand that length "shorter piece=1/3*longer piece". Therefore if shorter piece is say 'x' then longer piece is '3x'. Total length is x+3x=4x. Answer must be a multiple of 4. So, answer choices A and B are eliminated. Secondly he says that area of shorter piece is 12. Shorter piece represents 1/4 of total length. Now start with option C. Length of shorter piece=24/4=6. So, area of shorter piece is 2(given width)*6=12. This matches with the info given in the question and hence C. Is the answer.

Re: A rectangular piece of cloth 2 feet wide was cut lengthwise [#permalink]

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11 May 2016, 12:28

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