If x and y are positive integers, what is the greatest common divisor of x and y?
1. 2x + y = 73
2. 5x – 3y = 1
Say x and y were both divisible by some number d. Then 2x + y would certainly be a multiple of d (if you add two multiples of d, you always get a multiple of d). Now we know from statement 1 that 2x + y is the number 73, so if 2x+y is divisible by d, then 73 must be divisible by d. But 73 is prime, so d could only be 1 or 73. Clearly d can't be 73, since then 2x +y would not equal 73, so the only possible value of d is 1, and thus 1 is the only common divisor of x and y.
You can use the same logic for statement 2: If x and y are both multiples of d, then 5x - 3y would need to be a multiple of d. But 5x-3y = 1, so 1 is a multiple of d, and d must be 1.
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