Story Problems

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DSC_0731Back in the good old days, an algebraic story problem could very well be John has 4 apples, Jane has two less than Tim, but Tim has twice as many apples as John. How many apples has Jane? A slightly more advanced story problem could be to ask for the final price of a £10 hat after a 10% discount and 15% VAT added.

Apples are a timeless feature without doubt, and the VAT hasn’t disappeared either, but I wonder which story problems modern textbooks have to offer.

How’s this?

John, Jane and Tim each begin downloading Boom! The Final Massacre at 16:00. By 16:20, John has finished downloading 25%.  Tim’s Internet connection is twice as fast as Johns, but Jane’s is one third slower as Tim’s. When will Jane’s download complete?