The story behind the maths question which has been driving the internet crazy
Everybody can calm down now, okay?
A maths question has been troubling thousands online, but the teacher who wrote it has now calmed people’s frustrations.
Here’s how it goes: “An orchestra of 120 players takes 40 minutes to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. How long would it take for 60 players to play the symphony?”
That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. pic.twitter.com/EdSSJInqEp— Doug Mataconis (@dmataconis) October 9, 2017
Doug here appears to be right.
That’s really not how music works – songs have a set time and changing the number of players doesn’t affect this.
That’s like saying “It takes 9 months for a woman to have a baby, how long would it take for 2 women to have a baby?”— Mark Ford (@fordie) October 10, 2017
The maths question has been bugging Twitter users hugely, with the original post attracting thousands of enraged retweets.
Some tried to reason with the question, speculating that it might not be a maths question at all.
This is a management question -- the correct response is the more people involved, the longer it takes.— Matt Laszuk (@mlasz) October 10, 2017
Two options, it is a logic trap question or the question writer is an imbecile.— D Lindberg (@dlindber) October 9, 2017
Well, it turns out those clever clogs were almost right.
The question was indeed set by a maths teacher, Claire Longmoor from Nottingham, who wrote the question 10 years ago – but it was always intended as a trick.
I wrote this!! How did you get this??? I am a maths teacher in Nottingham UK. Wrote this 10 years ago. Here is the original whole worksheet pic.twitter.com/jYX55GSBKz— Claire Longmoor (@LongmoorClaire) October 11, 2017
Claire’s question was part of a worksheet trying to teach her students about direct and inverse proportion, and question five’s orchestra puzzle was just in there to keep them on their toes.