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How would you work this out in MS-Excel?

A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

The answer is that the bat costs $1.05 and the ball costs $0.05.

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5918045/why-smart-people-are-actually-dumb

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Why on earth would you use Excel for that? –  Hans Lundmark Jun 14 '12 at 11:41
    
Perhaps a more pertinent question is "Why would you work it out in MS Excel?" –  Peter Taylor Jun 14 '12 at 11:42
    
@ Hans Lundmark, Why not? –  oshirowanen Jun 14 '12 at 11:42
    
@oshirowanen: Because it is relatively simple to work this out without excel –  Juan S Jun 14 '12 at 11:43
    
@Juan S, it may be simple without Excel. Does that mean it can't be done with excel? If not, that's fine, if it can be done, I would like to know how. –  oshirowanen Jun 14 '12 at 11:44
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closed as off topic by Juan S, Willie Wong Jun 14 '12 at 12:07

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can do this mathematically by using the following variables: $T$ (the total cost of the items), $B$ (the cost of the bat), and $b$ (the cost of the ball).

We know that $T=B+b=\$1.10$, and we also know that $B=\$1.00+b$, we plugging this into our original equation, we have:

$$T=\$1.00+2b=\$1.10\implies 2b=\$0.10 \\ \therefore b=\frac{\$0.10}{2}=\$0.05$$

So we now know the ball costs $5¢$, so to get the price of the bat, we can put:

$$B=\$1.00+\$0.05=\$1.05$$

So we now know that the bat must cost $\$1.05$, and the ball costs $\$0.05$.

You could do this in excel by doing each of the calculuations in a cell, but that would simply be superfluous, it's quite easy to do this mentally, or on paper, as you can see.

Hope this clears things up for you.

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I think the mistake that I made is that I want to learn how to do such calculations in excel so I understand excel better. I think I posted in the wrong forum, should have posted this in an excel related forum. –  oshirowanen Jun 14 '12 at 11:48
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