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Two cars leave an intersection.
One car travels north; the other east.
When the car traveling north had gone 12 miles,
the distance between the cars was 4 miles more
than the distance traveled by the car heading east.
How far had the eastbound car traveled?
Let x = distance traveled by the eastbound car
(x+4) = distance between the cars when the northbound car has traveled 12 mi
This is a right triangle problem; c^2 = a^2 + b^2
a = 12 mi
b = x
c = (x+4)
(x+4)^2 = 12^2 + x^2 =
x^2 + 8x + 16 = 144 + x^2
x^2 - x^2 + 8x = 144 - 16
8x = 128
x = 16 mi is the distance of the eastbound car
See if that's true, distance between the cars should be 16+4 = 20 mi
12^2 + 16^2 = 20^2
144 + 256 = 400