Click here for the Problem Extension Worksheet version of the Problems of the Week.
Click here for an MS Word version of the Problems of the Week.
Click here for the Canadian Problem Extension Worksheet version of the Problems of the Week.
Click here for a Canadian MS Word version of the Problems of the Week.

Lower Elementary:
Question: On Monday, Rob sends a letter to Bailey at 10:00 AM. Bailey receives the letter at 1:30 PM on Wednesday. How many hours does it take for the letter to get from Rob to Bailey?
Answer: 51½ hours
Solution: After 10:00 AM, there are 14 hours left on Monday. The letter is in transit all 24 hours of Tuesday. 1:30 PM is 13½ hours into Wednesday. So, the letter takes 14 + 24 + 13½ = 51½ hours to get from Rob to Bailey.

Upper Elementary:
Question: Lina and Thomas are taking a vacation to San Francisco. Flights to San Francisco cost $250 per ticket. Return flights cost $325 per ticket. Lina and Thomas have a coupon for 50% off the cost of a single one-way ticket. What is the least they could spend on airfare before tax?
Answer: $987.50
Solution: To spend the least possible amount on their airfare, Lina and Thomas would need to use the coupon on one of the most expensive tickets. So, if they get 50% off a $325 ticket, one of those tickets is reduced to $325 ÷ 2 = $162.50. That means that the least Lina and Thomas could spend on airfare is $250 + $250 + $325 + $162.50 = $987.50.

Middle School:
Question: Roni and Taylor want to take a road trip. They need to save $1,000 to cover their costs. They have $400 left over from their last road trip. If Roni saves three times as much as Taylor by the time they have their $1,000, then how much money did Taylor save?
Answer: $150
Solution: Since Roni and Taylor already have $400, they need $1,000 – $400 = $600 more to reach their total. If Roni saves 3 times as much as Taylor, that means we need to split the remaining $600 into 4 equal parts—3 for Roni and 1 for Taylor. So, Taylor saves $600 ÷ 4 = $150.

Algebra and Up:
Question: Derek and Ben plan to meet for dinner at a fancy restaurant. Derek’s route to the restaurant is 4 miles, and his average driving speed en route is 20 miles per hour. Ben’s route to the restaurant is 6 miles, and his average driving speed en route is 24 miles per hour. If Derek starts driving to the restaurant 5 minutes after Ben, then who will reach the restaurant first? By how many minutes?
Answer: Ben arrives 2 minutes before Derek.
Solution: Derek drives at an average speed of 20 mph, so it takes him 20 mph ÷ 4 miles = of an hour = 12 minutes to drive to the restaurant. Ben drives at an average speed of 24 miles per hour, so it takes him 24 mph ÷ 6 miles = 15 minutes to drive to the restaurant. Since Derek starts driving 5 minutes after Ben, that means that Derek arrives 12 + 5 = 17 minutes after Ben starts driving. So, Derek arrives 2 minutes after Ben.