I can't figure out how to set-up this problem


New member
Jan 29, 2010
Two snails are 253 cm apart. They crawl toward each other at rates that differ by 5 cm/min. After 23 minutes they meet. How fast is each snail crawling.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Oct 6, 2005
This exercise asks for the rate for each snail. We're told that one snail crawls 5 cm farther per minute than the other.

So, let's assign some expressions for these unknown rates.

Let x = the rate of the slow snail

Then x + 5 = the rate of the fast snail

You know the time that each of them crawled. They both crawled for the same amount of time.

You know that you can express distance as a product of rate*time.

Write an expression to represent the slow snail's distance (i.e., the slow snail's rate multiplied by the time).

Write another expression to represent the fast snail's distance (again, its rate multiplied by the time).

The two distances add up to the total distance between them at the start.

Is this enough information for you to write an equation, and solve for x?

Show whatever work you can, if you want more help, or explain why you're stuck.

If I wrote anything that you don't understand, please ask specific questions.

Cheers ~ Mark