A 39-foot-long speaker wire is to be cut into three pieces. One piece is to be 13 feet long. Of the remaining pieces, one must be 2 feet less than 3 times the length of the other. Find the length of the shorter piece

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39 foot into 3 pieces one is 13 feet  the other pieces add up to the remaining wire  which is 39-13=26 so  the two remaining pieces are x and y one must be 2 less than 3 times the other  x must be 2 less than 3 times the y x=-2+3y  x=3y-2  x+y=remaining=26  26=x+y  x=3y-2  subsitute  26=3y-3+y  add like terms  26=4y-2  add 2 to both sides  28=4y  divide by 4  7=y  subsitute  7+x=26  subtract 7  x=19  19>7  7 feet is the legnth of the shorter piece

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