call the middle size m
then the long piece is 3 m
and the short piece is 3m-23
(3m-23) + m + 3m = 40
7 m -23 = 40
solve for m
let the shortest piece be x cm
<the shortest piece is 23 cm shorter than the longest piece> or
the longest piece is 23 more than the shortest piece,
so longest = x+23
<The longest piece is 3 times as long as the middle-sized piece> or
the middle piece is 1/3 of the longest piece,
so middle piece = 1/3(x+23)
then x + (x+23) + 1/3(x+23) = 40
(I get x=4, for the shortest piece of 4 cm)
whats the answer?
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