2016 AIME II Problems/Problem 1
Initially Alex, Betty, and Charlie had a total of peanuts. Charlie had the most peanuts, and Alex had the least. The three numbers of peanuts that each person had formed a geometric progression. Alex eats of his peanuts, Betty eats of her peanuts, and Charlie eats of his peanuts. Now the three numbers of peanuts each person has forms an arithmetic progression. Find the number of peanuts Alex had initially.
Let be the common ratio, where . We then have . We now have, letting, subtracting the 2 equations, , so we have or , which is how much Betty had. Now we have , or , or , which solving for gives , since , so Alex had peanuts.
Solution by Shaddoll