Among the many internet trends people tend to gravitate towards, difficult, nonsensical, or ridiculous math problems receive a load of attention. But sometimes, things aren’t what they appear to be.

An absurd math problem grabbed the attention of the internet earlier this week, causing a mini uproar among brilliant people who yearned to criticize those who educate our youth. The problem? It was taken completely out of context.

https://x.com/dmataconis/status/917496578285490178

“An orchestra of 120 players takes 40 minutes to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. How long would it take for 60 players to play the symphony,” the question asks.

The length of a symphony does not depend on how many players are performing, so the question was bogus, which Twitter lovingly pointed out.

**The problem was a trick question, which was noted at the top of the worksheet, **“An orchestra of 120 players takes** 40 minutes to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony….”**

Claire Longmoor, a math teacher from Nottingham, England, responded to a tweet that criticized the question. Longmoor wrote the question for a worksheet 10 years ago and uploaded the full thing as proof.

The worksheet was intended to show examples of direct and inverse proportion, and the bogus question was purposely placed to show that in this incident, things don’t work that way. Thankfully, Longmoor noticed and was happy to provide some more insight.