This one is old, which is not in keeping with the spirit of our PoSWWs and WitCHes. And, we’ve already written on it and talked about it. But, as the GOAT PoSWW, it really deserves its own post. It is an exercise from the textbook *Heinemann Maths Zone 9 *(2011), which does not appear to still exist. (And yes, the accompanying photo appeared alongside the question in the text book.)

Whilst I’m not normally one to dis a brie…

…in this case I camembert it.

Goat cheese though I do enjoy.

It was very bad so gouda riddance to it.

For mine, this crosses over into so-bad-it’s-good territory (at least comedy-wise). The sort of thing you could show to a good class so everyone can have a laugh.

Laugh, because the only other response is to cry.

What is the purpose of this question? If this is the best problem that the composer can find about the application of quadratic functions, then let’s skip applications all together.

Applied mathematics deals with applying mathematics. One has to know the mathematics before one can apply it. Furthermore, the context of the problem must have some intrinsic interest.

And therein lies the real PoSWW.

There are MANY good applications of quadratics.

This is not one of them.

Classic.

If that first shop window has between -8 and 6 cheeses on display, that means that the second shop window has a negative number of cheeses on display, whatever that means.

Mmm, negative cheese…

Although the cheese one is pretty bad, I reckon this is the GOAT PoSWW: https://mathematicalcrap.com/2017/06/21/factoring-in-the-stupidity/

At least the cheese one is salvageable if you do away with the context, but the rectangle one simply is not.

You have a point, but I think I’d still vote for the cheese. With the rectangle question, one can at least discern what they were thinking. I don’t see how to even try to think up the cheese question. Also, the rectangle nonsense has appeared on other occasions, like here (without the rectangle). Indeed,

Maths Zonehas the rectangle crap. Just before the cheese, Exercise 8 concerns a postage stamp of area mm …But, really, we’re talking Federer versus Laver here. They’re both deserved winners.