*. It means that the watch performs several difficult functions, such as chiming the time of day, showing the phase of the moon, and serving as a stopwatch. It has to be able to do all these things at once, proving that its maker was highly skilled in design and fabrication of tiny mechanisms.*

**Grand Complication**Photo from SJX of the PuristS

**Excel Math**curriculum) may sometimes lead you into

*. (the more common description is*

**grand complication calculations***). This kind of problem-solving requires us to analyze the situation, learn some new facts that we've never known before, and combine multiple techniques or skills.*

**higher-order thinking skills**Here's an example:

I'm having a pint of bitter in the UK. The glass seems larger than a pint glass in the USA. The price seems reasonable, but I'm not sure how it translate to the cost of a pint back home. How can I compare them? I want to know the equivalent cost per unit of beverage.

A fair amount of time elapsed before I solved this grandly-complicated issue. Here are the calculations:

**UNITS OF VOLUME**

A pint glass in the UK and a pint glass in the USA - are they the same volume? Research tells me that a pint glass is:

- 20 fluid ounces (570 mL) in the UK [ a UK ounce = 28.41 ml ]
- 16 fluid ounces (473 mL) in the USA [ a US ounce = 29.57 ml ]

- How many UK pints to a liter? 1000 ÷ 570 ml = V so V = 1.75
- How many US pints to a liter? 1000 ÷ 473 ml = V so V = 2.11

**CURRENCY**

A pint glass cost £2.50 in the UK. How much is that in US dollars?

- the exchange rate today is 1.67 US dollars to 1 pound sterling
- therefore 1.67 x £2.50 = $4.17 US dollars for a UK pint

**COST PER UNIT**

How much is the price, in US dollars, per liter of bitters?

- UK $4.17 x 1.75 = $7.30
- US $5.00 x 2.11 = $10.55

**CONCLUSIONS**

It's cheaper in England. This is a very complicated problem to solve, but only simple math computation skills were needed - I used multiplication, division, ratios, volume, price per unit and foreign exchange.

This is indeed a

*.*

**Grand Complication Math Problem**In doing this research I noticed that my local place proudly offers bitters in a 20 oz. glass.

To which I reply,

*US or UK ounces?*

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