If x and y are negative integers and x – y = 1, what is the least possible value for xy?

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x=y+1 Least possible value for y(y+1)? Well, it appears for y halfway between the roots (you know what a parabola is, don't you?). That y is -0.5, so let's calculate -0.5*0.5, which is -0.25. The least possible value is [latex]-\frac{1}4[/latex] Well, not really :)) The two values must be both negative, so we can't take one of them to be 0.5! As we lower the values, however, the product grows, reaching 0 when x=0 and y=-1, and further increasing as x and y lower. Thus, we would actually take x=0 and y=-1.

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