ExplanationBecause 7 and 17 are prime and have no common factor greater than 1, their least common multiple will be their product: 7 × 17 = 119.

The least possible value for (a – 1), then, is 17, so a = 18; likewise, the least possible value for (b – 1) is 7, so b = 8.

The least possible sum for a and b, therefore, is 18 + 8 = 26.

Be careful if you selected choice A: Although Plugging In a value of 1 for both a and b would yield 0 on both sides of the equation, the

problem specifies that the product of a and b be greater than 1.

Hence option E is correct!
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Sandy

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