Problem #2165


Circles with centers $(2,4)$ and $(14,9)$ have radii $4$ and $9$, respectively. The equation of a common external tangent to the circles can be written in the form $y=mx+b$ with $m>0$. What is $b$?

[asy]size(150); defaultpen(linewidth(0.7)+fontsize(8)); draw(circle((2,4),4));draw(circle((14,9),9)); draw((0,-2)--(0,20));draw((-6,0)--(25,0)); draw((2,4)--(2,4)+4*expi(pi*4.5/11)); draw((14,9)--(14,9)+9*expi(pi*6/7)); label("4",(2,4)+2*expi(pi*4.5/11),(-1,0)); label("9",(14,9)+4.5*expi(pi*6/7),(1,1)); label("(2,4)",(2,4),(0.5,-1.5));label("(14,9)",(14,9),(1,-1)); draw((-4,120*-4/119+912/119)--(11,120*11/119+912/119)); dot((2,4)^^(14,9));[/asy]

$\mathrm{(A) \ } \frac{908}{119}\qquad \mathrm{(B) \ } \frac{909}{119}\qquad \mathrm{(C) \ } \frac{130}{17}\qquad \mathrm{(D) \ } \frac{911}{119}\qquad \mathrm{(E) \ }  \frac{912}{119}$

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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