A perhaps similar example, sometimes I have solved geometry problems (on tests) by using analytical geometry. Transform the problem into algebra by letting point 1 be (x1,y1), point 2 be (x2,y2), etc, get equations for the lines between the points, calculate their points of intersection, and so on. Sometimes this gives the answer with just mechanical application of algebra, no real insight or pattern recognition needed.

A perhaps similar example, sometimes I have solved geometry problems (on tests) by using analytical geometry. Transform the problem into algebra by letting point 1 be (x1,y1), point 2 be (x2,y2), etc, get equations for the lines between the points, calculate their points of intersection, and so on. Sometimes this gives the answer with just mechanical application of algebra, no real insight or pattern recognition needed.

When I was a kid this was how I solved all nontrivial geometry problems, because I was much better at algebra than geometry!