Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Very Simple Alphametic Message to Mom


Please make allowances for the spacing and my crude attempt to produce an alphametic for Mom's Day. The 2nd letter 'M' is supposed to be aligned under the 'X' and 'O', etc. For those unfamiliar with the definition and rules of alphametics, here is some information I copied from Mike Keith's wonderful site:

An alphametic is a peculiar type of mathematical puzzle, in which a set of words is written down in the form of an ordinary "long-hand" addition sum, and it is required that the letters of the alphabet be replaced with decimal digits so that the result is a valid arithmetic sum. For an example one can do no better than the first modern alphametic, published by the great puzzlist H.E. Dudeney in the July 1924 issue of Strand Magazine:


whose (unique) solution is:


There are two fairly obvious (but worth stating) rules which every alphametic obeys:

1. The mapping of letters to numbers is one-to-one. That is, the same letter always stands for the same digit, and the same digit is always represented by the same letter.

2. The digit zero is not allowed to appear as the left-most digit in any of the addends or the sum.

You may recall that on Pi Day, I linked my readers to Mike Keith's extraordinary opus, Poe, E.: Near A Raven. Mike is more than a Poe and Pi devotee, however, as the link above demonstrates. Another excellent site providing numerous examples of alphametics is Truman Collins' fascinating page.
I strongly urge my readers to visit both of these sites. There are enough puzzles there to keep you busy for decades!


Eric Jablow said...

The GNU Emacs text editor comes with a multiplicative cryptarithmetic puzzle generator, accessible by M-X mpuz.

Dave Marain said...

Thanks, Eric.
I'll check that out.