Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sideways arithmetic

Lately Archer has been interested in creating word addition problems of the type he reads in his beloved More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School.  Wikipedia tells me that these problems are called "cryptarithms"; an example would be "one plus one equals zero."  The puzzle is to find out what digit each letter represents.

Archer has been trying to make his own, but the trick of constructing them so that all the elements are real words is slightly beyond him.  (He did offer "no plus no equals too" today.)  Yesterday he emerged from his room with "problems plus problems equals srbenpolm," and suggested -- without prompting -- that "srbenpolm" might be a city in a foreign country.

Cady Gray tried her hand at one last night.  She brought me out a sheet last night headlined "Bonus."  On it she had constructed "quail plus quail equals lequqi."  As a starting point she gave me that E=3 and L=1.  Can you figure out what Q, U, A, and I are?

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