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photo of crypt   letters EH   EKG rhythm chart

No. of Players: 1+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To create or solve mathematical puzzles where digits are replaced by letters.

How to play

A cryptarithm (or alphametic) puzzle is a puzzle where words are arranged in a mathematical expression with letters substituted for numbers. The most common mathematical expression is addition, but subtraction, multiplication and division problems can be turned into a cryptarithm by replacing numbers with appropriate letters. A few rules are usually established, such as: the leading letter cannot be zero, each letter must represent a unique digit, and solutions must be unique. Players can challenge themselves by trying to create their own cryptarithm, or they can try solving cryptarithms created by others.


(1) Here is a famous cryptarithm and its solution:

cyptarithm: SEND + MORE = MONEY


solution to cyptarithm: SEND + MORE = MONEY

(2) Can you determine the value of each letter in this well-known multiplication cryptarithm?

cyptarithm: BOB x BOB = MARLEY


solution to cyptarithm: BOB x BOB = MARLEY

Did you know?

Most crypts contain more than just human remains. Archaeologists often find paintings, pottery, and other artistic expressions of life and death. But some crypts contain deeper secrets.

six colorful vases of different styles

Consider the 20 death masks with characteristically European features recently found in a 2,000-year-old Siberian crypt. Or the 'magical' symbols written on the walls of a 900-year-old Sudanese crypt, apparently there to protect its 7 mummies. There are also the five mysterious 400-year-old embalmed hearts encased in heart-shaped lead boxes, unearthered under a convent in France. As well as the piece of skull discovered in a 1,000-year-old chest beneath a Chinese temple that archaeologists believe to be that of the Buddha.

flying saucer hovering over Egyptian pyramid

Possibly the most intriguing find are the carvings found on the lid of a 7th century Mayan ruler. More than one serious historian has maintained that the depiction is evidence of extraterrestrial visitations in Earth's past!

In case you're wondering, the images under the title of this word game form a rebus puzzle:


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