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You want to try and get only one possible answer for a series of letters You're given XMAS=GIFTS=34

so this is all you can work with, but there are too m any combinations they could be So add them together and you get XMASGIFTS=68 but there are still too many possi bilities So you need to substitute in as many letters as possible for some of the others. ORIENT is the longest word so what can be substituted? Well ORIENT has to be the same as OF, so we can get rid of the Os and call F=RIE NT Substitute that in and you have XMASGIRIENTTS=68 but there are still a few possi bilities with that Back to ORIENT we can also see that ARE shares the RE. Cancelling gives A=OINT Substitute that as well and you have XMOINTSGIRIENTTS=68 Lets put that into an equation and see what's going on 3I+3T+2N+2S+E+G+M+O+R+X=68 With a lot of working out, you can discover that (3x1)+(3x2)+(2x3)+(2x4)+5+6+7+8+9+10=68 And that is the only possibility...so we can deduce that I= T= N= S= E= G= M= O= R= x= 1 1 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 5 or or or or to to to to to to 2 2 4 4 10 10 10 10 10 10

Rest of the alphabet is 11 to 26 But we don't know which is which, so lets work with stuff Lets start with A and the letters we've got making up the 68 above Well we already had A=OINT which is definitely in our 68. If we look through the phrase again we've got ARE=THREE, so A=THE also So OINT=THE so what possibilities are there for these two from the numbers they can be? Well OINT could be (5+1+3+2)=11 that's the lowest it could be Or OINT could be (10+1+4+2)=17 that's the most it could be

It could also be anything inbetween with varying values for O So OINT= 11 to 17 Let's do the same with THE, we don't know H, but we do know it's between 11 and 26 (inclusive) So its range could be (1+11+5)=17 to (2+26+10)=38 So THE= 17 to 38 but... the only number shared by OINT and THE is 17, and they have to equal each other So OINT=17=THE fantastic! There is only one solution to each that gives 17 OINT=(10+2+4+1) and THE=(1+11+5 ) where T is the same for each (1) So we have E=5 H=11 I=2 N=4 O=10 T=1 But don't forget that OINT=A=THE also and since they are 17, A=17 itself A=17 So we've reduced the possibilities for the other numbers too S has to be 3 since it cannot be 4 G, M, R and X are also now only able to be 6, 7, 8 or 9 List again A= E= G= H= I= M= N= O= R= S= T= X= 17 5 6 to 11 2 6 to 4 10 6 to 3 1 6 to

9 9 9 9

We still need to find W and R for our 'ANSWER' Well X and M are both in XMAS and we know A and S already so we can say XM+17+3= 34 or XM=14

If either X or M were 9, the other would have to be 5 which is already assigned to E, so they can't be 9 They also can't be the same number 7, so we are left with one being 6 and one be ing 8 We don't actually have to work either out to remove those numbers from the possi bility for R So R = 7 or 9 and so does G = 7 or 9 Going back to good old trial and error, two possibilities isn't too difficult Lets try R = 7 and G = 9 If so ARE= 17+7+5=29 Since all words are the same, all the other words must sum 29 too Lets go through all the words WE= 24+5 =29 (giving us W=24) THREE= 1+11+7+5+5 =29 KINGS= 11+2+4+9+3 =29 (giving us K=11) stop K cannot be 11 because we already have H as 11 so lets try R = 9 and G = 7 ARE now equals 31 so all words must also equal 31 WE= 26+5 =31 (giving us W=26) THREE= 1+11+9+5+5 =31 KINGS= 15+2+4+7+3 =31 (giving us K=15) OF= 10+21 =31 (giving us F=21) ORIENT= 10+9+2+5+4+1 =31 ARE= 17+9+5 =31 Success! We now have A=17 N=4 S=3 W=26 E=5 R=9