Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kaliegh, a student:

If each letter of the alphabet is worth one cent more than the previous
letter and the letter "a" is worth one cent. What words would have a
worth equal to 1 cent,10 cents,50 cents,87 cents 64 cents and $1.00?

This isn't really a math problem but math-like techniques may help you.

  1. Make up a list: A=1, B=2....

  2. There's obviously only one word worth one cent, what is it?

  3. About how long is a word? So if a word is to be worth 10c, what sort of letters can it use? If it is to be worth $1.00, what sort of letters will it have to use?

  4. Especially for the higher values there are almost certainly many answers. (I can think of at least five 10c words, for instance.)

Good Hunting!

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