Minus' Solution to

Wahoo's Word
Posted Weeks of February 16 - March 1, 1998

This week's solutions to "Wahoo's Word" were all so good that Minus couldn't top them himself. So, instead of featuring his own, here are this week's Best of the Best.

Your Solutions

We open up this week's dining experience with this tasty appetizer from a group of Grade Five students at South  Scotland School in Laurinburg, NC. That's some mighty fine cooking, Janita McLaurin, Monica Ingram, T.L.Driggers, Robbie Scamperle, Alicia Smalls, Jessi Barnes, Jillian Britt, Lacey Murray, Casi Carroll, Hollie Brooks, and Julie Gunter! Whew!

Using exponents, they found that A=2, B=4, C=8, D= 16, E=32.

You would not use any letters after E because the value of a single letter would be more that 54.

The first letter is B, second is E, third is A, and the fourth is D--so the secret word is BEAD!

vloney [vloney@northcom.net] tempted Minus' tastebuds with this sensational explanation. Smart sharks always eat two appetizers to start off a good meal...
Inspector Wahoo should find that the word is BEAD.  First he would note that, if the value of the coded word is 54, then the word could only be spelled with A, B, C, D or E.  E would be 2 to the fifth, which equals 32; F, 2 to the sixth, would equal 64.

Then he needs to check the rules:
- no letters are repeated;
- the second lowest valued letter would have to be B (4);
- the value of E (32) is more than A, B, C and D combined (30);
- the value of A (2) would be the least of all in the word.

That gives him a total of 38, leaving a value of 16 for the 4th letter (54-38=16), which would be D.

Eloise Fardon, from St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls in Western Australia, supplied this step-by-step recipe to her "exponent-rich" dish. We hope exponents don't clog shark arteries!
Here's your feed for the week.

Inspector Wahoo deciphered the note first by finding the answers to 2^1 ,2^2 and so untill he got to the first number over 54.

These were 2,4,8,16,32.  He tried adding the first four together and they equaled less than 54. So then he knew 32 must be one of the numbers. Then Inspector Wahoo tried 54-32=22-16=6-4=2-2=0.  He then converted the numbers 32, 16, 4 and 2 back into 2^5, 2^4, 2^2, 2^1. He then followed the clues to find the order was 2^2, 2^5, 2^1, 2^4.

Wahoo then converted them back into the letters in the alphabet B, E, A, D.  Inspector Wahoo had cracked the case.

I hope you like your lunch.   

Kamala Gracie, also of St Hilda's in Western Australia, set this week's culinary benchmark with her main-course dish. She combined the original question into her solution to weave this interesting story/solution. Minus really liked Kamala's talking letters!
One day, (the 20th of Febuary 1998) all the numbers and all the letters had a very important meeting.

The number 2 took charge and said, "We have a very tricky problem to solve. You see 2*1=A and 2*2=B and 2*2*2=C and so forth. So when the values of  the letters for a word are added together, it forms a value word."

"The word we are trying to make is a four lettered word were no letters repeat and the word value equals 54. The value of the first letter is the second-lowest value of  all the letters in the word, the value of the second letter is worth more than all the letters combined and the value of  the third letter is worth the least of all in the word."

Suddenly E stepped forward and said, "I've done some quick calculations and A,B,C,D and myself are the only possible letters that could be in there because F=64 and that's too much."

"True," said C. "If  you were the second letter because you equal the most, 32 to be exact and A,B and D were the other letters it just might work, but where could we put them?"

"That's easy," said A, "I'd have to go third because I equal the least, (2). B would be second because he equals 4, the second least and D last and that spellls BEAD.

"Great," said 2, "but lets just check the calculations." 2*2*2*2*2 + 2*2*2*2 + 2*2 + 2*1 which equals 54. "Perfect it follows the clues exactly," said 2. "Meeting closed."

Rupinder Radloff, from...you guessed it! St. Hilda's in Western Australia, came through with this clever twist on the story. We don't know how she got the answer, but she made B.E.A.D sound so ominous...ohhhhhh...
Hi!! I am Inspector Rupinder Radloff, and I have discovered the answer to Inspector Wahoo's code trouble.  The writing was left by a cat burglar who dropped his business card.  He runs a Bead shop in the South West corner of Ukapunture in Australia.  His name is the Notorious B.E.A.D. and is well known around Ukapunture for his fabulous speeds.

He mainly steals jewelry and he takes all the beads off the necklaces and then sells the beads back to the people for a higher price!!

We hope that we have been of some help, we hope that you catch him!!

Tricia "peeshy" Kao helps round-out this week's fantastic meal with this sweet-dish. A la mode, please! Minus loves ice-cream.
This is how I did it (Inspector Wahoo's case wasn't as "tough" as he said it was):
A = 2, B = 4, C = 9, D = 16, E = 32

If the 2nd letter was the most, and bigger than all 3 put together, then it would have to be E. It couldn't be D coz you can't make any 4 letter words with D as the second letter. (using only ABC and D) _ E _ _

3rd is the least so it could be A. _ E A _

1st is second least B E A _

Well, we can all guess the last one: D. I actually got the answer before working it out. Let's check: 4 + 2 + 32 + 16 = 54!! The word is BEAD.

Minus couldn't turn down this offering from Alexandra Rowell of St. Hilda's. Who says sharks can't have two desserts, too? Yum!
First Inspector wahoo saw that there couldn't be an F or any letter after that in the alphabet because that would equal higher than 54.

That meant it was out of A,B,C,D or E. Letter number 2 had to be the highest so it was out of D or E for that letter. He eliminated the D because that is 16 and it has to equal more than the rest put together therefore the number they equalled would have to be less than 32 when they had to be 54.

Letter 3 could only be an A or B as it had to have the least value in the word. Letter 1 could only be B or C because it had to have the second least. Letter 4 could only be D or C.

Then he tested the addition of the numbers to find that C couldn't be included so letter 4 was D that made letter 1 B and that made letter 3 A. The word was bead.

We had to stop our glutonous friend from eating. His distended stomach and loud belches were good signs that he was plenty full. We've stored away the other good solutions in plastic containers and give special thanks to the chefs who offered them. Cheers!
Cassandra Woolfork [ccsu0207@earthlink.net]

Natalie Lugo [ccsu0829@earthlink.net]

Chad Schmidt [cschmidt@ties.k12.mn.us]

Mr. Gill's Math 7 Class at Germantown Central School, N.Y.

David English [menglish@global.net.au]

Dane Coalson, Megan Marshall, Megan Monday, Joshua Pauley from Pulaski Middle School

Sushant Saukar from Chowgule College, Goa, India


Ewww...that's gross, Minus.