cryp·​ta·​rithm | \ ˈkrip-tə-ˌri-t͟həm How to pronounce cryptarithm (audio) \

Definition of cryptarithm

: an arithmetic problem in which letters have been substituted for numbers and which is solved by finding all possible pairings of digits with letters that produce a numerically correct answer

First Known Use of cryptarithm

1943, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cryptarithm

crypt- + -arithm (as in logarithm), after French cryptarithmie, alluding to either such problems collectively or to the branch of mathematics dealing with them

Note: The word cryptarithm was apparently introduced by the Minsk-born Belgian mathematician Maurice Kraitchik (1882-1957) in Mathematical Recreations (New York, 1942), pp. 79-80. Kraitchik states that he has translated French cryptarithmie as "cryptarithmetic," but then refers to an arithmetical operation in which letters have been substituted for numbers as a "cryptarithm." The word cryptarithmie was allegedly introduced by the Belgian mathematician Simon Vatriquant (1892-1966), under the pseudonym "Minos," in the May, 1931, issue of Sphinx: Revue mensuelle des questions récréatives.

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The first known use of cryptarithm was in 1943

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Cite this Entry

“Cryptarithm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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