Review of

**Take A Look At A Good Book**, by Steven Kahan ISBN 0895031426

Professor Kahan
was the editor of the alphametics column in

**Journal of Recreational Mathematics**for many years and for the last eight I was co-editor of the journal. He always carried out his editorial duties very well and occasionally contributed a problem or a paper.
An alphametic
is an arithmetic problem, most often addition, but the other arithmetic
operations can be used as well. Each of the digits is replaced by a letter in a
one-to-one manner and the goal is to have a problem where the letters make
words and the words state a coherent message. Solving the problem requires only
a knowledge of the rules of arithmetic, some applied logic and a bit of
persistence. Computers can also be used to solve them and in the last years of
the publication of

**Journal of Recreational Mathematics**I noted a significant increase in the size of some of the alphametics that were published in the column.
The content of the book can be split into three categories,
the first one is a set of number fact fillers. For example, on page 41 there is
the factoid:

“Every integer of the form ABABAB is divisible by 7
and every integer of the form ABCABC is divisible by 11.”

The second category is composed of the text that sets
the context for some of the alphametics. There is some history, a significant
aspect of puzzles and some that are just made up silliness. The third category
are alphametics presented for solution with no preamble or lead-in.

Solutions to
all of the problems/puzzles are included at the end and they are presented in
two forms. The first is in the form of an extended hint as to how to tackle the
problem and the second is a complete solution.

Alphametics are
a problem that can be solved by all people, from children in elementary school
to adults. They are challenging as well as entertaining, especially when the
message is a good one. For a long time Kahan has been the best there is at
creating quality alphametics and this book is an existence proof of that fact.

## No comments:

## Post a Comment