This pleasing cryptarithm, by Bob High, appears in the September/October 2014 issue of MIT Technology Review. If each letter stands for a digit, what arithmetic sum is enciphered here?
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POCO is 4595 and MUCHO is 68925.
There are 15 POCOs, so the sum of each column is a multiple of 15, and hence (without the carry from the column to its right) ends in a 5 or a 0. The rightmost column has no carry, so the O in MUCHO stands for 0 or 5. Which is it?
“Because O must equal 5 and C must equal 9 and P must equal 4, I believe the solution is unique,” writes NYU computer scientist Allan Gottlieb, who conducts the puzzle column. “I like these alphabetical number problems; but, cannot recall seeing this one before.”