A cryptogram is a mathematical puzzle in which various symbols or letters are used to represent numeric digits, typically in the form of a sum or equation.

Each distinct symbol is used to represent a distinct number in the puzzle. The job of the puzzle solver is to work out which letters correspond to which numbers.

Recently I shared the following cryptogram on my Facebook feed as a “coffee time challenge”. I thought it was fun little puzzle because there is a unique solution. In the puzzle below, each of the letters A-I represents a distinct digit 1-9.

Though I thought my instructions were clear, a colleague misinterpreted the question and ended up answering a similar, but subtly different, cryptogram in which he assumed the letters in the denominators represented single digits that were multiplied together.

Credit to my friend; he came up with a correct answer to his version of the puzzle!

What I find interesting is that there is only one solution to this different puzzle too (ignoring the trivial rotations and rearrangements).

If you want to give it a go yourself, grab a piece of paper and a cup of coffee.

Once you think you have an answer to either puzzle (or you’ve just given up), click on the button below to reveal the answers.

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