Enigma 1403: X and Y
12 August 2013
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From New Scientist #2563, 5th August 2006
Professor Exe was surprised to see a common three-letter word written on Professor Wye’s blackboard. Wye explained that it was in fact a three-figure number in base 26, using A=0, B=1, C=2 etc.
So Exe calculated what the number would be in its usual form and then, instead of using the usual digits, he adopted Wye’s notation of A for 0, B for 1, C for 2 etc. Surprisingly he too ended up with a common three-letter word.
What were the two words?