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Programming Enigma Puzzles

5 February 2014

Posted by on **From New Scientist #2508, 16th July 2005**

The simplest “magic square” is shown below, left. It comprises nine different numbers in a 3×3 grid, such that the three rows, the three columns and the two diagonals all have the same “magic total”, in this case 15.

We may now form a second grid by writing the names of the nine numbers in English in the corresponding squares. Finally, we can form a third grid by writing the numbers of letters in the names in the corresponding squares (above, right). This is a rather uninteresting grid of numbers.

To make it more interesting, George has created a magic square of nine different numbers, not consecutive, but all less than 50. He has then formed the corresponding grid of names, and the grid of numbers of letters. If you have found George’s “alphabetic magic” square, your third grid will contain nine different numbers forming a magic square.

What are the magic totals of George’s two magic squares?

[enigma1349]

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This Python program uses the

int2words()function from theenigma.pylibrary. It runs in 35ms.Solution:The magic total of the first magic square is 45. The magic total of the second magic square is 21.