THE WEIGHT OF WORDS
© Gilles Hainry
Michael FRANKEL, a Laval english teacher translated this puzzle for english math-lovers.
"Where do you weigh whales ?" Percy Vale asked his mother. "I havenít the foggiest idea" she replied. "Well, you weigh whales at a whale weigh station !"
"That was a good one, Percy now Iíve got one for you," said Emma Vale.
Each letter of the alphabet has its weight represented by its order in the alphabet i.e. 1 for A? 2 for B, 3 for C etc. To find the weight of a word you must simply add the different weights of the individual letters. For example, "THE NEWS" weighs 94 : T+H+E = 20+8+5 and N+E+W+S = 14+5+23+19, so 33+61 = 94.
The motto of the Order of the Garter is, of course,
Honi soit qui mal y pense,
which comprises of 20 letters.
In the same way the most honourable and ancient Order of the Thistle has
Nemo me impune lacessit
as its motto, also comprising of 20 letters.
So, dear son, tell me
which of these two orders has the heaviest motto? And what is the difference between the two?
© Gilles HAINRY,
20/01 2001 20:01