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Quamquam is a word game for one player. It requires no materials and is best played while sitting in a room full of people while waiting for whoever is at the podium to stop blah-blah-blah-ing already. Basic arithmetic skills and a memorization of alphabetic sequence are required, though. If you can get away with using a pencil and paper, knock yerself out.

The goal of the game is to turn the letters of a word into a math equation. Between each pair of consecutive letters, insert one of five symbols: a plus sign, a minus sign, a multiplication sign, a division sign, or an equals sign. A word must contain ONE and ONLY ONE equals sign. The other four signs may each be used as often as you like, but only one may appear between each pair of consecutive letters. Example: a four-letter word would use three symbols exactly, and one must be an equals sign.

Each letter should be seen as a numeral equal to its position in the alphabet. The letter A represents the number 1. Z is equal to 26.

One simple example is to solve the word "cad" as C + A = D which represents the equation 3 + 1 = 4

Another example is to turn the word "eye" into E = Y / E

No parentheses or exponents may be used; only addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Symbols may only be placed between letters, so you are not allowed to make the first letter of a word equal to a negative number by adding a minus sign in front of it. The order of operations for each side of an equation will proceed in standard fashion: first solve for multiplication (proceeding left to right), then division, then addition, and finally subtraction.

Both sides of an equation must be equal, but do not necessarily have to equal an integer from 1 to 26. The word "flab", for instance, can be solved as F / L = A / B with each side of the equation being equal to 0.5

One way to play is to pick out words from what the speaker at your event is saying. Start with three-letter words. When you are able to successfully make one into an equation, move on to four-letter words, and so on.

Three-letter examples:

W + A = X

J + O = Y

T - O = E

Y - E = T

Four-letter examples:

C - H = I - N

S - O = D × A

M + O / O = N

D × E = E × D

Five-or-more-letter examples:

C × O = C × O × A

H - E × A = V - E - N

F / L + I / R = T / E / D