# Our Unfortunate Aunt Edith

## Kevin Wald

Each clue in the table yields a word that consists of two or more Roman numerals separated by instances of the vowels A, E, O and U. As hinted at in the flavortext, these four vowels stand for arithmetical operations. Specifically, they stand for the four basic arithmetic operations, in the order obtained by matching up the phrase "Our Unfortunate Aunt Edith" with the phrase "My Dear Aunt Sally" from the common mnemonic for the precedence of operations: O is multiplication, U is division, A is addition, and E is subtraction. Thus, each answer represents an arithmetic expression that can be evaluated:

B F G H K N DELI 500 - 51 = 449 DIALED 501 + 50 - 500 = 51 MACED 1000 + 100 - 500 = 600 CADUCEI 100 + 500 / 100 - 1 = 104 LEVI 50 - 6 = 44 CUM 100 / 1000 = 0.1 MOVED 1000 * 5 - 500 = 4500 LUMMOX 50 / 2000 * 10 = 0.25 VAV 5 + 5 = 10 MIAMI 1001 + 1001 = 2002 DUMDUM 500 / 1500 / 1000 = (1/3000) LIVED 54 - 500 = -446 ??? ??? COX 100 * 10 = 1000 DEDUCED 500 - 500 / 100 - 500 = -5 CAD 100 + 500 = 600 VIOL 6 * 50 = 300 LOVED 50 * 5 - 500 = -250 DOC 500 * 100 = 50000 MEM 1000 - 1000 = 0 LOX 50 * 10 = 500 LAX 50 + 10 = 60 LUX 50 / 10 = 5 DUD 500 / 500 = 1 DECAL 500 - 100 + 50 = 450 MUD 1000 / 500 = 2 MADAM 1000 + 500 + 1000 = 2500 LEI 50 - 1 = 49 DIED 501 - 500 = 1 MUM 1000 / 1000 = 1 DAD 500 + 500 = 1000 DAMMED 500 + 2000 - 500 = 2000 LADLED 50 + 550 - 500 = 100 DECEIVED 500 - 100 - 4 - 500 = -104 MOVIEDOM 1000 * 6 - 500 * 1000 = -494000 DIVED 504 - 500 = 4

Each clue below the table yields a five-letter answer consisting of three consonants indicating rows of the table, separated again by the vowels A, E, O, and U. If you take the value in the first column for the first consonant, the second column for the second consonant, and the third column for the third consonant, and combine them using the indicated operations, you get the following:

TEN OF: 49 - 300 * 0.1 = 19
SARAH: 450 + 5 + (-446) = 9
YUKON: (-104) / 1000 * (-250) = 26
KOPEK: ??? * 0 - (-5) = 5 (no matter what the first-column K value is)
FOGEY: 104 * 0.25 - 4 = 22
BEFOG: 449 - 44 * 10 = 9

NOHOW: 600 * (1/3000) * 100 = 20
GOSUB: 4500 * 2 / 600 = 15
POTUS: 50000 * 1 / 2500 = 20
HEWER: 2002 - 2000 - 1 = 1
WAY UP: 1000 + (-494000) / 500 = 12
REBUT: 60 - 51 / 1 = 9

By the usual A = 1, B = 2 code, these numbers yield: SIZE VI TOTAL I. The answer is the only Scrabble-legal six-letter word that would yield the value 1 as per the upper table; this is (as can be confirmed by a computer search) DIADEM.