A “ditloid” is a type of word puzzle in which a book or film title, quote or well known saying must be deduced from a set of numbers and letters in a clue. Normally short words such as “in”, “an”, “the” etc. are not abbreviated. An example might be  :

3= C in a F   [Three Coins in a Fountain.]

The name ditloid apparently originates from one of the first known examples of these puzzles namely:


Which, of course, refers to “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisowich” – the 1962 novel by Aleksandr Solzheniskn.

This is the traditional method of presenting the puzzle, e.g. “11=F in a C “[11 Fathoms in a Chain] but nowadays many are presented as a mix of numbers and letter such as “AB a t 40 T” [Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves]. I prefer the first approach but both are acceptable.

Here are a few example sheets, but have fun making your own up.


  1. Tiffany B says:

    Any idea what 13T in a BD stands for?

  2. Fred Bear says:

    Help please
    4 M in 60m is the SL on E n Cs
    Q S 10 in S
    32 P on a C R

  3. Isabel says:

    Any ideas:
    2 A N of H
    T 9 T (DLS)
    6 S on a S C
    8 L in an O S P
    12 C C in a S P
    15 J B B (I F)
    31 C O F
    47 S on a H
    60 M in a D
    101 T on a S S

    • A.J. says:

      2 = Atomic Number of Helium

      The 9 Tailors (Dorothy L Sayers book) (sequence of church bell rings announcing a death)

      6 = Sides on a Solid Cube

      8 = Lanes in an Olympic Swimming Pool

      12 = Court Cards in a Standard Pack (of cards) [Kings, Queens, Jacks]

      47 = Strings on a Harp

      60 = Minutes in a Degree

    • Keith says:

      Did you ever get the answer for
      31 c o f?

      • A.J. says:

        I think 31 = C O F may originally have been 31 = C O F (BR) and the parenthetical got dropped off somewhere along the way. If so, then 31 = Choice of Flavors (Baskin Robbins) is a reasonable solution. Similar to 31 = F of BRIC, which appears on some ditloid web sites.

        If anything else comes to mind, I will post it.

    • Keith says:

      Also 101 t on a so
      Any help you can offer would be appreciated,

      • A.J. says:

        101 = T on a SS

        The pernicious thing about ditloids is their vulnerability to transcription errors. One small change and we are all chasing a mirage (as an example, your question just above changed “SS” to “SO”). The other difficulty is the ditloid whose solution requires very specialized, arcane knowledge to solve – e.g., the number of manhole covers on Drury Lane. I suspect that this ditloid is one of these two kinds – it either began life as something simple, like “100 = Tiles in a Scrabble Set,” or the answer is very obscure.

        Here is an answer that “works,” although it is not very satisfying:

        101 = Thirty-seven on a Senary System (base 6)

  4. Wendy says:

    Did you ever get the answer for 17=LbTaToaD

  5. Vanda ralph says:

    0 = TM of G

  6. Judith Marshall says:

    I have a very complicated Ditloid puzzle. Stuck on the following :-
    168 T S on a D ;
    14 B in a H H ;
    69 M from C to L
    7 S N of S M
    6 D in a G R
    21 V of P
    41 M J S

  7. Sarah Smith says:

    4 J i A i D – any ideas?

  8. mark.watchorn@btinternet.com says:


  9. james Kerr says:

    Sorry 888= st on t
    N of P in the a
    666 = SS.
    Am stuck with these any help please….

  10. james Kerr says:

    888 = at on t
    666 = SS
    Anybody know these two am baffled.

  11. Patti says:

    25 = C. in T.B.
    16 = F. F.
    1000 = D.A. was Q
    Anyone know the answers

  12. mark.watchorn@btinternet.com says:



  13. KK says:

    Please help!

    10 TB of the DNS

  14. graham long says:

    20v on a d

  15. Michael Bradfield says:

    Anyone know what 12 p on a st

  16. Mama boo says:

    Help please what is 5 IR in a BOG?

    • A.J. says:

      I don’t believe this is the answer the poser of the ditloid intended, but if not, it is a coincidence most strange.
      Call of Duty 4, the video game, contains Mission 5, the Bog. The main achievement to win the mission is to activate an InfraRed (IR) beacon. A twisted interpretation

      [Call of Duty 4, Mission] 5 = [Activate] InfraRed [Beacon] in a Bog If this is the sought-after solution, the ditloid is horrid. Too few alpha characters and BOG should be B.

  17. Isabelmckenna says:

    What is 29028equalsH of W in F

  18. Lynette says:

    9 = O over the E

  19. Harold says:

    1 mp on the cf

  20. Brian says:

    2 = OEPM any idea’s please

  21. Phil says:

    Stuck with following: 16N and 3W for MS at the O//16SWB in a B// 10L and 2C on a L// 6 is the LPN, TN is 28//2H on a BC//12P and 20H on a SSF//The N is 4258ML//16=Thye N of HM to ZZG and ET//19S have a C on the O (5P and 14A)//1952=HH the SOG. Pretty hard going

  22. Julia says:

    50 c in the c
    240 y in a c

  23. Sarah says:

    9 W a S in a TS

    Any help??

  24. Pauline Dale says:

    Wats 3= s to H

  25. Helen says:

    Any help with 2 = P in a PT

  26. Peter says:

    what does H:A 47 mean and also Y S for 10


  27. Angus says:

    @moyra 10994 = Deepest Part oo the Ocean in Metres

    @irene 9 = Ladies Dancing

  28. Irene Duncan says:

    Hi, does anyone know what 9LD stands for or 11

    F O A B thanks

  29. Richard King says:

    Hi, can you give me some ideas for a quiz marathon round. I have used TV, and country capitals, but i need more ideas, especially sport questions as i am doing a sports quiz in November.


  30. Moyra cowie says:

    Any idea what the following could mean
    10994 DPotOiM


    17 LbTaToaD

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *