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:

1=DitLoID.

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.

138 Comments

  1. Danny says:

    Any idea for:
    5 UK M at P

  2. Cath says:

    Can anyone help with ?MML (I think it’s 6MML)
    It’s a clue for a geocache and it’s the last clue of six and even though I think it’s 6, I really want to know why. Can anyone help?

  3. Verity says:

    Hi struggling with a few complex ditloids.
    5 CB in a BS
    10=FSS in a P
    0001 = 1 MPM
    0 = FN of the FS
    20 = S in a CO
    20 = T in the PI
    39 = I in a M
    7 = Of M (GE)
    5 = O in the W

    • Verity says:

      I’ve now got 5 Currant Buns in a Bakers Shop and 7 Oceans of the World but still struggling with
      10 = FSS in a P
      0001 = 1 MPM
      7 = Of M (GE)
      39 = I in a M
      20 = T in the PI
      20 = S in a CO
      0 = FN of the FS

  4. HT says:

    Can anyone help with these two:

    TWGT 11

    SENCC 1701

  5. Ian McGhie says:

    Hi, Looking for help with a couple of unusual ditloids.

    a SS of L (a L) C of 20 D of 10 cowwhides

    OHC C E “W” B F 487 DT of A
    Pretty sure this one is about Hilary Clinton
    Thanks in advance

    • Ian McGhie says:

      Got one,
      a standardised shipment of leather (a last) consists of 20 dicker of 10 cowhides.

      • Ian McGhie says:

        Forgot to mention deadline for this quiz is Tuesday 1600, only other one I am stick at is
        BBH 2359 is BOBH.

        Fingers crossed you can help or I am struck by a flash of inspiration. 🙂

  6. David Garland says:

    Just these few to finish. Thanks in advance.
    9=P in a RT
    9=R of S on the AF
    4=S of a C

  7. Anthony Glover says:

    Help with these pleas:
    4=B of C in a J
    2=G in S
    6=S on the AF
    5=L in a L
    1=E of a C
    1440=TTT

  8. Helen Cullwick says:

    Any help with the following would be greatly appreciated.
    62 = m of s
    3 = e in a t
    118 = e in the pt
    12 = s on a d
    7 = s in the p
    78 = l of a tc in f

    Many thanks

  9. D Courtneys says:

    3 = b in b b

  10. Kathy says:

    Please help can anyone solve 6= W in C
    Thanks in anticipation

    • A.J. says:

      6 = Weapons in Clue(do) [Original version: Candlestick, Wrench, Rope, Lead Pipe, Knife, and Revolver. Later versions have nine weapons]

  11. Sam says:

    Can anyone help me with these two please:

    4 b in a n
    49 s

    Thanks.

  12. Jean says:

    Please help racking my brains and completely stuck
    20 S in a P
    2 P in a Q, 4 Q in a G
    C of 9 T
    The 3 M B, G, H and C
    1 M T is A M T
    1F, 2F, RF, BF

  13. A Bagworth says:

    Any ideas on these?
    8 Q in a S
    14 P in a NM

    Thanks

  14. John Dorson says:

    Grateful for anyone’s help with:

    4 = mm (RB).

    I just know I will kick myself…

  15. Tracey Johnson says:

    Can anyone please help ?
    AS IN TS9
    1 HW
    3W FROM A GL
    3 RC
    1H = 8S
    4W AND A F
    2 C 3 a c
    AT OF 2 c

  16. Alex bridges says:

    275 R O M W

    18 C of A

  17. Georgia says:

    Please help!!

    9 C in T W L (with A R)

    Driving me insane!!

  18. PLEE says:

    Help

    10=S in the LM

  19. patricia lee says:

    10 S in the LM

    • Helen Ross says:

      I’m usually pretty good at these but you got me stumped. I was totally blown away about two weeks ago when the category of Ditloids was on Jeopardy ! so, help me out on yours. maybe it’s just too early in the morning !!! this would be a really fun thing for an English teacher to do every day. Put it on the “blackboard”. great language skill to figure these out.

  20. Jill Higgison says:

    Any idea what the following is
    1 LPW to M
    Thanks
    Jill

  21. Ivor Gloworm says:

    Hi I need help please, just cant get this one. 6 B C

  22. Ian tee says:

    Hi anybody know AJ is 90% W

    thanks

  23. Tiffany B says:

    Any idea what 13T in a BD stands for?

  24. 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

  25. 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)

    • A.J. says:

      15 James Bond Books (Ian Fleming)

  26. Wendy says:

    Did you ever get the answer for 17=LbTaToaD

  27. Vanda ralph says:

    0 = TM of G

  28. 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

  29. Sarah Smith says:

    4 J i A i D – any ideas?

  30. mark.watchorn@btinternet.com says:

    ANY IDEAS FOR 29 AM OF C

  31. james Kerr says:

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

  32. james Kerr says:

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

  33. Patti says:

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

  34. mark.watchorn@btinternet.com says:

    CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT 29 AM OF C IS PLEASE…..

    MW

  35. KK says:

    Please help!

    10 TB of the DNS

  36. graham long says:

    20v on a d

  37. Michael Bradfield says:

    Anyone know what 12 p on a st

  38. 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.

  39. Isabelmckenna says:

    What is 29028equalsH of W in F

  40. Lynette says:

    9 = O over the E

  41. Harold says:

    1 mp on the cf

  42. Brian says:

    2 = OEPM any idea’s please

  43. 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

  44. Julia says:

    50 c in the c
    240 y in a c

  45. Sarah says:

    9 W a S in a TS

    Any help??
    Thanks

  46. Pauline Dale says:

    Wats 3= s to H

  47. Helen says:

    Any help with 2 = P in a PT

  48. Peter says:

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

    Thanks

  49. Angus says:

    @moyra 10994 = Deepest Part oo the Ocean in Metres

    @irene 9 = Ladies Dancing

  50. Irene Duncan says:

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

    F O A B thanks

  51. 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.

    Thanks
    Richard

  52. Moyra cowie says:

    Any idea what the following could mean
    10994 DPotOiM

    And

    17 LbTaToaD

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