# On the Phone in the States

The answer is a relevant word or set of words.

• Since this was intended to be solvable with basic knowledge, I will note to the non-programmers that ! can mean Not.
– Amoz
Mar 25, 2022 at 13:19

'#' - otherwise known as a POUND SIGN on telephone keypads in the United States (hence the title - although more on that later...).

To find this, we need to read the diagram as follows:

Line 1:
PAS (SAP, backwards)
INPUT ('a' here is the input for the function)
OASI ('OASIS' missing its final letter)

Line 2:
NO (element 102 in the Periodic Table is Nobelium, whose symbol is 'No')
SCAR (the villain from The Lion King)
UAS ('USA' with the second and third letters switched)
I (the square root of -1, censored here in the image, is known in mathematics as i)
NUMBER (a synonym of the final answer to the whole puzzle, which is what is pictured here)

Line 3:
NA (North America)
SINNER (i.e. 'not a saint')
ODAS (the letters of SODA rearranged as per the number ordering 2341)
INDEX (index finger)

Line 4:
TERS (letters 1, 2, 3 and 8 of TERmiteS)
A'S IN SQUARE (say what you see!)
IA (abbreviation for Iowa)
SI ('Yes' in Spanish)

Line 5:
NICE (Santa's 'nice' list)
GA (abbreviation for Georgia)
SING (say what you see!)
RAM (ditto)

Line 6:
NAS (several North Americas)
INN (the inn in Bethlehem, approached by Mary and Joseph)
ANCY (CYAN - the colour shown here - with its halves exchanged)

Finally:

string all of these letters together and respace appropriately to find the following text:

'P' as in 'PUT'
'O' as in 'OSCAR'
'U' as in 'UMBER'
'N' as in 'NERO'
'D' as in 'DEXTER'
'S' as in 'SQUARE'
'I' as in 'ICE'
'G' as in 'GRAM'
'N' as in 'NANCY'

What have we got here?

This is one side of a conversation someone might have on the phone in order to spell out the words 'POUND SIGN' - thereby providing a double-meaning to the title of this puzzle!

• Great job! Although noting the clue for rot13('ahzore' vf npghnyyl n fvatyr punenpgre (thrff jung))
– Amoz
Mar 31, 2022 at 14:01
• @Amoz That was the one image I wasn't sure about... I reasoned that it probably had the same number of letters as the clue two after it since its blank space was of the same length. I still don't really get what it should be (or why), tbh...
– Stiv
Mar 31, 2022 at 14:08
• That picture looks familiar, where have you seen it before?
– Amoz
Mar 31, 2022 at 17:24
• @Amoz Ha, I do know what it is, just not how to describe it in a word beginning with what I need it to begin with :)
– Stiv
Mar 31, 2022 at 18:16
• Ah but you already did. "The answer here is '?'".Might be a US synonym.
– Amoz
Mar 31, 2022 at 19:14