Which teams played each other in the soccer last night?enter image description here

Note: The ninth shape is meant to be entirely white, but contains a black border to let it be seen more easily.


Identifying the purple, red or yellow shapes should be the first step. The other ones will be harder to flag down...

Hint II:

The yellow shape is the nose of a sun, while the black shape is a jewel on a crown.

  • $\begingroup$ Ok, so I suspect this is about ROT13(flzobyf sbhaq ba syntf. V oryvrir gung gur checyr funcr vf va Freovn'f synt, gur terra funcr vf n jvat bs gur oveq va Htnaqn'f, gur fha'f abfr vf va Netragvan'f, naq gur juvgr evat vf va Cnenthnl'f. Ubjrire, abgnoyl bayl Cnenthnl'f evat unf gur fnzr pbybe va obgu urer naq gur synt.) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ Further insights: ROT13( 1) V unira'g svtherq bhg lrg ubj gur pbybef ner fvtavsvpnag. 2) Gur jnil yvar cebonoyl orybatf gb Ry Fnyinqbe ohg gur bevtvany yvar va gur synt vf ybatre guna gur bar urer. 3) Zber vzcbegnagyl, V srry yvxr jr nyfb unir gb tb guebhtu syntf bjarq abg bayl ol pheerag fgngrf, ohg nyfb ol pheerag aba-fgngrf naq sbezre fgngrf. Rvgure gung be zl svaqvat fxvyyf nera'g terng.) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Tenl -> Qbzvavpn?) $\endgroup$
    – Chengarda
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Erq -> Xnmnxufgna) $\endgroup$
    – Chengarda
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 4:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Boy, you guys sure have sharp eyes ... $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


The two football teams are ...

... the national teams of Denmark and the United States.

The shapes ...

... are details of emblems or coats of arms displayed on national flags.

purple: one of the white (silver) firesteels on the flag of Serbia*
black: one of the orange jewels in the crown of Montenegro's eagle‡
green: the grey breast of the bantam in the flag of Uganda*
orange: a red udders of one of the cows in Andorra's flag
red: the yellow (golden) beak and breast of the eagle in the flag of Kazakhstan
blue: the green part of the rainbow, cut off at the left in the flag of Nicaragua*
yellow: the brown lower part of the sun's nose in Argentina's flag*
grey: a part of the purple neck plumage of the parrot in Dominica's flag†
white: the blue ring between the sun and its rays in Rwanda's flag*
brown: one of the black wavelines in the coat of ars in the flag of El Salvador*

(I had the idea that the shapes could be parts of flags after the first hint, but I couldn't identify them. The second hint confirmed that, but I owe the discoveries above to the keen eyes of oAlt*, Changarda† and JGibbers‡.)

The colours ...

... occur only once in the given shapes and in the actual symbols on the flags. In the order given by the shapes, the countries are:

purple: Dominica
black: El Salvador
green: Nicaragua
orange: Montenegro
red: Andorra
blue: Rwanda
yellow: Kazakhstan
grey: Uganda
white: Serbia
brown: Argentina

The first letters of these countries spell Denmark and U.S.A.

Many thanks ...

... to Changarda and JGibbers for identifying some of the shapes and especially to oAlt, who started the discussion in comments, who identified most of the shapes and who pointed out my errors in the course of trying to write up a sensible answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Agh I freaking knew ROT13( gur juvgr evat jnfa'g ernyyl juvgr ng nyy!) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ Also, ROT13("Qnaznex" whfg qbrfa'g srry evtug– grpuavpnyyl vg frrzf yvxr gur oynpx abfr bs Netragvan vf npghnyyl oebja, juvpu jbhyq cynpr Netragvan ng gur obggbz. Guvf frrzf gb gvr va jvgu zl gurbel gung gur jnil yvar orybatf gb Ry Fnyinqbe, naq gur pbybe urer vf oebja ohg gur npghny pbybe va gur synt vf oynpx, juvpu jbhyq cynpr Ry Fnyinqbe va gur fcbg jurer Netragvan jnf (urapr fcryyvat Qraznex abj).) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ cont. ROT13(Fb jr'er ybbxvat sbe gur flzoby gung vf oyhr urer ohg vf lryybj va gur synt bs n fgngr fgnegvat jvgu E. Gur enl bs Ejnaqn frrzf gur yvxryvrfg (naq vg'f gur bayl bar jvgu flzobyf ng nyy, ohg gur flzoby urer vf pheirq engure guna fgenvtug).) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @oAlt: Good point about the nose and also about the squiggle, but rot13(gur fgebxr va gur E pbhagel'f synt zhfg npghnyyl or oyhr. Gur npghny pbybhef pbeerfcbaq gb gur cbfvgvba bs gur pbhagel naq lryybj jnf nyernql hfrq jvgu Xnmnxufgna). $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 9:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is all correct! Absolutely great answer - good job to you, oAlt, Changarda and JGibbers! Congratulations on finding rot13(gur terra fgebxr va gur synt bs Avpnenthn - V gubhtug gung bar zvtug or gbb qvssvphyg gb svaq ohg lbh cebirq zr jebat)! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 10:03

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