I went to visit a friend the other day, and was invited inside. When I entered, I spied an arrangement of various dominos, upon the table. They were not arranged, standing up, as if she had been meaning to do anything spectacular with them, but the arrangement did seem to be important to her. I inquired, of her, as to their meaning, but she simply smiled, and kept about her business. Eventually, I let it go -- but I keep finding myself drawn to the sequence, as if it means something.

Do you think you could help me figure it out?

It looked like this: Domino Sequence

Hints (Added as needed):


One time, upon the sea
I ordered a toody fruity
meal or three-ee


I could add another tag to this question, but it would give it away.


Something I should note. This riddle is not nearly as complex as it seems. A small group of children could possibly solve it.


The number 14 has very little to do with this puzzle despite this sentence.


My friend's first name is Ella.


For anyone still trying to figure out how everything connects together, look at this.


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    $\begingroup$ Is the answer only true for the time frame in which this puzzle was posted? $\endgroup$ Mar 11 '16 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Varon I noticed that, too. You'd think that it would have made it easier to find domino images. After a while I gave up, and made my own, in MS paint. LoL $\endgroup$ Mar 11 '16 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha Again a 14 words-hint. I think you want to tease me :D $\endgroup$
    – Varon
    Mar 12 '16 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ snicker Hahah, sorry =D $\endgroup$ Mar 14 '16 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, that hint throws out the line of reasoning I was using $\endgroup$ Mar 14 '16 at 15:07

So I think it's

A-Tisket, A-Tasket

Some reasoning.

Thanks to the partial answer by Zander, I found that the tune was in fact A-Tisket, A-Tasket, which was indeed covered by Ella Fitzgerald. It's also a nursery rhyme, thus the hint about a group of children. Tisket was also her propellent to national fame, which is why she smiled at in while you were there. For too long, I got hung up on the Fats Domino idea, and the only song she covered by him was I'm Walkin', which sadly has no relationship with the tune outlined in the dominoes.

  • $\begingroup$ her propellent to national fame - Nice job. $\endgroup$ Mar 16 '16 at 17:24
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    $\begingroup$ It was also an arrangement, done by her, which is why I mentioned that the dominos were in an arrangement. I'll add an image, to the bottom of the puzzle, now, that explains it for anyone still having trouble. $\endgroup$ Mar 16 '16 at 17:36

Partial answer

The first clue indicates

a relationship between 1 and C ("one... sea"), 2 and D ("toody"), and 3 and E ("three-ee"). Given this, it seems likely that the numbers correspond to letters in the same order in the alphabet. A Caesar cipher doesn't produce a legible result, but there's another sequence of letters starting with C: a musical scale, with 1 being C and 6 being A (possibly 0 would be B, but it doesn't appear).

Using this, we can convert the dominoes to

a sequence of notes: GGEFGEFGGEAGEEFFDEFFDDGFEDEC. Given the "first lady" in the title and the later hint about Ella, this is likely part of one of the songs of Ella Fitzgerald, as suggested by Gamow (possibly one of her collaborations with Fats Domino). Unfortunately, I don't recognise the tune when I hum it and I can't listen to her songs at the moment to check.

  • $\begingroup$ I love that someone got that clue. :) @Zandar $\endgroup$ Mar 15 '16 at 20:45

This is not the solution!!!

I staring hours to this and did heavy calculations and associations, but I got nothing. Here are some of my impressions:

I'm not sure if the position of the bottom elements 3 | 2, 3 | 1 is important. (If it is a sequence, why they are not left aligned?)

Math and Tables

Decimal: 55, 34, 53, 45, 53, 65, 33, 44, 23, 44, 22, 54, 32, 31

HEX+DEC: E5, C4, E3, D5, E3, F5, C3, D4, B3, D4, B2, E4, C2, C1
  asDec: 229, 196, 227, 213, 227, 245, 195, 212, 179, 212, 178, 228, 194, 193

DEC+HEX: 5E, 3D, 5C, 4E, 5C, 6E, 3C, 4D, 2C, 4D, 2B, 5D, 3B, 3A
  asDec: 94, 61, 92, 78, 92, 110, 60, 77, 44, 77, 43, 93, 59, 58

  asDec: 238, 205, 236, 222, 236, 254, 204, 221, 188, 221, 187, 237, 203, 202

abs(d(x) - d(x+1)) 21, 19, 8, 8, 12, 32, 11, 21, 21, 22, 32, 22, 1
If 32 is a space it could be a text Other combinations I tried as well, but it ends up in a mess.

Pure Number association
I tried submarine numbers, president birthdays, game(i.e. soccer) scores, and so on

Both hints have 14 "words" like the number of tiles. Maybe it's only coincidence. But therefore it's to conspicuous to add -ee to the first hint.

Hint 2:
"I could add a not-her tag to this question, but it would give it a way" Then it is not the First Lady but the president. (Obama?)

Hint 1:
"One time, up". - Is there something we have to set "up"-side?
"ordered" like "to sort"?

A "visual rebus" means no or not directly math. Perhaps I miss combinatoric. I don't know.

  • $\begingroup$ I was looking at the -ee the other day and thought the sentence might be an anagram and that was to signify dropping the ee. Because the typical spelling is tooty fruity. $\endgroup$
    – Z. Dailey
    Mar 12 '16 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ Might also mean there are three sets of double e's in the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Z. Dailey
    Mar 12 '16 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Varon You're giving me far too much credit. Haha $\endgroup$ Mar 12 '16 at 18:57

Is the answer perhaps

Fats Domino


The hints are pointing at Ella Fitzgerald (the "First Lady of Song") and at Strange Fruit
Ella Fitzgerald won 14 Grammy awards

  • $\begingroup$ I'm afraid not. Good try. $\endgroup$ Mar 14 '16 at 15:36

I wonder if you mean

Blue Monday. I don't have it handy to listen to. Ella did a song called Blue Monday that I'm not familiar with. Fats Domino did a completely different song with the same title. I know the song by Fats and it's nothing like the notes in the puzzle but maybe it's the Ella song.


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