What is the hidden message in this advertisement?

Neurotic Frogs Ought To Relax In Mud Baths!

Perpendicular lounging calms. A frog, a mud cap... bliss! Wallowing generates happiness. Amphibian spa isn't expensive--seventy dollars--cheap! That's not a large expense from any discerning frog's money, unlike Super 8.

Everyone--frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders! Get a wonderful shiatsu, or receive an other kind. Masseuses are here today! Invite a fiancée, supervisor, roommate, niece: all welcomed!

You simply never believed these possibilities; they're (I swear) absolute truth! The Montgomery Amphibian Salon! Come luxuriate today!

Hint 1:

Notice that the last word in a sentence never contains italics.

Hint 2:

Frogs, toads, or newts--makes no difference. But dogs or horses are a different story.

Hint 3:

"Tadpoles" must be accompanied at all times. Our company policy states: "Business standards allow only adult amphibians."

Hint 4:

Eggs and tadpoles are quite different, of course. However, we don't discriminate among eggs, tadpoles, or even tadpoles. On the other hand, there's a big difference between tadpoles and polliwogs.

  • 18
    $\begingroup$ Italics are: OaMouAueeaosaxeyoeysaesveseéallovosswearem $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Apr 19 '16 at 20:16
  • 42
    $\begingroup$ Which I believe is welsh for "Get your stinking frog out of my bathtub!" $\endgroup$ – Chris Cudmore Apr 19 '16 at 20:19
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Maybe it's time for a hint? This puzzle is driving me crazy. ;) $\endgroup$ – axavio Aug 9 '16 at 0:24
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ If you count the number of letters in Come luxuriate today, it gives you 4 9 5, and if you convert this back in letters, it gives you DIE. Which is what I am going to do after spending nights on this puzzle :) $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 19 '16 at 9:32
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ My bounty went unspent. :( Maybe some collaboration? I opened a chat room for this puzzle. All welcomed! I really want to see this guy solved. $\endgroup$ – axavio Aug 25 '16 at 0:58

The main idea:

Convert each word: If not italicized, to word length, if italicized, then irrespective of number of italics, either to 1, if the length is odd, or 2, if length is even. Then pair each italicized to the right side word, and read in A1Z26.

The entire message reads:

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

The #3 hint reads:


Puzzle is a, ... I can't. I puzzlingly ... I didn't. Don't ... I swear.

Thanks to @Verence and @Wu33o for having time do decrypt the message. It took me around 13+ hours to solve, ended up waking up all night, and the fourth hint reduced too many possibilities.

  • $\begingroup$ The message is actually a meme: knowyourmeme.com/memes/you-killed-my-father-prepare-to-die $\endgroup$ – Verence Aug 31 '16 at 10:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good job on finding the decryption method, and I'm happy to help. Btw, the company policy in hint 3 translates to "Hint" $\endgroup$ – Wu33o Aug 31 '16 at 10:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Congratulations for having solved this one :). $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 31 '16 at 11:09
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ And in the end, I was right for the last word! Damn! $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Aug 31 '16 at 11:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Rejoice, all frogs and toads also! Montgomery Salon opens up! Happy throng fills street ecstatically! $\endgroup$ – DLosc Aug 31 '16 at 15:55

As @GentlePurpleRain noted, the only letters that are italicized are "aemosuvxy".

Now, to put that aside for a moment, consider:

During reproduction, many amphibians keep their eggs in mud structures that could resemble 'animal spas'

Also, we see that dogs and horses aren't allowed, and this nods to the fact that inter-species reproduction is impossible.

Finally, we note that this may be a sort of "adult" topic, as noted by the 3rd hint.

Taking this together with @GentlePurpleRain's observation, we realize the message is an anagram of those letters:

A Sexy Ovum !!!!!!!!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This answer is dead wrong, but hilarious. ;) $\endgroup$ – DLosc Aug 26 '16 at 20:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.