Some puzzle-makers have decorated their Christmas tree. They have used glue to stick a letter to each Christmas ball. Every letter can only be found on one certain color of Christmas ball. But oh no, they used the wrong glue. All the letters have fallen off from the Christmas balls.

Can you figure out which letters belong to which Christmas ball color, and can you figure out the message? (see image below)

These letters have been found under the Christmas tree: AAACDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEFGGHIIIIILLMNNNNNOOORRRRRRRRUUWWY (amount: 55)

The Christmas tree: enter image description here

So, to restate the problem clearly:

  • Each letter only appears on one certain color
  • Multiple letters can share the same color
  • Spaces are not letters (wait what?), spaces are clearly distinguishable on the christmas tree
  • A word will always be on just one sentence, no mid-way splitting!

Hints: None yet, but may appear soon (evil Grinch laugh)

This question was inspired by the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service christmas puzzles of 2015

  • $\begingroup$ errr theres's 16 different letters, but only a few colours?? $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2016 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ yup, so some colours correspond to multiple letters. but no letter corresponds to multiple colours. (Right, Thomas W?) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Dec 18, 2016 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan exactly, that's right. Read the additional info at the bottom Beastly Gerbil! $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2016 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ Aaah I misread that. My mistake $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2016 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ I think I got it. Making sure I got the counts right. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2016 at 21:17

1 Answer 1


The sentence is:

How many deer would a reindeer reign if a reindeer could reign deer? (Question mark added by me, of course)

Counts by color:

Purple (7 total) - C(1), H(1), I(5)
Blue (12 total) - F(1), O(3), R(8)
Orange (5 total) - U(2), W(2), Y(1)
Yellow (13 total) - E(12), M(1)
Light Blue (7 total) - A(3), G(2), L(2)
Red (11 total) - D(6), N(5)


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