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enter image description here

No big deal here. Just find a 5 letter word hidden in this enigmatic rebus - Cheers!!

HINT/CLUE

To make the solution less ambiguous, here's a clue for finding the correct words. Following are the initials - T,L,F,P,S,F,P

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  • $\begingroup$ If you'd asked I could have given you a full puzzling background image, still can if you want? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 27 '17 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Oh, that's harsh. I spent hours editing this one :p Sure, ping me in TSL if you have an image. I will check if I can re-edit. Or will add it into my repo. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 27 '17 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ well I think those are eagle wings in the top left corner. Eagle? $\endgroup$ – Sam Harrington Feb 27 '17 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @SamHarrington Oh, I wish Enigma was that easy to interpret. Sorry, no. :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 27 '17 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ Your unbalanced parentheses make my eyes twitch. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Feb 27 '17 at 17:40
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Continuing the work of C. Woods and Silenius, here's another partial answer plus some musings. The answer has been edited heavily after the OP has added a hint and confirmed parts of my first draft as false or correct.

All characters except the numbers in parentheses should be converted to the Wingdings symbol font, as indicated by the pair of wings and the bells at the top of the image:

Rebus in Wingdings

Each symbol represents one word and the number in parentheses tells us how many letters this word has. The hand that points to the right doesn't have any letter count and, according to a comment the OP made to Silenius's answer, it represents itself.

First I thought that the words could be:

  right letterhand smile phone files flight

but the striked-through words have been identified as wrong by the OP. With the starting letters now given, the words could be:

  third letterfive smile phone folder plane

(The first symbol shows how some people count to three, starting with the pinky finger. I'm from a region where counting starts with the thumb and I don't think that thumb and index form a circle when counting, so that took me a while. With the first letters given and the letter count updated, five, folder and plane seem rather obvious.)

Taking the third letter of each of the words to the right gives the five-letter answer

  VIOLA.

A viola is either to a string instrument, a flower or maybe a woman's name. That doesn't quite fit with the hint of "Cheers!" in the puzzle.

(Perhaps the intended answer was VOILA, "there you go" in French? That doesn't fit exactly with Cheers! – which can mean "to your health", "thanks" or "bye" – either, but both expressions are single words that can express a range of things succinctly.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Your arrangement of the symbols is perfect. Now, if I may confirm the correct ones, I will say right(incorrect) letter(correct) → hand(incorrect) smile(correct) phone(correct) files(incorrect) flight(incorrect) Check what the fingers are saying in those two symbols :) And yup, Cheers is a clue for the confirmation of the final answer. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 28 '17 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the confirmation and the additional hint. Are the letter counts for the last two words correct? If they were 6, 5 instead of 5, 6 the words could be folder and plane. When I assume that the first word is third, because the hand holds up three fingers, and that the first fodder word is five, that would give me viola. (But that doesn't have any reference to Cheers, as far as I can see.) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Feb 28 '17 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ @M Oehm - Made the changes now. :) That was my mistake. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 28 '17 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ Voila! You got it!! :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 28 '17 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ Well, with a lot of legs up from you and the other posters. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Feb 28 '17 at 12:15
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I think I have a partial answer.

The wings and bells at the top make me think you need to use Wingdings to translate the symbols. I tried typing in the letters/paren/1 as many times as indicated by the number in parentheses following them, but I can't get anything from that.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice. You got the idea! +1 $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 28 '17 at 5:25
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Some thoughts:

The parenthetical numbers may indicate that we need to pluck certain letters from words. Following the lead of C. Woods, we can translate the non-enumerative characters to Wingdings and then pair them with likely words, getting something like:

       enter image description here
But it's unclear to me how to pull a five letter word out of this information.

Alternatively,

these pictographs may encode a rebus of their own. After all, the translation of FI depicts a finger pointing at a pinky (something that definitely has the flavor of a rebus). Maybe the enumerations encode a way to combine the pictographs into a larger rebus.

Lastly,

The fact that the title to this puzzle depicts the word REBUS inside the word REBUS is obviously relevant to the solution. It may refer to the fact that you need to solve the WINGDINGS rebus before you decipher and solve the embedded rebus.

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    $\begingroup$ Right on track @Silenus. +1 You are very close now. Only first spoiler block matters. Remember, the symbol without enumeration is just a symbol. No combinations required. And you have got almost all the words right. Keep trying and you will get it. Also, each symbol represent a single word only :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 28 '17 at 5:37
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More thoughts building on the above.

Given the various hints, my take on the correct meaning of the symbols is:

THREE (5) LETTER (6) -> FIVE (4) SMILE (5) PHONE (5) FOLDER (5) PLANE (6)

A few observations:

Until the last two words, all numbers equate to word lengths; given the presence of two numbers and the word "letter" in the coded message, it seems likely that there is a second-layer solution to find.

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