While puzzling some Morse code I heard an outburst from the bacchanal next door and jotted it down.


  (32 dots between two dashes, with letter and word separations omitted.)

        What do you suppose they shouted?

In the spirit of rapid gratification, right here are the codes that may be in play.

       N  -.                    -                       .-  A
       D  -..                                          ..-  U
       B  -...      .    ..    ...   ....  .....      ...-  V
       6  -....     E     I     S     H      5       ....-  4

(M Oehm came up with an obscure word that can make 40 (!) consecutive dots between two dashes, now added to the all-comers portion of Beastly Gerbil’s solution.)


Found two answers that are variations of each other (first slightly explicit)

'This is his shit'


'This is his sheet'

Which might be something random a drunk might shout out at a bacchanalian toga party.

First has

2 t = two dashes
3 h = 12 dots
4 i = 8 dots
4 s = 12 dots

Which is total

2 dashes around 32 dots

Second has

2 t = two dashes
3 h = 12 dots
3 i =6 dots
4 s = 12 dots
2 e = 2 dots

Which is also total

2 dashes around 32 dots

List of other phrases which work, but don't really make sense (but hey, they're drunk):

'This sees his hit'
'This he sees is sea'
'Tessie is sissiest' 2012rcampion
'Bees see his heist' 2012rcampion
'Diss Hie's shiv' 2012rcampion
'This is his shishsa' (40 dots in a row!) humn inspired by MOehm

Will keep adding as I find new ones, if you spot one feel free to edit it in and credit yourself

  • $\begingroup$ Incidentally, there's an SFW version too $\endgroup$ – humn Apr 1 '17 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ @humn off now but will check for it later $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 1 '17 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @humn aah found it! $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 1 '17 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ And wouldn't you know, the internet already sells a spoiler for a shorter version $\endgroup$ – humn Apr 1 '17 at 9:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And I thought that the two versions were the same, only that your neighbours were Italian. I also tried to fit a shisha in at the end, but I coudn't find anything to put before it.. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Apr 1 '17 at 9:38

With some help from a very big dictionary, I have found a lot of solutions to this problem. Here are some of my favourites:

Beeish hissiest
Bessie's shesha
Bessie shies hit
Tess sees sissiest
Dish his shiv
Diss is sissiest
Disses his sheet
Niseis SSH heist
These sissies hit
This hisses SSA

I ran out of room to post all of them here, but here is a Github Gist containing all of the possible two-word and three-word solutions to this problem using words in the dictionary I used. This list is supposed to be sorted alphabetically, but appears to have been sorted in "ASCIIbetical" order (e.g. capital letters before lower case letters) instead.

I used several tricks to reduce the amount of work that I had to do, such as:

  • Filtering the dictionary for words that matched the Regular Expression ^([BTDN6])?[5EIHS]*([V4AUT])?$ (optionally starts with a letter that can go at the front of the message, then contains 0 or more middle letters, then optionally contains an end letter). This left me with only a few hundred words, which I could manually look through to determine which were invalid.
  • Finding characters or sets of characters that could be substituted for each other, such as EE and I. I also noticed that any middle letters could be swapped around regardless of consecutivity. This cut down on my word list as well as helping to ensure that I didn't miss anything.
  • Working out sets of words that could fill gaps of certain sizes. This was a minor optimisation when I was building the three-word-long list, as I'd optimised most words that had the same expansion away, but really helped with the four-word-long list; I haven't completed it yet but so far it expands out into almost a megabyte.
  • Automating large quantities of the work. As I'm working on a computer anyway, I might as well automate the process of Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+H, type find and replace, Alt+A, Enter, Esc, Ctrl+Page Up, Ctrl+V for each replacement.1 Interestingly, the number of unique solutions is increased by the number of matching solutions multiplied by the number of replaces for each "find", which looks suspiciously exponential. This has proven absolutely necessary, as a look at the vast, vast solution list so far will show. Unfortunately, this process still has produced duplicates, but I don't have the patience to (work out how to) filter them out right now.

1: Note that this technique can create a significant number of unnecessary duplicate lines which can crash your Notepad instance or OS; most computers have a maximum of $2^{64}$ bytes of memory and the memory requirement is $O(2^n)$ where $n$ is the number of replacements – very suboptimal except in very specific circumstances (i.e. when there is only one "find" per "replace" and all solutions match).

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ With reasoning that one more likely shouts sentences than just random words, I like "These sissies hit" best ;c) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Apr 10 '17 at 6:56
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest Drunk people sometimes shout random words. That is my excuse for creating almost 60000 solutions of which very few are valid sentences, and not just the ones that are valid sentences. Even if I read at 80000 words per minute (a page per segment, which may not be possible), it would still take two whole minutes to go through them all, and likely significantly longer to process them. $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Apr 12 '17 at 20:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If nothing else then your answer deserves a +1 for showing the large parameter space such a simple code can contain- a valid lesson for any puzzle creator. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Apr 12 '17 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ How long is your filtered dictionary of individual words? (Histogram over length would be useful) ? $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Apr 12 '17 at 21:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So, a 'smarter' algorithm would filter these 647 words into verbs and nouns (and possibly also "not suitable words, like SSH") and then provide a better, restricted solution set. BTW, did you do it with programming languge or by automating some notepad software? $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Apr 13 '17 at 9:23

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.