Diminished Decrees

Before including a letter in any word, the inhabitants of this town check how much the letter is worth.

Town Decrees:

1: Each enizen of this lan is prohibite from estroyin thins belonin to other enizens.

2: Every case in court must have a udge and a ury, the udge to receive four votes and the combined ury to receive si. The udge may not also be the eecutioner.

3: Out of each crime in this law, the most heinous is the planned murder of another denien. If uestioning shows that the murder of another denien has occurred, the murderer shall be uelled.

4: No person tat lies in tis land o deeats anoter in a duel ma commit omicide itout permission rom te maor.

5: Land ay not e given or sold to a erson unless the ayor and ourt arove of the transation.

6: Dc f gvm ppy m h c, d w b phd by dh.

  • $\begingroup$ Is the "o" in item 4 correct? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jul 9 '19 at 3:02
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is awesome! $\endgroup$ – smci Jul 9 '19 at 11:20

Incomplete answer

Clearly the inhabitants of this town

are fond of playing Scrabble


each decree is missing exactly those letters having a particular point value in that game. #1 is missing D,G (2 points); #2 is missing J,X (8 points); #3 is missing Z,Q (10 points); #4 is missing F,H,V,W,Y (4 points); #5 is missing B,C,M,P (3 points); #6 is missing A,E,I,N,O,R,S,T,U (1 point).

So #6 says

something like "Decrees of government apply [...], and will be punished by death". There seem to be hundreds of possibilities for each of "m", "h", "c", though, and I am not sure what specific words are intended; the middle one is probably "the". (There could be a completely-removed "all" at the start if it weren't for that capital D. There might be some other completely-removed words. Hard to be sure.) Actually, "Destruction of government property" is much more likely for the start.

One concrete possibility:

Destruction of government property merits authoritarian censure, and will be punished by death.

My guess is that

deciphering #6 is the intended goal; at any rate it doesn't look as if it leads to something further, and neither does the sequence of suppressed scores.

Credit where due: In an earlier version of this answer I suggested that

the "o" in #4 was "or" minus "r" and that OP had made a mistake. JS1 astutely pointed out in comments that of course it must be "who", missing a W and an H, 4 points each.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think the "o" word is "who", not "or". $\endgroup$ – JS1 Jul 9 '19 at 4:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oh, good catch. I retract my baseless suggestion that OP might have made a mistake. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jul 9 '19 at 12:21

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