Inspired by Avi's Vowelburger™ Riddle here

The local Vowelburgers™ restaurant developed some extraordinary side dishes as a perfect complement for their burgers. Like most of the burgers, the top and bottom layer are fixed, but it's the middle layer that makes all the difference. Can you figure out the ingredients?

Core Vowelburger™ Side Dish
? short
? delete
? alpha
? maximum
? murder

Hint 1:

For one of the side dishes, the top and middle layer are the same.

Hint 2:

Pay careful attention to the way this question is tagged.

Hint 3:

In particular, which tags are lacking on this question.

Hint 4:

Hint 1 pertains to the smallest side dish, the one named 'short' on the menu.

Hint 5:

These are not Vowelburgers™. The middle layer isn't a vowel, and neither are the outer layers.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I had an idea, but couldn't get it to work ... might turn that into a puzzle of my own. (Also, I'd already figured out Hint 3 just from seeing Hint 2.) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 8:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hmm. No vowels, eh? That would seem to indicate abbreviations or perhaps not even letters, but numbers. $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 18:51

4 Answers 4


The Vowelburger™ Side Dishes act as an alternative to the usual letter-based diet, being made entirely of:


In particular, the top and bottom layers of these dishes are:

the numbers 1 and 7


117 (short) - Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the whole Bible, being just 2 verses long;
127 (delete) - the ASCII code for the Delete character;
137 (alpha) - as Sommerfeld's constant in physics has a value of 1/137 and is denoted by alpha;
147 (maximum) - the maximum break in snooker;
187 (murder) - since Section 187 of the California Penal Code defines the crime of murder, and '187' is often used as a slang term for the crime as a result.

Make sure you take advantage of our introductory offer - each side dish is just $1.97!

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks to @Jens for some inspiration in comments... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent. The first side dish is a reference to bit.ly/3afrhHP (the full Wikipedia link would be a spoiler) $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel Ah yes, that's a nicer fit - will edit, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 12:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oh my god the answer is so complicated... this is worth more than a +50 rep bounty $\endgroup$
    – user65687
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 11:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @UnidentifiedX that's why I'll be awarding the bounty at the end of the period; this topic is now featured, so the answer attracts more attention and more upvotes :) $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 12:02

Very very doubtful solution

Perhaps what is extraordinary is

that these dishes are actually all the same

using buns

T and P

and filling

O in every case. TOP = short (NB I don't really understand this one); TOP = delete (remove top from); TOP = alpha (e.g., top dog); TOP = maximum (for obvious reasons); TOP = kill (to top someone is to kill them; originally this referred specifically to hanging).

But there's an obvious hole here because

I don't have a good explanation for why TOP = short. Perhaps to do with short-selling (which you might do when you think an asset is near the top of its price-curve), or perhaps short = shorten (the word used to be usable this way, but I think that sense is obsolete now) and top = remove the top of. (Though this is awfully similar to what I had for "delete".)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A nice try as well, but I can assure you that the dishes are all different. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 15:30

I believe today’s burgers are brought to you by the buns

P and T

As the side dishes complement the burgers, they are served as follows

- PAT x alpha (pat can mean complete while alpha means the start)
- POT x short (a pot can mean a large amount; opposite to short)
- PUT x delete (put means add while delete means remove)
- PIT x maximum (pit can mean minimum point; opposite to maximum)
- PET x murder (to pet someone is surely opposite to murder)

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I don't get it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 15:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Me neither. Ébe, what's the connection between the dishes and the associated words? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor added the explanation; wanted to be the first to post :) $\endgroup$
    – Ébe Isaac
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 15:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nice train of thought, but not the intended solution. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 15:07

I don't get the pattern but I have some words which could fit the given clues. They don't really follow vowelburger rules other than maintaining the first and last letter. Not sure whether that is allowed considering they are side dishes and not burgers. I mainly just wanna keep this question alive so I can find out the actual answer. :P


Wee - often used in Scotland meaning small or short.


Wipe - you can wipe a hard drive to delete data from it.


Whole - alpha and omega?


Wedge - a wedge in golf lets you achieve a maximum height to get out of bunkers and rough.


Waste - if you waste someone you have murdered them.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is not the intended solution, but thanks for trying. I'll promise to post some more hints in the near future. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 14:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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