# The bus again, or is it a pen?

This image can be resolved to a single word.

What am I?

Hint:

Money, competent, brand, derogatory, backwards.

Another Hint:

This puzzle takes on the format of another type of puzzle - tags?

Yet Another Hint:

Three things are broken! What do you have to fix them?

Another Yet Another Hint:

An extension of Hint 2: Riley conversion.

Yet Another Yet Another Hint:

Each part of Hint 1 corresponds to one row of the rebus-riddle, but there's 1 extra...

Images were taken from https://icons8.com/.

• Okay, after Hint 4 now I see what's going on - this is a nice idea! I still have no clue about Hint 1 or what the top right and bottom right symbols even are... I'm guessing the whole right-hand column needs a lot of further interpretation before arriving at the final answer - this might prove very tricky indeed... Will be delighted if anyone can crack this one!
– Stiv
Apr 8, 2020 at 7:16
• Nice - you've got the first step! (The house was meant to be an inn -> innfix -> infix) Now only the rest to go...
– mbjb
Apr 8, 2020 at 10:12
• This was a clever idea for a visual puzzle, and I'm glad it's now been solved (bounty has been awarded). However, if I can point out one thing... We do tend to have a 'family-friendly viewing' policy here on Puzzling, so please don't make a habit of using profanity in a puzzle, as per the top-right image...(!) There are other ways to clue particular letters/words without it - do try to keep it clean, as kids do frequent the site... Thanks, and well done again on a great flash of inspiration :)
– Stiv
Apr 10, 2020 at 14:49

The single-word answer seems to be

affordable

I get this from:

The prefix is 'af', which is an abbreviation for the profanity 'as f*ck'. This is demonstrated by the 2 and 2,4, which denote a two-letter abbreviation for words of 2 and 4 letters, and the symbols, which denote a substitute for profanity.

The infix is 'ford', shown by the brand of car Ford, and also fording a river.

The suffix is 'able', as in having ability, denoted by an image of a strong person.

As for the whole, it seems that the picture of French fries denotes a food item which is cheap, and therefore affordable. As noted by @Stiv, this may be related to the British phrase "cheap as chips". Furthermore, the vowels "i ea" on the carton may be what remains when the consonants "c-h-p" are removed from "chip cheap".

In the original hint, "derogatory" refers to the prefix (af, a derogatory term), "brand" to the infix (Ford, a brand of car), and "competent" to the suffix (a synonym for 'able'). "money" refers to the whole (affordable). As discovered by @Stiv, "backwards" refers to these clue words applying in reverse order to the four images on the right.

Finally, a shout out to @Stiv for sorting out the left-hand part of the image. To save all in one place for posterity, these are the parts of the puzzle that @Stiv figured out:

In the title, "bus again" refers to 'rebus', and "pen" refers to a Riley riddle ("Riley pen"). This puzzle is a Riley riddle using rebuses. The symbols on the left translate to 'prefix', 'infix', 'postfix' and 'whole', respectively, with 'fix' represented by the screwdriver, 'pre' by an arrow returning back, 'in' by an 'inn', 'post' by a checkered flag (denoting a 'post' in car racing, where flags are displayed), and 'whole' by a hole (homophone) in golf.

• You know what Lanny, that was a word I was considering too, but couldn't suss why the first part would be 'AF' (or longer). There's a phrase in Britain, rot13(Purnc nf puvcf) which means the same as this word, but I don't know what the vowels mean on the packet...
– Stiv
Apr 10, 2020 at 6:15
• I think 'backwards' might refer to reversing the order of hint 1 - each corresponds exactly in order that way... EDIT: Also wonder whether the vowels just represent the ones to use with common consonants in the whole phrase...?
– Stiv
Apr 10, 2020 at 6:17
• Thanks, @Stiv. Yes, I am sure you are right about "backwards". I revised the answer to include that. I was not familiar with the British phrase, but it sounds like it might be completely relevant. Thanks. Apr 10, 2020 at 6:35
• Nicely done, this is correct! Full marks and a green tick :)
– mbjb
Apr 10, 2020 at 7:59