Can You Solve 'The Batman' Trailer Riddle? The Internet Already Has.

Josh St. Clair
·3 mins read

From Men's Health

Warner Bros.' first look at The Batman (starring Robert Pattinson, Paul Dano, and Colin Farrell) raises plenty of batsuit and eye makeup questions, but its most popular internet nugget comes in the form of a riddle, written by Dano's Riddler, read aloud by Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), and looking like something out of Zodiac.

The content of the message is read while we see images of a crime scene, a dead man (who in another cut may be Bruce Wayne's father) with duct tape wrapped around his head and a message written across the tape: "no more lies." Gordon then reads: "From your secret friend. Who. Haven't a clue? Let's play a game. Just me and you."

We then see the card with these lines on the right side and the riddle "what does a liar do when he's dead?" written on the left. Below everything is a grouping of 11 signs similar to hieroglyphics.

Online codebreakers believe they've already cracked the cypher. Game designer Mike Selinker explains how he solved it in a 12-part Twitter post.

Before we unfurl that post, we'll give you some of Selinker's hints for codebreaking. (You could also just consider the riddle itself: "What does a liar do when he's dead?" Riddle fans might be able to untangle this without going all windtalker.)

Here's a better look at the message:

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The first trick is to identify repetitions. How many new and repeated characters do you see?

Selinker counts only 6 distinct characters across 11 letters. He also makes a few key assumptions: (1) the symbols stand in for letters of the roman alphabet, (2) the symbols correspond to only one letter, and (3) the letters form words that can be read from left to right.

Here's his pattern: 123425 [line break] 56433.

Figuring out the rest is all just "brute force," Selinker writes. It has to do with making a series of logical deductions based on English spelling patterns (double consonants, for instance) and then just doing a lot of savvy guessing and checking.

Try it for yourself and check your solution:

Or for those who would rather just solve the riddle, here's a hint: the answer is a play on words. What do liars do?

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