One of the most hotly anticipated films coming out in the future is the upcoming The Batman, the new installment of the eponymous franchise starring Twilight legend Robert Battinson--er, sorry, Pattinson--as the hero in question.
Fans will be waiting a while yet, though: The film doesn't come out until October 21, 2021. But that hasn't stopped them from already figuring out a puzzle left by The Riddler in the trailer, which just dropped this past weekend.
In it, The Riddler sends The Batman a card with--you guessed it--a riddle inside, and fans have had a field day cracking the code.
The riddle reads:
"What does a liar do when he's dead?"
The riddle is followed by a series of coded symbols.
In what some see as a nod to the Zodiac Killer, The Riddler, played by Paul Dano, not only uses riddles to confound his pursuer but also his own alphabet to make his killing sprees all the more enigmatic. In the card featured in the trailer, the answer to the riddle is given in this alphabet.
But either The Riddler's riddling game is really bargain-basement, or the film's creators are playing games with us, because one fan had it cracked within hours of the trailer dropping, and several others had it by Sunday.
A fan named Andrew Lane seems to have been first over the finish line.
So what does a liar do when he's dead? Well, as Lane discovered, "He lies still." Clever!
So how did he do it? Lane first assumed that the first word might be "Batman," but when he plugged those letters into the rest of the phrase, he got gibberish. So then he assumed that recurring symbols were either E's or L's--being that E and doubl- L are the most frequently occurring single and consecutive letters in English, respectively--and that turned out to be the right tack. Who knew?
Game designer Mike Selinker also cracked the code, using a similar-but-different method than Lane.
Like Lane, Selinker noticed that there were consecutive letters in the cipher. So he set about extrapolating what the double letters might be. A double-L word was the only thing that made sense in the context, and the rest shook out from there.
On Twitter, Lane and Selinker's fellow fans were definitely impressed!
But some others couldn't help but laugh at how quickly and easily people cracked the code.
In addition to Pattinson in the titular role (and, of course, his human counterpart Bruce Wayne), The Batman also stars Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catowman, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.