[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Batman.]
In Batman lore, Edward Nigma, aka The Riddler, is a super-criminal obsessed with, well, riddles. He crafts the best and most insidious puzzles for Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, to solve, getting under his skin and putting his so-called mantle as World’s Greatest Detective to the test. So when The Riddler’s (Paul Dano) riddle shows up in The Batman trailer to rankle our moody Bruce Wayne’s (Robert Pattinson) disposition, it’s self-evident that director Matt Reeves has crafted an upgraded, more difficult puzzle for his mysterious take on the character to wrestle with until coming to its difficult — what’s that? The internet has already solved it, just based on its brief moment in a trailer? Hmm. The internet 1, Batman 0, The Riddler, like, -900.
Thanks to The Wrap, we have the records and methods of a litany of sleuths who we may need to hire ourselves when the going gets tough. The riddle, as written out in plain English, reads, “What does a liar do when he’s dead?” Some deductive reasoning and previous history with riddles or lateral thinking puzzles may lead you to this conclusion: “He lies still.” But what of those strange symbols on the other side of the note?
Those symbols correspond to different letters that spell out the same message; a cryptogram, if you will. So if you couldn’t come up with the answer by reasoning alone, you’d have to bust open this puzzle and figure out what each symbol stands for. Many folks online have shown their work, but I’m fond of puzzle maestro Mike Selinker‘s walkthrough, which is both thorough, intuitive, and doesn’t talk down to us. If Mr. Selinker wants to put on a rodent costume and go solve some crimes, I ain’t gonna stop him.
Until the Riddler comes up with some better puzzlers, check out this walkthrough on how to solve his puzzle below. For more on The Batman, check out this bat-gallery of images.
In the new #TheBatmanTrailer, the Riddler leaves a card with the question “What does a liar do when he’s dead?” I could just solve it like a riddle (and did), but it’s a good opportunity to show how to solve a puzzle by brute force, so you’re sure of the answer. Here goes. (1/12) pic.twitter.com/sHveBmU2Pt
— Mike Selinker (@mikeselinker) August 23, 2020