A tiny brain game: decoding number plates

Nine number plates. LRN543. HRR682. MMJ35. HER373. EHY761. MNP798. NUD879. FYY134. CJW892.
What’s the secret code? A tiny brain game with number plates.

This morning I remembered a tiny brain game recommended by Brainfit coach Jude Walter. She suggests adding up the numbers on the number plate in front of you while you sit in traffic. I wasn’t sitting in a car, I was walking to the beach, and on the way I passed a lot of parked cars.

I tweaked the tiny brain game by using the letters as initials for 3 words that made a sentence. So, scanning rows from top left, I popped out these ominous messages — or something similar:

  1. Lions revise notes, 12
  2. Heroines harass rats, 16
  3. Marionettes mash jelly, 8
  4. Hawks eradicate radishes, 13
  5. Evolution hates ink, 14
  6. Motorway nibbles pumpkins, 24
  7. Nondescript undies devastate (I’m sick of subject-object-verb pattern by now), 24
  8. Fancy yellow yarrow, 8
  9. Chaps jump wonkily, 19

Decode quickly, analyse slowly (or not)

I made up the rules as I went. Chop chop, instant answer because in seconds I was passing the next number plate.

Now that I’m staring at these mysterious phrases and possibly significant numbers, I suspect they might mean something. Who are the Lions? (The rugby team, the business network, or wild animals?) What are the notes about? What are they for? Are there 12 notes, 12 pages, or 12 missions to accomplish?

It’s possible I’m a horrible person, deep down. Apart from numbers 8 and 9, these messages are evil. Doom. Horror. Nightmares about homework.

On the other hand, it’s possible that a malevolent force is behind these messages. Nothing to do with my pristine psyche.

Brain exercises have to be fun

Of course they do. And while it’s good to play your favourite games or puzzles over and over again, apparently it’s really, really, really good to play a new one. This one might be fun for you. If not, don’t do it. It’s not far removed from the old standard “I spy” — except that it can be played all by yourself.

I bet you’ve got your own tiny brain games that you play and I bet they are keeping your brain fit and healthy.

But if you spot a message in those number plates, please do tell. The security of the nation may depend on it. Besides, my brain would appreciate the information.

Also, I know you’ll check my arithmetic. I didn’t.

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12 thoughts on “A tiny brain game: decoding number plates

  1. I wish to know where you got the ink from in number 5?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Time was the ink. A well worn vehicle.

      1. That makes perfect sense!

  2. LA says:

    Very cool

  3. Your game is lots of fun. I’m going to try it the next time I’m a passenger in the front seat.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Please do!

  4. judithhb says:

    Fun game thank you Rachel. I’m always looking for something to make this brain work. Have you discovered Upwords ? This is the game I play to keep my mind active but I’m always looking for something else. The next time I park at the supermarket, I will look at the number plates around me.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You will find stories and more sophisticated mathematical moves. I don’t know Upwords–yet!

  5. What a clever idea. Will have to try it as I walk the streets of San Miguel.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Then your phrases should be in Spanish?

  6. srbottch says:

    I love it, and, yes, I did check your math on a couple. You’re correct.
    I’m going to try this game when by myself. My wife will think I’m nuts if I do it in her company.

    A few years ago, I started memorizing long poems to challenge my brain. I think I did 5 and videoed them for YouTube (narcissism, I guess). You can find them there under ‘srbottch’.

  7. cedar51 says:

    Oh like that “game” I think I’ll have to try that out as well…

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