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License plate puzzler

The clue was I-N-M-Y. The published answer was: “the car was a Honda Element. In my??. Element!”

Maybe I’m losing it, but I don’t get it. I understand “in my…”, but what is the uppercase A with the diacritical mark? And how is that related to “element”?

Many thanx.

The technical, linguistic, term for that character is… get ready America!


Uh… no, I don’t think it’s a mis-typed chararcter, but rather the HTML representation of a non-character. But no matter. What was the “typo” intended to be, and how does it relate to “Element”?

By the way, the answer page to the license plate puzzle (Aug 30) has changed. It now duplicates the answer to the following week’s puzzle (Sep 6). See

No, that’s an actual real-life character. Check out the Scandivinian languages… perhaps you’ve heard of them.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the standard unit in physics, the ?ngstr?m.

Here, I’ll do your research for you:

No, zombiewolf, it is not a ring, It is a circumflex.

Now - to get back on point - can you explain how the license plate “I-N-M-Y” ties to a Honda Element?

Irrelevant. The puzzler as read aloud was “IN MY”. There are no angstrom symbols on license plates. And in my browser, I don’t even see it. It’s likely a non-standard character that is not available in the font the OP’s browser was using.

As best I can figure, “In my element” is a common idiom, in a way that “In my Fusion” or “In my focus” or “In my CRV” is not. Kind of a weak puzzler IMHO.

Thank you, sir. I had actually considered that phrase, along with “in my dreams”, “in my head”, and such. Not to mention Shania singing “in my car”. But I figured those were far too vague to qualify as a legitmate puzzler answer.

Oh… see

SDWH is right. “In my element” is a common idiom. To be “in your element” means that you are comfortable in your surroundings. I agree that it is a weak puzzler answer but if I saw the plate (INMY) on a Honda Element I would understand it’s meaning instantly.

When did I say anything about a ring? Why would you make up something like that?

It’s not a circumflex. Remember I already did the research for you. It would behoove you to use it.

The character is a ligature of a large “a” and a smaller “a”.

NOT a circumflex.

“Now - to get back on point - can you explain how the license plate “I-N-M-Y” ties to a Honda Element?”

It’s already been explained. It references the phrase “in my element.” If you’re not familiar with the phrase that’s not my problem. Have you read ANYTHING on this page?


I agree with SDWH and M-man. The answer is weak, though many people would make the connection if they saw the plate on that car, i.e., already knew the answer. And for sure the A was some non-displayable character or symbol.

So thank you both for your input, for staying on track, and for not getting derailed into a silly, contentious analysis of punctuation marks.

I very much dislike MSWord (relevance coming) so every time I need to do something with a Word file I immediately put it in something else. It is very frequently the case that special characters, such as quotation marks, show up as weird symbols (an incorrect translation of the character between softwares). I’m guessing that this is the origin of the A.

mrwinky asked: “Now - to get back on point - can you explain how the license plate “I-N-M-Y” ties to a Honda Element?”

If the phrase “in my element” is unfamiliar to you, the puzzler won’t make sense, but I think the other piece of the puzzle you may be missing to “get it” is that I assume the “element” name plate is right next to the rear license plate, so if you start reading the plate and your eyes move to the right, it completes the phrase “in my element.”

No one is talking about punctuation marks. They are talking about a ligature of a large “a” and a small “a”.

Now that everyone has whipped it out and had their say, mrwinky was actually on the right track. It’s a misreprentation of a non-breaking space.

Again, no punctuation mark involved. Also, it was pretty easy to look up.