What the DITLOID?

As I’m mid-book at the moment (I’m enjoying Patrick Flanery’s latest Fallen Land very much), I thought I’d have some fun with you instead to fill the gap…

I learned a new word at the weekend – Ditloid. It turns out to be an acronym for ‘Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich‘, missing the ‘one‘ in front – the novel by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. But what does it actually mean?

Well it’s the name that was coined by the Daily Express for those number and letter puzzles where you get something like:

52 = C in a P,
or variation 52 = N of C in a P
with the solution: 52 = (number of)cards in a pack.

Which of course leads us to 1 = D in the L of I D, or 1 = D I T L O I D if you’re being hardcore!

So here are some other literary ditloids for you to solve – in a mixture of the styles above – have fun!  You can post some for me too if you wish – there’s a challenge!


  • 0.5 = H of a Y S (by C N A)   Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • 1 = F O the C N (by K K)      1 Flew over the cuckoo’s nest by Ken Kesey
  • 3 = M in a B (by J K J)          3 men in a boat – Jerome K Jerome
  • 5 = L P (by A C)                   5 Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
  • 7 = P of W (by T E L)           7 Pillars of Wisdom by T E Lawrence
  • 10 = F from N (by A M)        10 – Force Ten from Navarone by Alistair MacLean
  • 12 = N of T of H (by A M)     12 (Number of) Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
  • 20 = F of a R Y (by X G)       20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo
  • 39 = S (by J B)                    39 Steps by John Buchan
  • 40 = R of L (by E S)             40 – The 40 rules of love by Elif Shafak
  • 44 = N of a H on S S (by A M S)  44 = (Number of a house on) Scotland St – A McCall Smith
  • 50 = S of G (by E L J)          50 Shades of Grey by E L James
  • 84 = N of a B in C C R (by H H)  84 = Number of a bookshop in Charing Cross Road (84 Ch.Cross Rd) by Helene Hanff
  • 101 = N of D (by D S)         101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
  • 2001 = A S O (by A C C)     2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke
  • 1000 = N of S S (by K H)    1000 (Number of) Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • 20000 = S U the S (by P H)  20000 Streets Under the Sky by Patrick Hamilton

Hope you had fun

11 thoughts on “What the DITLOID?

  1. Jackie (Farm Lane Books) says:

    These seem to get harder as they go on. The first few I got easily – we must have the same bookish taste when you think of books with numbers in the title! But then you must have been thinking harder and I start to struggle. I can’t think what the 84, 101 or 20000 is and every time I look at that 1000 I think Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and can’t think any more! I don’t want to spoil everyone else’s fun by giving away too many answers so I’ll just put: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and come back later to see what others are struggling with 🙂 I had no idea these things had a name either.

    • Annabel (gaskella) says:

      I’ll put you out of your misery on the 1000 – it is the Khaled Hosseini, I phrased it as 1000 = (number of) Splendid Suns.

      One clue: 84 is a modern classic that Simon T loves.

  2. Indu Muralidharan says:

    Some more guesses

    84 = N of a B in C C R (by H H)
    84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

    101 = N of D (by D S)
    101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith

    2001 = A S O (by A C C)
    2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke

    Hope posting these is not spoiling it for other readers. It is nice to have learnt the word ditloid.

    • gaskella says:

      2 = Number on a Tower (Thomas Hardy)
      3 = Number of Clerks (Anthony Trollope)
      4 = The sign (of …) (Arthur Conan Doyle
      9 = Tailors (D L Sayers)

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