Solution to Express Yourself

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Answer: FANG

by Anderson Wang, Jakob Weisblat, Max Murin and Rahul Sridhar

This puzzle is about emoticons, mostly nonstandard ones. One way we might notice to help break in is notice that there are exactly twenty-six replies if we include the four that are still typing. Each row corresponds to :X for some letter X.

:U Help I opened my mouth so wide that the left half of it fell off
:Q Hopefully I don't have a fever...I'm taking my temperature now
:Y I am halfway through zipping my mouth closed
:Z I filed my teeth so that they fit diagonally with one another
:M I have a beak now!
:W I have a beak now too, it's facing the other direction from that guy though ^.
:J I twirled my mustache...only on the right side though
:V I'm about to start zipping my mouth closed
:E I'm eating noodles but 3 of them are sticking out
:D I'm feeling very happy
:P I'm sticking my tongue out
:O I'm very surprised
:C I'm very very very sad
:R I've got a pin stuck in my tongue, see?
:I I've just finished zipping my mouth closed
:T I've scrunched my mouth all the way to the left
:B I have two prominent buckteeth!
:K My legs are coming right out of my mouth
:L My mouth is reallly droopy to the right
:X My mouth is taped shut
:S Nerrrvousss...
:H The dentist put a big prop in the middle of my mouth and now I can't close it

Once we've identified most or all of the emoticons, we can look at what's missing and see AFGN. The word spelled using these letters, which has to do with faces, is FANG.

Authors’ Notes

We were surprised we were able to find such reasonable descriptions for all of these. After looking at these emoticons for a while, though, your mind starts to go a little haywire and you think things are reasonable descriptions that definitely aren't.