# Moral of the Story

### by Bryan Lee, Catherine Wu, Ivan Wang, and Katie Dunn

We are presented with a number of short stories. Each has a single typo; taking the dropped letter gives us a hint, “DISREGARDING ALL ELSE SOLVE MORALS INVERT THEM AND REORDER SOMEHOW GOOD LUCK,” followed by a string of random letters. (Keen eyes might notice that the rest of the stories beyond this point are sorted alphabetically.)

As both the puzzle title and the clue phrase indicate, we need to solve for the “moral of the story.” Using the enumerations to help us, we should notice that many lessons oppose what standard fables tell us – for example, “Make fun of the dead” (4th story) or “As a child be ill-behaved” (5th story). Inverting them results in more appropriate morals, like “Don’t make fun of the dead” or “As a child be well-behaved.”

Throughout the stories, we can find a number of Greek references, such as Greek gods and currency. Googling Greek along with some keywords from solved morals should point us to the Delphic maxims, a famous set of 147 moral principles. We can use this bank to fill in the remaining morals and match them, giving us a canonical ordering.

Under the new ordering, the missing letters now read: “MAY I HAVE SOME ADVICE RED PANDA ASKED YES HERRING RESPONDED IF YOU READ FROM THE BEGINNING YOULL LEARN THAT THE REAL FRIENDS ARE THE LESSONS WE DIDNT LEARN ALONG THE WAY.” This final story suggests that we look for the 8 missing maxims.

Maxim No.GreekFirst LetterEnglish translation
17Φρόνησιν ἄσκειΦExercise prudence
55Λαβὼν ἀπόδοςΛIf you have received, give back
59Εὐεργεσίας τίμαΕHonour  generosity
121Μανθάνων μὴ κάμνεΜNever tire of learning
124Οὓς τρέφεις, ἀγάπαΟLove those whom you rear
127Νεώτερον δίδασκεΝInstruct the young
144Ἡβῶν ἐγκρατήςAs a youth be self-disciplined

The final step is to “read from the beginning,” or take the first letters. Due to the Greek theme, taking the first letters of the Greek maxims gives the answer ΦΛΕΓΜΟΝΗ (translation: INFLAMMATION).

### Appendix: Table of Stories

Click on a column heading to sort.
Maxim No.Inverted MaximTypoGiven OrderFable starting…
14Don't be in control of yourselfD1Herring kept falling off the tightrope. …
52Pray for what is impossibleI2Herring went to the temple every day to …
120Don't take sensible risksS3The stoplight was broken. Red Panda look…
134Make fun of the deadR4At her first standup event, Red Panda sa…
143As a child be ill-behavedE5When Herring was in elementary school, h…
42Don't have respect for suppliantsG6Herring kicked the beggar and trashed al…
28Show favour to your enemiesA7After the battle, Red Panda brought brow…
20Reject friendshipR8Ding dong! Herring opened his door to fi…
32Be partialD9As a member of the jury, Red Panda voted…
4Respect your childrenI10After Red Panda forgot to bow to her kid…
74Revere a sense of prideN11Red Panda sniffed the air and said "I ca…
78Don't listen and don't observeG12Herring went to work with tape over his …
92Complete the race and chicken outA13In the marathon-skydiving event, Herring…
131Crown your descendantsL14King Herring stepped down from the thron…
84Make unjust judgementsL15When the noble accused the shepherd of s…
21Let go of educationE16Red Panda dropped out of school because …
83Embrace violenceL17One day, Herring's house was robbed. Onc…
45If you have, takeS18After checking out at Costco, Herring de…
71Associate with dissimilar peopleE19Red Panda met a young, rich shepherd and…
29Ward off your friendsS20On the day that his buddies were to visi…
56Look down on allO21Herring loved to people-watch from the b…
100Act indecisivelyL22Red Panda could not pick which restauran…
7What you didn't hear understand itV23Red Panda yelled at Herring, but he was …
113Fight old ageE24Herring worked as a longevity researcher…
1Follow SatanM25Red Panda emerged holding a bag of money…
118Abandon honourO26Halfway through building a statue to pra…
39Waste timeR27For hours and hours on end, Red Panda sa…
13Dishonour the hearthA28As Herring insulted the fireplace floor,…
137Have griefL29After a tragic event, Herring first coul…
117Acquire wealth unjustlyS30Herring toiled fairly to earn his wages….
76Pray for failureI31Herring often left offerings at the temp…
105Guard enmityN32During a match between two foes, Red Pan…
96Benefit othersE34Red Panda donated some money to charity …
97Be rudeR35Herring greeted Red Panda with a smile a…
93Deal kindly with no oneT36Red Panda worked at a casino. She gave o…
90Die free of sorrowT37As he took his last breath, Herring real…
68Recognize misfortuneH38During the trivia contest, Red Panda cor…
12Know when you are an insiderE39The police interrogated Herring, "Were y…
66Know who isn't the judgeM40After the speech, Red Panda went up to m…
61Don't be on your guardA41As Red Panda battled the Persians, she l…
48Be a seeker of stupidityN42Red Panda looked for and met up with the…
125Fight an absent foeD43Herring threw a punch at his imaginary e…
43Don't be accommodating to allR44Herring and his collegues tried to sched…
110Pursue what isn't profitableE45"If you follow me, I'll give you a drach…
88Speak from ignoranceR47"I am talking about things I know nothin…
49Choose what isn't holyD48Thirsty, Herring stumbled upon an altar …
50Act from ignoranceE49Red Panda was excited for her new appren…
38Everything in excessR50Red Panda grabbed extras of all the diff…
107Flee harmonyS51Coming across an illegal concert, Herrin…
65Honour bad peopleO52Red Panda liked to visit the graves of m…
11Think immortal thoughtsM53As the building collapsed, Red Panda app…
19Use an oathE54As a witness on the stand, Herring solem…
112Dissolve friendshipsH55While Red Panda conducted a chemistry ex…
145As a middle-aged person lieW57Red Panda woke up on her 40th birthday f…
80Love strifeO59While on Tinder, Red Panda swiped right …
47Speak poorly of everyoneO60One day, Red Panda went around badmouthi…
106Be ungratefulD61After Red Panda handed Herring a barley-…
85Use what you don't haveL62Red Panda wanted to make some baklava, b…
57Make use of incompetenceU63Herring hired a new college grad. Althou…
18Dishonour forethoughtC64Herring brought an umbrella to the picni…
30Exercise proletariat of characterK65Every day, Red Panda helped train the la…
23Be reluctant for wisdomP66A lady with gray eyes and an owl on her …
119Love evilN67After being kidnapped by Cronus, Herring…
77Avoid your fateN68After seeing his future in the crystal b…
58Take what you aim to takeR69As a child, Red Panda was an amazing pic…
130Initiate violenceT70As a robber was getting away, Herring ju…
111Reject due measureT71As an inspector for the tablespoon manuf…
116Shun loveS72As Eros appeared on the street, Herring …
132Live for your countryE73As Red Panda entered the contest for dra…
40Look to the pastI74As Red Panda gazed into the time machine…
46Fear honestyP75As Red Panda opened her mouth to tell th…
123Don't admire oraclesE76As Red Panda stood on the streets and ga…
147At your end be with sorrowY77As Red Panda's life flashed before her e…
135Share the load of the fortunateN78As the lottery winners went to do their …
81Adore disgraceU79As the soldier was dishonorably discharg…
2Disobey the lawA80As the thief sped away with Red Panda's …
146As an old man be insensibleA81At age eighty, Herring was incomprehensi…
128Put your trust in wealthD82Believing in the power of money, Herring…
54Don't test your characterY83During their D&D campaign, Red Panda wou…
129Don't respect yourselfN84For constantly denigrating her self wort…
26Condemn virtueD86Herring disapproved of people volunteeri…
99Struggle with shameA87Herring endeavored to climb a gigantic m…
63Love slanderF88Herring enjoyed making false statements …
6Know by forgettingA89Herring excitedly filled in "I can't rem…
91Don't have kindly interactionsH90Herring held the door open for strangers…
79Work for what you can't ownY91Herring labored for his crops, while Red…
142Trust in chanceH92Herring loved playing Monopoly. He belie…
27Practice what is unjustA93Herring repeatedly rehearsed lying until…
3Disrespect the GodsY95Herring spat on the altars of Zeus and A…
37Abandon your ownE96Herring threw his children out of the ho…
8Don't be thyselfE97Herring wanted to learn to fly, even tho…
86Judge corruptiblyE98Herring was enlisted to arbitrate a figh…
60Envy everyoneE99Herring was jealous of all his neighbors…
34Embrace what belongs to othersE100Herring went around hugging his friends'…
98Respond in an untimely mannerE101Herring wrote Red Panda a message to mee…
22Flee from honourD102"I give you this medal to symbolize your…
33Guard what is not yoursY103"I will protect your scroll while you ar…
103Give untimely counselI104One day, Herring tripped over a rock. A …
69Make risky promisesE106Red Panda agreed to pay for her younger …
139Make promises to allN107Red Panda assured every one of her clien…
36Be fair of listeningH108Red Panda came complaining to Herring th…
89Have truck with violenceN109Red Panda drove her pickup around with a…
51Embrace murderD110Red Panda gave a random stranger a bear …
109Scare what rulesR111Red Panda hid in an alcove behind the th…
72Don't control your expenditureG112Red Panda hoarded all her gold in her va…
67Control your divorcesT113Red Panda left her husband and hired a l…
73Be sad with what you haveI114Red Panda looked through her belongings …
25Find fault with everyoneN115Red Panda looked up from where she stood…
126Disrespect the oldI117Red Panda disobeyed her elders and serve…
5Defeat justiceH118Red Panda played a game with John Tensen…
24Praise the evilA119Red Panda ran into a murderer escaping t…
95Free your wifeH120Red Panda snuck into prison to help her …
102Don't control your eyeR121Red Panda stood in front of the painting…
104Act with hesitationE122Red Panda wanted to invest in agricultur…
115Exercise (religious) loudnessE123Red Panda warmed up her lungs and practi…
141Do as poorly as your mortal status permitsT124Red Panda was a complete slob. She ate a…
64Lose possessions justlyR125Red Panda was on trial and asked by the …
136Gratify by harmingA126Red Panda, being vegetarian, refused to …
94Curse your sonsT127Red Panda's boys were very rude and anno…
41Love insolenceN128Red Panda's daughter insulted her and re…
16Don't control your temperI129The new poet insulted Red Panda and her…
35Listen to noneS130There were several albums on display in…
62Condemn hopeD131Though the farmers were optimistic about…
133Live your life in discontentA132Throughout her existence, Red Panda was…
122Cease being thriftyW133"Too expensive," Herring muttered as he…
9Set out to be singleS134Waving goodbye to her spouse, Red Panda…
101Rejoice in your errorsF135When her test results came back, Red Pan…
75Don't repay favoursN136When Red Panda was sick, Herring came…
31Embrace evilE137When the angel and devil materialized in…