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Lateral Puzzles » Solved Lateral Thinking Puzzles » Solved Puzzles - Jan 2005 » [Beroean] The Case of Circus Maximus (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure Puzzle) » Archive through July 15, 2004 « Previous Next »

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Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 1:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Leah & Dena,

I am greatly pressed at the moment but I will get back to you as soon as possible - hopefully tomorrow.

Yours
John Watson
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 12:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fascinating.. I am interested in Lady Lilly's hypotheses particularly the use of the fishing line to retrieve the boomerang when thrown. But we still are left with the twin deep-puncture wounds on the neck as well as the abdominal gash both very hard to inflict from afar. I still feel convinced that the perpetrator(s) must somehow have gotten inside the caravan at some time. Watson have you thoroughly dusted the door and caravan exterior for any sign of contact? Is there anywhere inside that a person (perhaps a midget) might conceal him or herself for any length of time?

Also I feel sure that Holmes in his telegrams must have expressed wonderment and incredulity (as he is often wont to do) regarding our failure to focus on specific aspects of the case which to a mind such as his seem immediately salient. It is so kind of you good man to shield us from his scorn, but please let us know of any areas Holmes feels deserve our immediate attention?

And Lady Zinga you will be relieved to hear that a full set of forms and castings for size 46 knickers have been seized and confiscated at the Miami Beach residence of Nick "the Stick" LoCoco. This should buy us some time.. but how long, who is to say?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 9:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Juicy Fruit

Dear Lady Lilly

I believe a survey of fungus in the surrounding area might be in order, however we must keep in mind that it is possible the poison was derived from an outside source. This is what is known about the poison, Do you actually want me to organise a search in the surrounding woods?

A. it is an injected type of poison such as snake venom to use an example, and B. It kills quickly and quietly. Good thinking

Holmes would know more about it than we do. You should ask him what kind of poison would fit the bill here. Once we know what exactly we are looking for things will get a lot easier. I have asked Holmes about this in my latest telegram. He has responded with the assertion that it is curare or something similar. It fits with all of the evidence that we have gathered so far.

I looked over your list of items and maybe perhaps we must discredit both Mary and Arty as possible suspects. Here now are what some of the stolen items could have been used for.

Boomerang, used to deliever the poison to Max without gaining entry to his quarters. interesting theory

Fishing line and possibly the hooks, used to retrieve said boomerang without opening Max's quarters. very interesting theory

Stilts, now this is only hypothosising, used to elevate the murderer to a hight to properly throw and then retrive the murder weapon. most interesting throry

As for the knickers and the trinkets I am not sure how they fit in to all this either. But I believe the stolen items were used in this way and were of course taken by someone at the circus. yes, your theories are indeed fascinating but we need to find some proof, one way or the other!
It's time for us to gather more evidence and find proof for the truths that we seek.


Of course now it no longer seems such a mystery that Max's brothers and the other circus midget have vanished. This may turn out to be a revenge/passion killing. Indeed it could

I must ponder some more and get back to you on a later date. Thank you once again for your fertile ideas
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 9:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lady Zinga
Dear Lady Zinga

please forgive my intrusion in your case, but i have made several observations which may or may not be of use to you. having never worked on such a case before, i fear my comments may sound amateurish, at best. please bear with me, as i like t think hat i may be of some use. You are most welcome to join us in the case and avail us of your contributions

firstly, although the only known set of keys was found on the victim's body, is it not perhaps possible that another set could have been made? all it would truely require is a soft material to take an imprint of said key. from there, any locksmith worth his salt aught to be able to duplicate it. at least that is my understanding. This is a most logical line of enquiry. However to make a spare set of keys, the originals would have to, have been wrested from the possession of their owner, Maximus Pratt, and this seems to be most unlikely seeing that he guarded them in the same jealous vein as his jewels. However I will keep an open mind because your suggestion is one that we cannot exclude entirely at this juncture. The keys are security keys, so I will have Lestrade’s men enquire of the locksmiths in the locality.

secondly, you ouht to check for any sign of trap doors if you have not done so already. most often they are found under or behind light-weight objects. i highly doubt there will be any, but one never knows, does one? We have made several thorough searches and they have all drawn a blank for secret access

my reasoning for these proposals is quite simple; if maximus had indeed attempted suicide, where is the knife? he could not likely have disposed of it, bleeding as he was, without some indication of it, perhaps a trail of blood or somesuch. I agree

but as to the puncture wounds, they werent bleeding were they? No, that’s right
was there swelling around the site? there was moderate swelling
swelling with no blood generally indicates a poisoning or animal bite. most creatures which suck blood inject a substance to prevent blood clotting as well as blood loss to aid them in their feast. Yes indeed – Holmes agrees with you and has informed us by telegram that he believes the poison was some form of curare

Thank you for providing us with your additional and thought provoking suggestions.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 9:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dryman

Fascinating.. I am interested in Lady Lilly's hypotheses particularly the use of the fishing line to retrieve the boomerang when thrown. But we still are left with the twin deep-puncture wounds on the neck as well as the abdominal gash both very hard to inflict from afar. Sterling reminders!

I still feel convinced that the perpetrator(s) must somehow have gotten inside the caravan at some time. Watson have you thoroughly dusted the door and caravan exterior for any sign of contact? I have indeed. I must say that there is no evidence at all that anybody (other than the owner of the baby prints) was ever inside the caravan at the critical time. Neither is there any evidence that someone attempted to break in.
Is there anywhere inside that a person (perhaps a midget) might conceal him or herself for any length of time? Yes, there are a number of places, such as under the bed.

Also I feel sure that Holmes in his telegrams must have expressed wonderment and incredulity (as he is often wont to do) regarding our failure to focus on specific aspects of the case which to a mind such as his seem immediately salient. Yes indeed and judging from some of Holmes more sardonic comments on my progress reports I even get the feeling that he has solved the case himself at distance!!

It is so kind of you good man to shield us from his scorn, but please let us know of any areas Holmes feels deserve our immediate attention? Indeed, I will. I have asked him for his specific advice in my latest telegram and I fully anticipate that next time you look in, Holmes will have furnished us with instruction to aid us in our focus on this case.

And Lady Zinga you will be relieved to hear that a full set of forms and castings for size 46 knickers have been seized and confiscated at the Miami Beach residence of Nick "the Stick" LoCoco. This should buy us some time.. but how long, who is to say?
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 9:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Watson,

Cureae you say? What is this substance? And might where one obtain such a thing? Perhaps finding that out will lead us in the right direction.

And yes, I do believe it is time for us to search the surrounding woods. We have exhausted the carnival grounds in our searches for answers and all this time we have not yet searched the woods.
Please do so and anything you find that may be out of place please make note of it. Gather all you can before we run out of time.


Yours in Crime Solving,
Lady Lilly
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 9:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My dear Dr. Watson,

I have just finished solving a perplexing and frightening case with my daughter. As such, I'll need time to rest from my labours while I recharge my mental energies.

In the meantime, though, I would be eternally grateful to you if you could summarize the evidence (or the lack thereof) so far. I will return soon to lend my aid to mystery.

Pray give your best regards to Holmes for me. Tell him I look forward with anticipation to his monograph on criminal psychology. I would also be most grateful if he would deign to unbend himself so far as to visit us in this humble locale.

Yours truly,

Chief Inspector Oscar Templeton
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 10:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Watson, are the punctures perhaps caused by the fishing hooks?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 11:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Leah I am so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. This case is proving to be a most exacting one and my sense of time has become impaired. However I am delighted to make a report to you now and am pleased to say that your suggestions are bearing fruit!

Curare you say? indeed
What is this substance? And might where one obtain such a thing? Curare
Perhaps finding that out will lead us in the right direction. indeed

And yes, I do believe it is time for us to search the surrounding woods. We have exhausted the carnival grounds in our searches for answers and all this time we have not yet searched the woods.

Please do so and anything you find that may be out of place please make note of it. Gather all you can before we run out of time. Indeed, I shall organise a search of the woods right away


Lady Lilly your idea of searching the woods was pure inspiration. You will never believe what we have discovered! We have found the remains of two corpses. And when I say remains, they really are remains. The bodies have had much of their flesh ripped away from them and so what remains is a pair of shredded carcases. Although hardly recognisable we are confident about their identities due to certain characteristic features. We are certain that these are the remains of Huppim and Bugsy, the midget who was planted by Jane (New girl)to spy out who was stealing the knickers and replacing them on Mary's washing line.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 11:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Haenlomal

My dear Dr. Watson,

I have just finished solving a perplexing and frightening case with my daughter. As such, I'll need time to rest from my labours while I recharge my mental energies. But of course dear fellow.

In the meantime, though, I would be eternally grateful to you if you could summarize the evidence (or the lack thereof) so far. I will return soon to lend my aid to mystery. Yes I think we could all benefit from a resume’ of the case so far. I am a bit pressed for time just at the minute old chap but I will see what I can do if I get the chance. Otherwise, I would be most obliged if someone else cared to do the honours!

Pray give your best regards to Holmes for me. Tell him I look forward with anticipation to his monograph on criminal psychology. I will indeed.
I would also be most grateful if he would deign to unbend himself so far as to visit us in this humble locale. I will request it. I’m sure that his eye on the case would generate our progress no end.

Yours truly,

Chief Inspector Oscar Templeton
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 11:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fred

Watson, are the punctures perhaps caused by the fishing hooks?

Fred my dear fellow, do you mean the punctures on the body of Maximus? If so, I would say no, because the punctures are perfectly clean and straight, showing no sign of any curvature or tearing from the barbs of hooks.
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 10:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Watson,

Before we get to the astonishing find of the bodies I have a few other things to address.

I thank you for the interesting article on curae. Bark from an african tree, my word, I do not think we have such a thing here in England, the temperature is far to cold in winter to sustain such life. We must find where one might be able to obtain curae or the bark to make it, are there any greenhouses in the area?

Secondly the bodies. How terrible! I had long wondered if Max's brothers were alive or dead but now we know that one of them is. That leaves Muppin alive and a lead suspect as far as I am concerned. He must be found at once!

Firstly, my good doctor, one such as you with so much medical knowledge at your disposal should give the bodies your full attention. They should be examined to determine cause and time of death, or at least how long they have been buried. These bodies could very well contain the key to solving this whole mystery.

Please get back to me after you have examined the bodies VERY carefully. I need to know your findings. After that, we shall indeed see what happpens.

Yours Truly
Lady Lilly
Drew Sollenberger (Sollen)
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 7:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

watson i am back from a bit of a hiatius and wish to add my limited skills again. please excuse me if i seem to lack direction but hopefully i can contribute more to this investigation.

first off did any of the suspects originate form the area where curare appears naturally? also the artical mentioned that it is used in a medical fasion, would it be kept in the circus for such the reasons or would any of them have an excuse to steal it from a medical orginization?

also do we have a time frame for the wounds? is it possible to determin if the stabbing was before or after the poisioning? the article stated that the heart still beats after poisioning so that wound mean that if stabbed immediately after being poisoned our victim would still have bleed out correct?

now back to my own fasination with stolen objects; I'm sure everyone has heard of the classic murder in a locked room story where one ties a line to the bolt of a door then exits the room and pulls on the line to cause the bolt to latch. Could you investigate both the window and door for signs that the fishing hook may have been used in this way?

also could you investigate the darts and see if there is any blood or risidual signs of having piereced someones skin? perhaps you could even test to see if there is poision still on them. could you also ask everyone if they may know of any other small objects which may have been used in such a manner as the darts.

and could you go into detail on what happened to the newly discovered bodies. can you tell how the skin was removed? is there signs of teeth or knife marks on the bones?

also I feel it is of the essence that we find the third brother as soon as possible. I am not as worried about him being a suspect as him being the next victim!
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 9:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I will be reporting back very soon.

Regards
John Watson
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 10:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Juicyfruit

Dear Watson,

Before we get to the astonishing find of the bodies I have a few other things to address.

I thank you for the interesting article on curae. Bark from an african tree, my word, I do not think we have such a thing here in England, the temperature is far to cold in winter to sustain such life. We must find where one might be able to obtain curae or the bark to make it, are there any greenhouses in the area? You are quite right – we must assume that the curare was imported and that the murderer had been in possession of it, for some time.

Secondly the bodies. How terrible! I had long wondered if Max's brothers were alive or dead but now we know that one of them is. That is most certain
That leaves Muppin alive and a lead suspect as far as I am concerned. He must be found at once! If that is the case we must tread cautiously but we must also be careful not to make this assumption, to the exclusion of other possibilities.

Firstly, my good doctor, one such as you with so much medical knowledge at your disposal should give the bodies your full attention. They should be examined to determine cause and time of death, or at least how long they have been buried. These bodies could very well contain the key to solving this whole mystery.
Yes you are dead right!
From my medical observations, I conclude that these men were murdered on the very night that they disappeared. They were not buried. We discovered their corpses on the surface of the ground a matter of just 20 yards from the perimeter fence of the circus. The bodies are mutilated and a good fifty percent of their flesh has been eaten, pecked, away. Many beaks have made light work, devouring the flesh from the carcasses.
This would likely account for the sudden ornithological tumult of a few days ago! At the time I assumed it was simply the fact that the starlings were congregating ready to migrate to warmer climes. Come to think of it they are still making a bit of a racket among the leaves and branches above our heads right now!


Please get back to me after you have examined the bodies VERY carefully. I need to know your findings. After that, we shall indeed see what happpens.

Yours Truly
Lady Lilly
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 10:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Haenlomal

watson i am back from a bit of a hiatius and wish to add my limited skills again. please excuse me if i seem to lack direction but hopefully i can contribute more to this investigation. Your efforts will be of considerable value, of that, I have no doubt!

first off did any of the suspects originate form the area where curare appears naturally? Simply, I do not know. It would seem that indigenous peoples of warm climates might possess the necessary knowledge to manufacture the stuff from local fauna. However it could have been acquired by most anybody.

also the artical mentioned that it is used in a medical fahion, would it be kept in the circus for such the reasons or would any of them have an excuse to steal it from a medical orginization? No, we can exclude that one

also do we have a time frame for the wounds? is it possible to determin if the stabbing was before or after the poisioning? The stabbing was at the same time or shortly after the poisoning

the article stated that the heart still beats after poisioning so that wound mean that if stabbed immediately after being poisoned our victim would still have bleed out correct? Correct but I am of the opinion that Maximus died as a result of asphyxia from paralysis of the muscles of his breathing apparatus. He was a small and very light man – the dose of curare was sufficient to kill him outright!

now back to my own fasination with stolen objects; I'm sure everyone has heard of the classic murder in a locked room story where one ties a line to the bolt of a door then exits the room and pulls on the line to cause the bolt to latch. Could you investigate both the window and door for signs that the fishing hook may have been used in this way? Theoretically so but I personally do not think it was possible due the structure and arrangement of the caravan. However I am certain that the barred window was a means of some, access, somehow.

also could you investigate the darts and see if there is any blood or risidual signs of having piereced someones skin? perhaps you could even test to see if there is poision still on them. could you also ask everyone if they may know of any other small objects which may have been used in such a manner as the darts. I have done this as you asked and nothing positive emerges from these enquiries – there is no evidence and no further leads.

and could you go into detail on what happened to the newly discovered bodies. can you tell how the skin was removed? is there signs of teeth or knife marks on the bones?
As you may have read above: The bodies have had much flesh eaten away from the birds. Additionally there is evidence of cuts and bruises as though the bodies went through some other trauma. There are no knife marks – it looks to me as though cause of death was strangulation. Both have broken necks.

also I feel it is of the essence that we find the third brother as soon as possible. I am not as worried about him being a suspect as him being the next victim!
If he has not already become so!
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 11:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Watson,

I am unsure of how much time as past since we have "spoke" last but I assume much time has past since Huppin, Muppin, and Bugsy had disapeared. Do you think you could possibly remember how they looked and acted the last time they were seen? Did they seem nervous? Unusally calm? Did they seem like the knew something, or possibly hiding it?

And, if the birds are still making a great fuss, then maybe there might still be another body in the woods, buried maybe? Did either of the bodies you found look like someone might have been in the process of buring them? Was the ground around them disturbed, please describe the area to me as best as you can so I may be able to get a better picture of the murder scene. And do you think it is possible they might have been murdered elsewhere and dragged to the place you found them at?

I am saddened to say that I still have no clue who the murderer could possibly be. Muppin is of course a suspect but I will be careful not to make assumptions. Now, both men were found with broken necks, cause of death strangulation, would you say hands or a tool such as a rope or garret were used in the murders. Now normally it takes someone with strength to strangle someone to death, but since both men were small in size the murder could be anyone. If a weapon was involved, the finding of such a weapon would be of great use. If you believe a weapon was use, a more careful search of the woods in order, although I have said one should be called for to search out the possibly of another body, since the birds still seem quite shaken up by something.

Now getting back to the murder of Max, have you already searched where Huppin and Muppin were known to sleep and live? If not, search there to try and either prove that either Muppin is innocent or guilty, that in unless you find his body first.

This should be enough for you to do. Oh and by the way, if Holmes does have any idea who solved this case, I do wish he would at least send us a clue or something to go on. Perhaps you could drop him a line and hope for the best. Oh and do wish him luck on whatever case he is undertaking.

With Loving Regards,
Lady lilly
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 10:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Umm...actually, Sollen asked all those questions, not me! But fear not...I shall come in with my own questions all in their proper time. :)
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 11:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This case is clearly driving me to distraction. How else could I have mistaken Sollen for Haenlomal? My sincere apologies to you both!

Lady Lilly, I admire your determination and fortitude. I will investigate your enquiries right away and reveal what ever I can.

Some excellent news - Holmes is on his way to join us and will assist us as soon as he arrives!

John Watson


cmu322
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 8:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Excellent, Watson! I look forward to seeing Mr. Holmes.
Mike Shiel (Mirimike)
Posted on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Its the cowboy sharpshooter - also lasoo expert.
Leah Tooke (Juicyfruit)
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 2:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dearest Watson,

This is excellent news! I am sure Holmes can shed some light on this difficult and dangerous situation. I wish him a safe journey and look forward to his arrival.

Regards,
Lady Lilly