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Archive through February 09, 2005Tim A. Dowd22 2-09-05  3:19 am
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(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 3:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the biography about who he thought it was about? Or someone with a similar name/nickname?

Did he want to read this particular book when he requested it, or just a biography of the subject (or, who he thought was the subject)?

Can he read?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 3:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By (Stuccosalt) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 03:27 am:

Was the biography about who he thought it was about? No with an FA.Or someone with a similar name/nickname? No (same FA).

Did he want to read this particular book when he requested it, Yes. or just a biography of the subject (or, who he thought was the subject)? No.

Can he read? Yes.

Golly, there have been so many clever ideas in the questions so far on this puzzle that I'm starting to feel like the "real" answer is going to be disappointing...
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 4:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Any animals at all relevant?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 4:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Dref (Dref) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 04:07 am:

Any animals at all relevant? Woof. I mean, no.

Wait, did you mean other than the skateboarding chicken?
miroac (Miroac)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 6:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the skateboarding chicken write the book? Is she the subject of the book? Did she change sexes? Did she go blind? Is the skateboarding chicken really Tony Hawk in a costume?
oh, wait, what were we talking about?

Is the subject of the book (X) famous? American? British? European? Did X live in the 21st century? 20th? 19th? ... etc. Is X generally thought of as a good person? bad person?
Did he know it was a biography? about X?
Was he afraid someone might find out he had the book?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 8:41 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Had something happened since the skateboarding chicken in the Tony Hawk's disguise book was ordered that devalued the biography in some way?

Perhaps someone else had done something that now made a sham of the account, or simply made it rather boring reading in comparison?
Alizon (Alizon)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 11:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the book written in a foreign language (I mean, unknown for the man who wanted to borrow it)?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 1:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was this a bio of a human? Did it cover the person's entire life?

Did the man know it was a bio? Did he think it would be fiction? Something else? (cookbook etc.)

Was it fictional? Did he think it was about a real person?

Did the title mislead him? Had he heard something about the book that made him want to read it? Did he find out something about the book that mde him decide not to check it out? About the subject of the bio?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 3:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By miroac (Miroac) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 06:16 am:

Did the skateboarding chicken write the book? Maybe. Is she the subject of the book? No. Did she change sexes? Did she go blind? Is the skateboarding chicken really Tony Hawk in a costume? No to the rest (she's not nearly so skilled, after all).

oh, wait, what were we talking about? Rollerblading ducks.

Is the subject of the book (X) famous? Yes (at least, somewhat--definitely Googleable). American? British? European? American (USian, even). Did X live in the 21st century? 20th? 19th? ... etc. 19th and I think 20th. Is X generally thought of as a good person? I think this, but it could depend on your views about such people. bad person?
Did he know it was a biography? NO. about X? NO.
Was he afraid someone might find out he had the book? No.

===========================================================================
By Simon Downham (Beroean) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 08:41 am:

Had something happened since the skateboarding chicken in the Tony Hawk's disguise book was ordered that devalued the biography in some way? No.

Perhaps someone else had done something that now made a sham of the account, or simply made it rather boring reading in comparison? No.

===========================================================================
By Alizon (Alizon) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 11:47 am:

Was the book written in a foreign language (I mean, unknown for the man who wanted to borrow it)? No.

===========================================================================
By (Stuccosalt) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 01:05 pm:

Was this a bio of a human? Yes. Did it cover the person's entire life? I don't know.

Did the man know it was a bio? NO. Did he think it would be fiction? No. Something else? Yes. (cookbook etc.)

Was it fictional? No. Did he think it was about a real person? No (subject to same FA which I think we've cleared up now).

Did the title mislead him? Yes or Yope (I don't know the exact title). Had he heard something about the book that made him want to read it? I don't know. Did he find out something about the book that mde him decide not to check it out? Yes... About the subject of the bio? No.


Well, I think the answer to question one has been discovered: he didn't realize it was a bigoraphy. Question two: What did he think it was and why?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 3:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did he think it was going to be ..
a how-to book? instructional/educational book?
travel book?
reference book?
kids' book/coloring book?
religious book?
hobby-related book?
pornography?

Does the subject of the bio have the same name as/lend his name to whatever this guy thought the book was about (that is, maybe he wanted to learn to program in Pascal and the book turned out to be a bio of Blaise Pascal, or something along those lines?)
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 3:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By (Stuccosalt) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 03:33 pm:

did he think it was going to be ..
a how-to book? Yes. instructional/educational book? Yes.
travel book?
reference book?
kids' book/coloring book?
religious book?
hobby-related book? Yes (with a small -ish).
pornography?
No to the rest.

Does the subject of the bio have the same name as/lend his name to whatever this guy thought the book was about (that is, maybe he wanted to learn to program in Pascal and the book turned out to be a bio of Blaise Pascal, or something along those lines?) Exactly (except not Pascal).

Well, there's the "why" part done, and good progress on the "what" part.
miroac (Miroac)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 4:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lincoln logs?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 5:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By miroac (Miroac) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 04:40 pm:

Lincoln logs? No.
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 7:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the subject's name end with ing, so it sounded as though it was a verb?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 7:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

does the surname end in "er"?

IS the whole name relevant?
Just the surname?
Just the first name?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 8:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Lynne (Lynne) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 07:48 pm:

Did the subject's name end with ing, so it sounded as though it was a verb? Technically yes, in fact, although that wasn't the name which misled our protaganist.

===========================================================================
By Simon Downham (Beroean) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 07:56 pm:

does the surname end in "er"? No, "ing" as noted above (but also as noted above, that's not what fooled 'im).

IS the whole name relevant? No...
Just the surname? No.
Just the first name? Yope to No...
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 9:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was it another word in the title that fooled him?

Was it another word in the title that, combined with his name, fooled him?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 9:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A nickname? Title? Pseudonym?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 9:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Lynne (Lynne) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 09:07 pm:

Was it another word in the title that fooled him? Yope.

Was it another word in the title that, combined with his name, fooled him? Yopish.

===========================================================================
By (Stuccosalt) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 09:10 pm:

A nickname? Yes! Title? Pseudonym?
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 9:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We never found out the profession of the subject of the bio did we?
Entertainer?
Athlete?
Scientist?
Inventor?
Educator?
Political reformer?

Is it "Ol' Skateboardin' Chicken" Irving?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 9:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By (Stuccosalt) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 09:20 pm:

We never found out the profession of the subject of the bio did we? Nope, except that he was not a politcal or religious leader.
Entertainer?
Athlete?
Scientist?
Inventor?
Educator?
Political reformer? None of these.

Is it "Ol' Skateboardin' Chicken" Irving? Strangely enough, there is a distinct paucity of requests for his biography in Los Altos, but then they are a stuffy bunch...
miroac (Miroac)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 10:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was he known a) by his nickname or b) by his full name in his time? In present day times?
Was he a slave? soldier? poet? scholar?
Was he employed? educated?
Was he involved in the American Civil War? Is this the correct time period?
miroac (Miroac)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 10:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Richard Jordan Gatling, who invented the Gatling gun? (I couldn't find a nickname for him, though.)
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 11:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By miroac (Miroac) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 10:44 pm:

Was he known a) by his nickname or b) by his full name in his time? I'm not sure--I think by the time he became famous the nickname was well known. In present day times? I would think his nickname would be better known today.
Was he a slave? soldier? poet? scholar? A soldier.
Was he employed? educated? Yes to both.
Was he involved in the American Civil War? I don't know--I don't think so. Is this the correct time period? I think he was a little after that.

By miroac (Miroac) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 10:55 pm:

Richard Jordan Gatling, who invented the Gatling gun? (I couldn't find a nickname for him, though.) Nope.
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 11:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Stonewall Jackson?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 12:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By David Burn (Woubit) on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 11:41 pm:

Stonewall Jackson? Nope. He was three when Jackson died--his last campaign was, I believe, in WWI.
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 12:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, him. Sorry - wasn't paying attention earlier. Nice puzzle, though :)
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 1:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You are exactly correct, sir, and thank you.
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 3:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

RECAP

Here's what we know so far:

A man asked the Los Altos (that's a local city here in the S. F. bay area) public library to acquire a specific book which he then refused to borrow. It turned out that the book was a biography and he was expecting something more in the nature of a how-to book yesishly associated with a hobby. The thing that fooled him was the nickname of the man about whom the book was written, since it matched that of the hobbyish thing in which the patron was interested.

The last detail to be discovered (and I admit this is more of a guessing game at this point) is the true subject of the book, which should explain the confusion of the protaganist.

The subject was a U. S. military man born three years before the death of Andrew Jackson whose last campaign of note was World War I. His last name ends in "ing" and he's likely better known by his nickname than his real name(s).

As a totally unhelpful tidbit, had the subject been born five days earlier he'd have been born 100 years to the day before me.

As a further note/aside, the Los Altos library is a county library rather than a municipal one, and thus it "shares" the books in circulation with the other libraries in the county system (which includes Cupertino, in fact). In other words, the books at any of the county libraries are available to the patrons of any of the county libraries, and so his request might've been based on the presence of the book at some other library which he gleaned from the catalog listing. I had the impression from something my mother said that they actually purchased this particular book specifically for this patron, but it has been a few years now and my memory is not what it used to was. Or maybe it's just as good and I can't remember how it used to was.
Jens Weber (Sundowner)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 4:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

gambling relevant?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 4:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Jens Weber (Sundowner) on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 04:03 pm:

gambling relevant? YES (sounds like Jens has it).
Jens Weber (Sundowner)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 4:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here in Germany the nickname is less known for the person, but for the missiles named after him.
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 6:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is poker relevant?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 6:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Dref (Dref) on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 06:35 pm:

Is poker relevant? Nope.
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 6:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Black Jack Pershing than?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 7:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Dref (Dref) on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 06:56 pm:

Black Jack Pershing than?

**** SPOILER ****

Indeed, John J. "Black Jack" Pershing was the subject of the book. The hapless library patron was looking for a book about the card game Blackjack and instead requested a book about the general.
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 7:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Truth is stranger than fiction. ;)
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, I remember it as a true story happening at the Los Altos library while my mother worked there, but it could just as easily be a sort of "Library Legend" (like an Urban Legend), I suppose. I'll have to ask her. She also worked at some of the other county libraries (Saratoga, Cupertino and Los Gatos, I think), so it could've been one of those.

I actually learned some things about Gen. Pershing while running this puzzle--such as the origin of his nickname, which was a racist thing (Pershing was not a racist but the people who coined the nickname were).
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 12:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was amused to hear a customer talking in a bookshop about her days in a library and how someone had used a kipper as a bookmark. Now that's a 'library legend' I'd heard before.

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