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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 January 18, 2004 « Previous Next »

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Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good, good! ^_^ Did the coroner do a post-mortem yet?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I hardly feel that I deserve it but this is what Her Majesty, in her wisdom, deigned to bestow on me.

medal
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good, good! ^_^ Did the coroner do a post-mortem yet?

I'm afraid not - it will be quite some time before we can have a post-mortem. The body will have to be conveyed to the appropriate premises for the procedure to be conducted. I'm not sure but we may have to take the body back to London for the deed. Lestrade was hoping that we could solve this case before a post-mortem was necessary. However I can arrange for the body to go to the morticians if Holmes agrees to it.

In the meantime We are certain that the culprit is right here, at the circus with us.

I suggest that we need to make some further investigations. What do you think we should do?
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 2:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Let's find out if there is a sharp blade on the premises and who had access to it.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 2:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Let's find out if there is a sharp blade on the premises and who had access to it.

That sounds like a practical idea. Did you see the list of the individuals that are present in the circus grounds? Do you wish me to approach and question any of them or would you prefer me to do some other form of snooping?
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 2:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First do some other form of snooping, before they realise what you have in mind. Are you allowed by Lestrade to do some searching in the individuals' lodgings? If so, do it please. Afterwards we'll decide whom to talk to.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 9:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First do some other form of snooping, before they realise what you have in mind. Are you allowed by Lestrade to do some searching in the individuals' lodgings? If so, do it please. Afterwards we'll decide whom to talk to.
Right you are Krss. Some of the circus folk are inside their their caravans and those caravans who currently do not have their occupants inside, are in fact locked. Lestrade says that we may forcibly search any caravan if we feel it is important to do so.

It would be best if you direct me by specifying which premises that you think should be searched. Unless, did you want me to make a blanket search of all of them?
Jane T (Newgirl)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 12:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What ho, Watson! Are you sure you're not overdoing things? Maybe you should take a break in the country. I heard a rumour that Mary Roti has some family in the Lake District; maybe you should toddle up there and see if you can dig anything up on her. Particularly, you could see whether she has always been a bearded lady, if you get my drift...

In the meantime, do you have access to any more of her knickers? Would they be big enough fully to conceal a fully-grown cobra?

I say, Dryman, you'd never believe what I found in my house this morning: a tuna sandwich, just starting to turn...
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't listen to her, Watson! It is a fiendish ploy to lure you to a John Shuttleworth concert!

<I say, Dryman, you'd never believe what I found in my house this morning: a tuna sandwich, just starting to turn... >
That does sound quite like mine -- perhaps it sporulated and reproduced during the search! I wonder if I was wise to eat it.. no matter, a little fermentation always gives the horseradish some extra tang.
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 6:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hehe @ tuna sandwich.

>>Unless, did you want me to make a blanket
>>search of all of them?

Although I don't know what blanket search means I'd like a search in all possible places.
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 10:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's an idea! How can we be sure that it is in fact Maximus who is dead? Don't all the three brothers look alike?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 11:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

3rd October 1988

What ho, Watson! And a good day to you madam!
Are you sure you're not overdoing things? You could be right. I do feel rather pressed and could do with a good break. Do you have anything in mind thst you could suggest?

Maybe you should take a break in the country. The Lake Disrict perhaps? I hear that it is beautiful but also rather dangerous!

I heard a rumour that Mary Roti has some family in the Lake District; maybe you should toddle up there and see if you can dig anything up on her. Particularly, you could see whether she has always been a bearded lady, if you get my drift...
My word we do seem to share a similar idea on this matter – but wait – are you shedding doubt on the authenticity on one of the circus folk? Do you think that Mary Roti is not all that she seems to be?

In the meantime, do you have access to any more of her knickers? *blush* Well, I could ask her but do you think that such an indelicate matter is so necessary just at this stage?}

Would they be big enough fully to conceal a fully-grown cobra?
I believe that fully grown cobras are quite big aren’t they? Judging by the dimensions of her rear department, her knickers would most likely conceal a whole family the very same – maybe cousins and all!


Dryman
Don't listen to her, Watson! It is a fiendish ploy to lure you to a John Shuttleworth concert! Oh dear oh dear, what is a John Shuttleworth?



Krss


Although I don't know what blanket search means I'd like a search in all possible places.
This will be quite an undertaking and will require considerable time to complete. However, I am sure that you are correct in suggesting this. I will start by calling on each caravan, one at a time and will engage the service of Lestrades officers if I am unable to persuade the owners to allow me to search their premises.

(At this juncture I must make one observation. The instructions that you “Lateral Thinkers” directed me with are sound indeed, but I am rather surprised that I haven’t been asked to seriously interview any of the folk, so far. But never mind.)

The first caravan that I arrived at was that owned by Harra Singh. He was quite pleasant to me and was happy to invite me in but he did the courtesy of informing me that his cobra had decided to leave it’s basket was loose somewhere in his caravan. I am ashamed to say that I was very reluctant to pass over the threshold, under the circumstances. You do understand, don’t you? I will call back there later and see if the situation has improved.
The next caravan that I came to belonged to Huppim Pratt. I can tell that he is a very bright chap indeed. He would probably be a good candidate for your forum. He was pleasant enough but rather cautious, bordering on suspicious. He did allow me to enter his caravan and take a look around but he followed me everywhere and watched me like a hawk. He may be hiding something but I really cannot say for sure and if he is guilty then I don’t know where he could be hiding it. I did look around thoroughly, including all of his drawers and cabinets etc.
The third port of call was the abode of Muppim Pratt. Now he really is a congenial little fellow, willing to please and most entertaining company. He performs several acts in the circus but his preferred role is “Muppim the clown” and the most favourite part of his act is when he nimbly struts around on his stilts, which give him the appearance of being a normal sized and proportioned human. He wears loose fitting trousers, which are lightly pinned together to conceal the stilts. However, this allows him shed the clothing and stilts in an instant and suddenly convert him from Mr Ordinary into Muppim the Midget! He adores the reaction of the crowd!
Anyway back to business. He was happy to show me around and joked with me all of the time. I certainly did not encounter anything which would make me suspicious of him.
I will need more time to search the other caravans, as I am sure you understand. I will keep my reports coming into you regularly.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 11:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's an idea! How can we be sure that it is in fact Maximus who is dead? Don't all the three brothers look alike?
My word! What a thought! I suppose that it is entirely possible! What do you suggest that I do?
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 11:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As you kind fellow mentioned, it's time for some interviews. Could you call in the suspects for questioning? Ask them:

What were they doing at the time of the crime?
Do they posess or know of a sharp blade?
What was the last time they saw the deceased alive?
Do they know of any distinguishing marks that could tell between the three brothers?
The whereabouts of all three brothers at the time of the crime.

And erm.. I may get more ideas, I hope when I do you can call them back in.
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 1:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Also ask if there exist enemies of each of the three brothers.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 7:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As you kind fellow mentioned, it's time for some interviews. Could you call in the suspects for questioning? Ask them:

What were they doing at the time of the crime?
What was the last time they saw the deceased alive?
The whereabouts of all three brothers at the time of the crime.

Well I must say that it took considerable effort to round up all of these folk and question them but I have accomplished the task and here is the information that I have gleaned :

Maximus Pratt – estimated time of death Midnight – 1.00 am 30th September

Huppim Pratt – Left Maximus Pratt alive and well at about 10pm 29th September Then retired to bed in own caravan.

Muppim Pratt – Left Maximus Pratt alive an dwell at about 10pm 29th September
Then retired to bed in own caravan.

The remainder of the circus staff have a very similar story to tell.

Harra Singh
Jago
Albert
Cricket
Kill Bodie
Lilly Lustre
Mary Roti


All of the above say that they last saw Maximus at a communal meeting held at 6.00pm on the evening of 29th September. The meeting was to discuss the maintenance of the site using the skeleton staff remaining, following the departure of the bulk of employees on 27th September when their season’s schedule came to a close. They agreed on the allocation of certain tasks and then the meeting closed at around 7.30 pm. After that, the folk drifted off to their own caravans. At least, that is what they told me.


Arty Morty Says that he took his station at the main gate as the night watchman and stayed there for the duration. He says that he saw nothing suspicious but did hear a “hollow sort of thud” at about 1.00am Come to think of it, a few days ago he told me it was at about midnight that he heard the thud but maybe that’s not important.

Do they possess or know of a sharp blade?
Now there’s something! Most of the individuals denied having a blade but when I pressed them about sharp knives for culinary purposes, they all had to admit that they owned such a utensil.

I am also pleased to say that I discovered something else. That Zulu man Albert owns an Assegai and an Iklwa. He did not volunteer this information but I managed to visit his caravan and do a search – just as you asked me to.

I also searched the places owned by Jago and Cricket but found nothing of interest. But then I made a visit to Mary Roti’s abode and guess what she told me? One pair of her knickers had been returned to her washing line only a matter of hours earlier! She showed them to me – a voluminous affair of silky pink!
Now what do you make of that?


Regarding your next two questions - I'll return and make some enquiries.
Also ask if there exist enemies of each of the three brothers.
Do they know of any distinguishing marks that could tell between the three brothers?
Jane T (Newgirl)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Silky pink, indeed? This is more sinister than I thought. Watson, you are an honourable and trustworthy man, but what I am about to ask you to do may well be beyond the pale. I would like you somehow to acquire the abovementioned knickers, and send them off to the Yard for testing. If they are as large as you say, they could have been used to transport the snake to Maximus' caravan. Tests should reveal whether there are any traces of snake skin or venom. They could of course be a red herring, but if Mary Roti is not all she seems, it is best to appear to have fallen for her little ruse. So make it look, when you remove the knickers, as if you are trying to do it without anyone noticing, but make sure that someone sees you so that word can get back to her.

In the meantime, ask around and see if anyone saw anyone removing the knickers from the line, or returning them to the line.

If you can have a peek at the rest of Mary's wardrobe at any point, and report back, it might help clarify whether she is a woman or a man in drag.
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm afraid you have quite flustered poor Watson -- he is hyperventilating behind the caravan as we speak

<The first caravan that I arrived at was that owned by Harra Singh. He was quite pleasant to me and was happy to invite me in but he did the courtesy of informing me that his cobra had decided to leave it’s basket was loose somewhere in his caravan. I am ashamed to say that I was very reluctant to pass over the threshold, under the circumstances>
That is a great pity, as the mysterious bite diagnosed by Krss is a possible cause of death and our only firm lead so far! Ask Lestrade to mount an immediate search for the creature using whatever precautions are necessary, and secure it within a raffia basket until Holmes' arrival.

Interview Mr. Singh extensively (without Harassing the poor fellow); in particular, find out if the cobra was trained in any way, and if it could possibly be ordered to attack a person or induced to do so through use of a special scent or some other technique. Find out who else had access to the cobra, if there were any other unusual circumstances surrounding it, and get a full account of Mr. Singh's background and his movements on the night of the crime.

Watson did you manage to make that jaunt to the Lake District? It is quite safe now; I am informed that Shuttleworth's tour has moved on to the Scilly Isles where it is always assured of a warm reception.
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Watson I would not be so sure. High spirits so soon after a brother's death are a reaction I would only expect if that brother were John Shuttleworth! Perhaps that extraordinary idea of Krss' has something to it after all..
Jane T (Newgirl)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 12:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Unfortunately, Watson, I fear our friend Dryman has his facts wrong. The Lake District is this week hosting the first ever John Shuttleworth Look-and-Sound-Alike competition. Worse still, there is a rabid tuna sandwich on the loose, which is baffling the local force, and everyone knows how murderously tuna sandwiches hate John Shuttleworth. You are going to have to have your wits about you if you are to survive the perils ahead.

However, if you get a chance before you leave, buck yourself up, man, and go and search Harra Singh's caravan. This is a murder enquiry, not a picnic. If Holmes were to find out that you had been diverted from the path of righteousness by one man's unsubstantiated claim that there was a snake on the loose, he would... well, I don't know what he would do, but I am sure that Mary Roti's knickers would come into it somewhere.
Jane T (Newgirl)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 1:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In fact you could probably fashion a protective suit out of the knickers. Watson.... Watson! Are you there?
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 3:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There there Watson, breathe gently into this large bag-

Dear me, I seem to have somehow got hold of the knickers themselves! This is really most distressing

By the way my earlier outburst about high spirits was meant to pertain to your remarks about Muppim Pratt. I do apologize; the recent events have been hard on us all