Archive through January 25, 2004 Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Lateral Puzzles » Solved Lateral Thinking Puzzles » Solved Puzzles - Jan 2005 » [Beroean] The Case of Circus Maximus (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure Puzzle) » Archive through January 25, 2004 « Previous Next »

Author Message
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 7:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jane
Silky pink, indeed? Oh yes – most silky and very pinky

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.
You put me the a most awkward position but in the Name of the Law and of Justice itself, I have overcome one of the worst fears imaginable and have indeed asked the dear lady for her knickers. I must say, she gave me one of the most queerest looks that anyone has ever given me! She says that she only has two pairs remaining (both purple) was reluctant to leave herself short. However she seemed to understand and I have already dispatched the knickers to Holmes via special Police Courier. (In fact I have just received a telegram from Holmes who is still detained. Coincidentally he informs me that he’s sending a package by police courier. He tells me that it is something to do with identifying fingerprints – an innovation of his, which he believes, will become indispensable in crime detection in the future.

If they are as large as you say, they could have been used to transport the snake to Maximus' caravan.
My word miss Jane, you do have an incredible imagination

Tests should reveal whether there are any traces of snake skin or venom.
What a novel idea

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.
You are very suspicious about this woman Mary Roti – are you not!

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.
One of the Police Officers thought that this was your idea of a joke – surely you don’t want me to risk being observed and branded as a “Knicker Thief”?!

No. I could only do this in an honourable fashion. I found the courage to approach the lady directly and although it was emotionally draining, I do feel that this was the correct course to take.


In the meantime, ask around and see if anyone saw anyone removing the knickers from the line, or returning them to the line.
The Police have already been doing that and I’m sorry to say that they have drawn a blank

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.
Do you really believe that this is a possibility? Or could this be a ploy to embarrass me further. I have heard that those of you from the North of England have a somewhat “dry” sense of humour like that man called – what’s his name? – ah yes, John Shuttleworth!
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 8:06 pm:   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.
Good news – we have the snake in custody. Harra Singh was able to secure it in his own basket and was complicit in handing it over. I mentioned this to Holmes in the letter that I sent with Mary’s Knickers

Interview Mr. Singh extensively (without Harassing the poor fellow);
Quite right, it wouldn’t do to be harassing the poor fellow. He’s been perfectly co-operative so far.

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.
I have interviewed him and also searched his caravan (which should please Miss Krss.) The cobra is one that he brought with him from India and has been a constant companion for several years. He trained it himself for the art of snake charming which is all part of his circus act. He says that the snake only strikes out in defence or when it is startled. He is unaware of any technique that could make the snake attack anyone – although we only have his word for it. It would help us if there were someone with expertise in this matter. I’m sure that Holmes would know! Holmes did mention in his telegram that the fingerprint kit would help us on our way. I don’t yet know how this works but Holmes is putting his faith in it. Oh yes - I also discovered Harra Singh performs the Indian Rope trick.

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.
Hmmm would you believe it? – Harra Singh never bothers locking his caravan up! I find it hard to believe the man. How irresponsible! Just fancy; owning an Indian Cobra and not locking it up. Maybe he feels that nobody would dare enter, with a snake loose on the premises. Anyhow, it appears that a determined character could borrow the snake for ulterior purposes if he was so possessed to do so! Singh says that he can’t account for the snake during the critical period of the murder. He thought it was in the basket but didn’t check it for a couple of days and then found that it had escaped! Singh also tells me that he was in his own caravan from soon after the Communal meeting on the night of the murder and was there for the duration.

Watson did you manage to make that jaunt to the Lake District?
I will be on my way in exactly 13 hours time. I will be leaving at 09.00 and hope to arrive around 15.00. In fact, Holmes has insisted that I go. He is concerned that I am encountering an excess of duress. He is most concerned about the escapade with the Knickers and wishes to protect me from the wicked humour being manifest by certain members on the forum. He is hoping that when I return in 5 days time that the excitement will have died down. Then I can get back on the case with calmness of mind!

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. Thankyou Dear Dryman
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 8:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A warm reception? Let us hope for a little more than that. The oil should be boiled.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 8:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Krss
Also ask if there exist enemies of each of the three brothers.
I have made extensive inquiries and a picture is beginning to form. There are indeed enemies. It was Maximus who generated most of the antipathy. Many were jealous of his wealth but that isn’t all. They also envied his success with the circus. If that weren’t enough, when he billed himself as the “Shortest Man in the World”, that really caused some bad feeling. Apparently this title is one that many midgets are desirous of and is keenly competed for. In fact the midget who officially held the title was affected so desperately by the news, that he actually committed suicide! It’s hard to believe, I know, but it just goes to show how much of an obsession this title has become within the midget fraternity.

Do they know of any distinguishing marks that could tell between the three brothers?
A fascinating notion which (sadly) is refuted almost as soon as it is offered. It was well known that Maximus had a strawberry coloured birthmark resembling the shape of a half moon, upon his left buttock. I couldn’t fail to notice this when I was examining his carcass.

Dryman
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..
Sadly - it seems not to be.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jane
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.
Oh my goodness, Holmes … hurry up and get help for me

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,
You are right of course. I trust that you saw my recent report on my search of Singh’s caravan.

but I am sure that Mary Roti's knickers would come into it somewhere.
Do you know something my dear Jane? I am inclined to agree. I have a gut feeling that those knickers are somewhere at the core of this grisly business.

In fact you could probably fashion a protective suit out of the knickers. Watson.... Watson! Are you there? There would certainly be enough material for one. Although I do have a pink silk neck tie I am not so sure that a pink (or even purple suit) would meet with Holmes's approval!
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dryman


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
Yes, this is a most taxing case and the effects are beginning to show. Maybe we should all take a break to the Lake District and enter the "John Shuttleworth Look-alike Competition." That should releive the tension!
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a gut feeling that those knickers are somewhere at the core of this grisly business.

Time will tell, but one thing is certain: if they are large enough to accommodate Mary Roti and a full-sized cobra, then some grisly business is at the core of those knickers. She doesn't come from Ongar, by any chance?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

She doesn't come from Ongar, by any chance?

We can only hope that she doesn't!
Jane T (Newgirl)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He is hoping that when I return in 5 days time that the excitement will have died down

He is confident that you will return, then? That's good....
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 9:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He is hoping that when I return in 5 days time that the excitement will have died down

He is confident that you will return, then? That's good....


He's more confident than I am!
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 10:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Dr. Watson, you are aquitting yourself of investigation very nicely, I must say. To ask a lady for her knickers! (Albeit we still do not know if she is indeed a lady.)

So he had a birthmark, how convenient. I am tempted to make you investigate if it was in fact painted on his butt, but I guess this line of investigation is over. =(

So, now could you investigate if anyone on the premises has any snake charming talent apart from Harra Singh.

And could you find out if any of the suspects had a grudge against Maximus? Maybe he had yelled at them or mispaid them or something.

And let's take Kill Bodie and Lilly Lustre. Do they harbour an illicit affair?
Z-man (Dref)
Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 9:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah, man. I was going to participate but now I'm so far behind that I'm completely lost.
Jane T (Newgirl)
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 11:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Fred! Nice to see you again. Don't worry about being behind. I don't think any of us know what is going on either - it doesn't £poil the fun. Krss is asking the intelligent questions, which means no one else needs to, and we can concentrate on irritating Dr Watson by harping on about knickers. :)
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 10:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am? o_O No I'm not! Too much pressure! =) But surely you can participate, this puzzle is very fun. Especially the part with the knickers, with which Jane enjoys torturing poor Dr Watson.
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 5:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Especially the part with the knickers, with which Jane enjoys torturing poor Dr Watson.

Oh, dear me! Jane, Jane...are you misbeahving...again?!
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 3:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

8th October 1888

I am pleased to say that I feel somewhat refreshed after a 5 day jaunt in the Lake District. Somehow I survived the machinations of Moriarty who had numerous agents upon the 'Fells', attempting to kill me. I was fortunate to escape one cynical attempt at Patterdale, at the southern tip of Ullswater, where a would be assasin lured me to the waterfalls at 'Link Cove', just below the summit of 'Fairfield' and tried to push me off! Happily I lived to tell the tale and escaped to Keswick where a kindly young lady invited me in for a cup of tea.

And now, I am refreshed and eager to hear your instructions in an effort to solved this mysterious murder case!


Krss

Dear Krss, I am so glad that you are giving me some lines of investigation to consider. But it seems that your colleagues are leaving the matter to you at the moment. Do you think they are worried about making a mistake? They shouldn’t be. All they need to do, is to put themselves in the shoes of our dear friend Sherlock Holmes , and then give me the necessary instructions!

Dear Dr. Watson, you are aquitting yourself of investigation very nicely, I must say. Well thank you

To ask a lady for her knickers! blush I, I , w, was merely following the instructions of Jane who has been entrusted with this case (along with the likes of your good self) to solve the affair.

(Albeit we still do not know if she is indeed a lady.) Do you think that we should find out? What do you suggest?

So he had a birthmark, how convenient. I am tempted to make you investigate if it was in fact painted on his butt, but I guess this line of investigation is over. =( Do you think so?

So, now could you investigate if anyone on the premises has any snake charming talent apart from Harra Singh. Yes, of course, but Lestrade has already done so. He has asked each one of the characters the question, “Do you have any such skill as to snake charming?” and without exception they all answered in the negative. Should we take their word for it?

And could you find out if any of the suspects had a grudge against Maximus? Certainly – how would you like me to proceed?

Maybe he had yelled at them or mispaid them or something. Ahh yes, that is certainly a possibility!

And let's take Kill Bodie and Lilly Lustre. Do they harbour an illicit affair? I was wondering about that myself. You are the first person to ask about those two! They are a colourful pair. What do you suggest I do? Ask them? Or something else?
dryman (Dryman)
Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 7:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes Watson it is good to be back! (For those who weren't able to join us at the Shuttleworth Competition, Jane was the surprise favorite with a rousing rendition of the classic "May I March with April and June [In An August Manner]", arranged for glockenspiel and bassoon to a Bossa Nova beat)

<He is unaware of any technique that could make the snake attack anyone – although we only have his word for it. It would help us if there were someone with expertise in this matter.>
Do you know Watson, by lucky chance I am a distant relation of the noted naturalist, herpetologist and part-time detective Professor Captain Gervaise Piltdown-Smythe, O.B.E.! Kindly accept this telegram for him explaining the facts of the case and requesting detailed assistance as to how such a creature might possibly have been induced to strike.
Krss (Krss)
Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 8:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know! You could surprise Mary Roti naked! ^___^

Actually I realised something about the Maximus-alike-with-his-brothers line. You said that he was the shortest man in the world? Is he shorter than his brothers? If so, you can identify him well. Unless, of course, there was a huge conspiracy where the brothers switched identity while alive and well.

I don't see how we can find out if they are snake charmers.. Unless. Yes! We could sic the snake on them and see who defends himself. ^_____^

As for the grudge against Maximus, proceed like this: ask each suspect about the *other* suspects if they carried a grudge against Maximus.

Ask Lilly and Kill themselves and then we'll see if we should ask someone else.
Z-man (Dref)
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 6:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kind sir, I received your entreaty and am willing to help. Mayhap I can have a quick reprisal of the salient facts of this case so far?
Z-man (Dref)
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 6:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Watson, do you think your experience with snakes in the "Speckled Band" caper could be of some use?

I have a feeling perhaps off all the stolen items had some use for the criminal. What do you think?
Also, could you relist them for me?

Would you talk to Kill Brody and question him as to his relationship with the dead man?

Also, were any of the circus folk dirt poor?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 7:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dryman

Yes Watson it is good to be back! (For those who weren't able to join us at the Shuttleworth Competition, Jane was the surprise favorite with a rousing rendition of the classic "May I March with April and June [In An August Manner]", arranged for glockenspiel and bassoon to a Bossa Nova beat)

I am most gratified that the event was so successful!

<He is unaware of any technique that could make the snake attack anyone – although we only have his word for it. It would help us if there were someone with expertise in this matter.>
Do you know Watson, by lucky chance I am a distant relation of the noted naturalist, herpetologist and part-time detective Professor Captain Gervaise Piltdown-Smythe, O.B.E.! Kindly accept this telegram for him explaining the facts of the case and requesting detailed assistance as to how such a creature might possibly have been induced to strike.

My word! What a slice of luck, you knowing Professor Piltdown-Smythe. How is the old boy? Holmes, will be amused to hear that the old chap is still around. You know, he was so pleased to see the back of those warts and he still recalls his gratitude to the professor for the ointment that he prescribed.

I have done just as you asked and have received the reply. Professor Piltdown-Smythe and he explains, “An Indian Cobra may be induced to strike if you try to whap it with a stick or it perceives that it is being threatened in any other manner.”…Hmmm, it makes me wonder how our dear friend Harra Singh failed to reveal this simple piece of information to us.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 8:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Krss
I know! You could surprise Mary Roti naked! ^___^
In the absence of any female member of the investigating force I decided that your frank suggestion was the most practical one. I took it upon myself to take a peek at Mary Roti whilst she was naked in the bathtub. I am glad to report that I survived the ordeal. blush More importantly I was able to establish an absolute gender for this strapping member of the circus. Judging by the size of the mammary glands owned by said individual, she, undoubtedly IS a 'she' (unless of course there is a cosmetic surgeon in the plot, about a century ahead of his time!) To be conclusive, the other feminine department on Mary’s person also appears to be genuine. I can say with all confidence that Mary Roti is a female (albeit, bearded & obese) and definitely not Moriarty in disguise (as some may have suspected).

Actually I realised something about the Maximus-alike-with-his-brothers line. You said that he was the shortest man in the world? We have some doubts about his claim that he was the shortest man in the world but I think that you are about to make a valid point!

Is he shorter than his brothers? Indeed he was!

If so, you can identify him well. Unless, of course, there was a huge conspiracy where the brothers switched identity while alive and well.
We have measured the corpse and it is two and a half inches shorter than the height of the remaining Pratts who are about equal in their height. I think it is conclusive. We must assume that it is indeed Maximus who was murdered and not allow ourselves to be side tracked on this one.

I don't see how we can find out if they are snake charmers.. Unless. Yes! We could sic the snake on them and see who defends himself. ^_____^
What a novel idea! I’ve proposed this idea to Lestrade but sadly he feels that it’s not so practical.

Dear Krss, I will complete the rest of your investigative enquiries as soon as I have recovered from my experience with Mary Roti!