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Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1669
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 1:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A man lay dead in the woods at the end of a trail 10 kilometres long by 5 centimetres wide. Although the trail was plainly visible to many people, it took police several days to find his body. Nobody else had entered the area. Why did it take so long?

Usual notification I put in italics
Solo1 (Solo1)
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Username: Solo1

Post Number: 425
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 1:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

WAG: any insects involved?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1670
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 1:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

WAG: any insects involved? Not a repellant suggestion, but the answer is no, nonetheless
Balin (Balin)
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Username: Balin

Post Number: 630
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 3:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the trail exist before the man's body lay there?
Is the trail traveled frequently?
Did the police know his body was in the woods before finding it? Did they know he was dead before the find?
Was the man's body in any way concealed?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1671
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 3:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the trail exist before the man's body lay there? yes
Is the trail traveled frequently? no
Did the police know his body was in the woods before finding it? no, although they suspected it might be Did they know he was dead before the find? no, although they suspected he might be
Was the man's body in any way concealed?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1672
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 3:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't even know why I bother previewing the message, really.

Was the man's body in any way concealed? no
Enjay (Enjay)
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Username: Enjay

Post Number: 2964
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 12:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the trail manmade? Created by an animal? By the man? Was it designed to be followed? Did the man follow it before he died? Did he die where he was found?

Did the trail start in the woods? Outside of the woods? Was there something physically stopping the policeman from reaching the body for several days? Did it take them several days to suspect that he might be in the woods? Did the police find him several days after he died, or several days after they started looking? Or both?

Was the man murdered? Killed by a non-human animal? Did he die of an accident? Natural causes? Disease? Starvation? Thirst? Exposure? Did he commit suicide?
Jenburdoo (Jenburdoo)
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Username: Jenburdoo

Post Number: 5171
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 1:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

10 kilometers by 5 cm? Are the units of measurement correct? Because that's a two inch wide trail. Which suggests it wasn't something he could easily walk on. Was it a rope? Or a line drawn on the ground? Is it up a mountain (like a series of ropes and spikes to aid climbing)? Is it underwater?
Abc (Abc)
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Username: Abc

Post Number: 642
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 7:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not having English as my native language, I'm a bit uncertain of the meaning of the word "trail". It can mean "footpath", right?
It can also mean a "row" of many similar small items, such as gravel or breadcrumbs?
If so, which of the two is it in this case?
Or are there other meanings as well?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1673
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 9:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Enjay:

Was the trail manmade? no Created by an animal? no By the man? no Was it designed to be followed? no Did the man follow it before he died? no Did he die where he was found? yes

Did the trail start in the woods? no Outside of the woods? yes Was there something physically stopping the policeman from reaching the body for several days? no Did it take them several days to suspect that he might be in the woods? it would have taken some time Did the police find him several days after he died this, or several days after they started looking? less this Or both? elements of both

Was the man murdered? no Killed by a non-human animal? no Did he die of an accident? yes Natural causes? no Disease? Starvation? Thirst? Exposure? Did he commit suicide? no to rest

Jenburdoo:

10 kilometers by 5 cm? Are the units of measurement correct? they are Because that's a two inch wide trail. correct Which suggests it wasn't something he could easily walk on. Was it a rope? no Or a line drawn on the ground? no Is it up a mountain (like a series of ropes and spikes to aid climbing)? no Is it underwater? no

Abc:

Not having English as my native language, I'm a bit uncertain of the meaning of the word "trail". It can mean "footpath", right? it can
It can also mean a "row" of many similar small items, such as gravel or breadcrumbs? it can
If so, which of the two is it in this case? neither. It's quite a versatile word
Or are there other meanings as well? yes, although it isn't an obscure one
Jenburdoo (Jenburdoo)
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Username: Jenburdoo

Post Number: 5177
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 9:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aha! Good thinking, ABC! Perhaps it's not a walking trail, but a trail of some sort of traces like footprints?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1675
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 9:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aha! Good thinking, ABC! Perhaps it's not a walking trail, but a trail of some sort of traces like footprints? It's the latter, but it isn't footprints.
Jenburdoo (Jenburdoo)
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Username: Jenburdoo

Post Number: 5181
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 12:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vehicle tracks? (well, that wouldn't technically be 5cm wide) An animal trail? Was the man a hunter? A tracker? A scientist?

Did he walk into a trap?
Abc (Abc)
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Username: Abc

Post Number: 648
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 6:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the trail caused by some natural phenomenon?
Is it made by the presence of something?
The absence of something?
The state of something (such as bent straws)?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1676
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 7:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jenburdoo:

Vehicle tracks? no (well, that wouldn't technically be 5cm wide) He might have been the victim of a hit-and-run unicyclist (although he wasn't) An animal trail? no Was the man a hunter? no A tracker? no A scientist? no

Did he walk into a trap? no

Abc:

Is the trail caused by some natural phenomenon? yes
Is it made by the presence of something? yes
The absence of something? no
The state of something (such as bent straws)? yes
Abc (Abc)
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Username: Abc

Post Number: 653
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 7:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So... is it bent straws?
Burn marks?
A crack in the ground?
Is it caused by water? air? fire? earth?
Has something been passing through, making the trail?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1678
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 7:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So... is it bent straws? no
Burn marks? no, but these are present
A crack in the ground? this is probably present too, but it's not this
Is it caused by water? air? fire? earth? predominantly, none of the above
Has something been passing through, making the trail? yes!
Abc (Abc)
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Username: Abc

Post Number: 654
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 - 6:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Something solid of limited extent (such as a one-wheel bike)?
Or more fluid (such as a stream of water)?
Or many small things (such as an army of ants)?
Or something non-material (such as a series of lightning strikes)?
One or more artefacts?
Both the man and the end of the trail are at the same point, point X as it were?
Did the man arrive at X from a different direction than did the trail?
Relevant how the man ended up at X?
Did he walk?
Drive?
Fall from the sky?
Is cause of death relevant?
Is anything relevant found at X, apart from the man?
The thing(s) making the trail?
Was the man killed by the thing(s) making the trail?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1679
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 - 7:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Something solid of limited extent (such as a one-wheel bike)? no
Or more fluid (such as a stream of water)? not this either
Or many small things (such as an army of ants)? no
Or something non-material yes (such as a series of lightning strikes) and yes?
One or more artefacts? no
Both the man and the end of the trail are at the same point, point X as it were? yes
Did the man arrive at X from a different direction than did the trail? yes
Relevant how the man ended up at X? no
Did he walk? yes
Drive? no
Fall from the sky? no
Is cause of death relevant? yes
Is anything relevant found at X, apart from the man? just the burn marks and small indentations in the ground, as mentioned above
The thing(s) making the trail? not any more
Was the man killed by the thing(s) making the trail? yes - or, more specifically, the trail itself

***** SPOILER *****

The man was a ranger who was struck by lightning in a clearing. Lightning leaves a trail 5 to 10 kilometres long, by 2 to 5 centimetres wide. Although many people witnessed the lightning storm, they would not have initially known the ranger was at the end of it. The trail disappeared after a second leaving no trace.


Congratulations to Abc for the solve, and Jen and others for some useful groundwork.
Jenburdoo (Jenburdoo)
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Username: Jenburdoo

Post Number: 5195
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 1:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Now that's pretty good! I'll have to remember it.

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