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ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


Thanks. Seems a little odd that the Rafferty Paper Mills and Stevenson Iron Works businesses aren't listed as such, considering how consistent the look-ups had been until now... unless this is implied evidence that the businesses are hollow shells of their former selves, which supports that the stocks we found might in fact be worthless? So I guess the look-up itself counts as a clue here!

So I guess we're heading to 56 SW and paying the Lord an unannounced visit? I also don't know what, if anything, we'll find that's useful. But I figure cementing our clues is also an alright endeavor.

Edit: Look-up information was given on Ragland, Camp, Rafferty, and Stephenson/Stevenson on the previous page.

ElTipejoLoco fucked around with this message at 09:51 on Oct 29, 2015

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Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


I don't know. I don't see what new information we could get from visiting Lord Ragland that would help us. I think we're more likely to get something out of one of the embassies... my vote is 1. Richard Camp's house at 23 NW, or 2. Russian embassy at 54 SW.

Miss Mowcher
Jul 24, 2007



Even if Ragland is the killer he is probably working with some other arms company to steal project #10, I think we need to find that out too

Kangra
May 7, 2012



I'll give this about 8 hours more for anyone to add votes. As it is, we're split between visiting Richard Camp or Lord Ragland, but other options are always open too. Please bold your votes so I know for sure it's a vote.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Aw. Come on, people, vote! We're so close to having this in the bag!

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





Not much of a crimesolving sleuth myself, but I do enjoy the thread, so here's a vote for Lord Ragland to break the tie!

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 1, Clue 7

56 SW (Lord Ragland's house)

Lord Ragland's man, Bunting, admits us to the residence and shows us into the study to wait. We are almost as impressed by Lord Ragland's establishment as we are with Lord Ragland himself when he arrives. At 30, he is the picture of the English gentleman, impeccably groomed, with a grace and style at once attractive and forbidding. The introductions completed, he separates himself from us by walking to the other side of the desk. Seating himself, he asks us to begin.

Before we can, however, he notices an envelope on the desk and immediately calls for Bunting.

"Drummond's has slipped up again. See that this is posted immediately.... Excuse me, gentlemen. Debit where a credit should be or some such. Please begin."

"On the night of Mr. Allen's murder, he had an appointment with Captain Egan — "

"Yes, the purchasing officer for naval ordnance at the Admiralty. We were working on a secret project for the Admiralty, and Courtney was concerned about one of the engineers, Richard Camp, being a security risk. We discussed it that morning. I gave no credence to the idea."

Lord Ragland pauses to reach into a small silver box. From it, he draws forth a cigarette which has a "B & H" printed on it in gold leaf. He inserts it into an ebony cigarette holder, lights it and leans back. Without our prompting, he continues.

"No, no. Camp is a fine fellow. But as a concession to Egan, I removed him from the project and assigned him elsewhere.... Tragic, Courtney's death. To think that I had intended to stop by the offices that evening but was forced to work late at the plant. If I had, perhaps the thief would have thought twice before tackling two of us."

"Were you disappointed about not being named president? You were after all, senior vice-president."

"Not a bit of it. I am quite happy in my work in the technical areas. Administrative matters do not interest me. Besides, one of Marlowe's conditions of employment was that he succeed Courtney when Courtney retired. Of course, that would not have been for many years."

"Thank you, Lord Ragland."

CPs Visited: 38 EC, 25 SW, 5 EC, 12 EC, 16 NW, 10 SW, 56 SW
Non-clues: 22 SW

Keep looking for clues? Or head to the quiz now? This voting period will end Sunday evening Holmes Standard Time.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


- Ragland has Benson & Hedges gold leaf cigarettes. We already knew this, but it's worth pointing out he uses a cigarette holder to smoke them. This is consistent with the "one end pinched all around" appearance the cigarette butt in the alley had.
- Lord Ragland claims to have been discussing Richard Camp with the victim on the morning of his death. However, this directly contradicts Mr. Kehoe's testimony that the two never met on that morning and in fact the victim explicitly instructed Kehoe to not mention that he'd been there.
- He also claims to have been working late on that same night. Again, this is directly contradicted by Kehoe's testimony that Ragland came in soon after the victim left around 8-9, and only stayed for "a few hours".

I'm confident enough that he did it to do the quiz now, though I'm still unsure on the identity of "A.M.". What do you all think? Take it now, or have one more stab at that? I think I'm fairly willing to just assume it's Alexi Meshkoff.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 04:24 on Oct 31, 2015

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


I feel like this clue point is so hammy and over-the-top that I want it to be a red herring, because it's what I'd do if I were authoring a mystery for a game like this.

Not sure what to investigate if we continue, though.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


I mean, the guy is clearly lying to us. He didn't talk to the victim that morning, and he didn't work late. The only way around that is if Mr. Kehoe is lying to us, but there is nothing implicating him in anything and I really don't feel that's where this case is going. It's only case 1, after all.

Ragland had motive (debt), means (access to heavy weaponry) and opportunity (knew about the victim's habits, lied about his whereabouts). There's circumstantial evidence (pinched cigarette end) linking him to the crime scene, and to the victim (the note). I don't see how this could be pointing towards anyone else at this point.

The only place I think worth visiting at this point is the Russian embassy. But I do think we have enough to quiz it up.

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


Hm, yeah, let's chance it I guess. We'd only be trying to get extra credit at this point, anyway, barring some really circuitous game logic.

I'll vote to Close the Case unless someone makes a compelling argument for visiting a place.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Just to make it official, my vote is also to close the case and the take the quiz.

Nothingtoseehere
Nov 11, 2010




I think we've Cracked the case!

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 1 Closed.

Here is the quiz. Questions in Part 2 are always considered 'bonus', and do not necessarily rely on facts revealed in the case.

Part 1

1. Who killed Courtney Allen?

2. Why was he murdered?

3. What was the significance of the meeting at Spaniard's Inn?

4. What was the reason for Richard Camp's visits to the French Embassy?

Part 2

1. What is the significance of Courtney Allen's birthday?

2. Who was Courtney Allen's paramour at the time of his death?

3. Why was the tip of the cigarette found at the scene of the crime "pinched all around evenly"?



Answers & the Sherlock Holmes explanation will be posted some time late tomorrow (probably closer to early Tuesday morning Holmes time).

You're free to discuss the answers to the quiz; I just said to post answers individually because I see no point in trying to tally votes for the quiz.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Here's what I would go for:

Part 1:

1. Lord Henry Ragland.

2. To avoid exposing Ragland selling weapons design documents to foreign powers and possibly to retrieve the SP#10 papers.

3. Covert exchange of stolen papers via briefcase switcharoo/to get Ragland arrested by Egan's security forces.

4. Uhh. I'm going to guess he was sending packages to his daughter, who lives in Paris.

Part 2:

1. ???

2. The Countess von Schulenberg.

3. The smoker, Lord Ragland, used a cigarette holder to smoke his cigarettes.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 22:49 on Nov 1, 2015

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


I wonder how we were meant to learn about Allen's birthday? Unless maybe the information is just what was provided by his brother when Holmes was elaborating on the initial details of the case. In which case the importance of Allen's birthday would be to tell us about the initial condition and amount of time he's had the suitcase whilst it was intact, perhaps. Maybe we would have also learned that Lord Ragland was present at the time the gift was purchased or received, and therefore learned about it at that time to plan the switch?

Trying to follow up on Camp's visits to the Embassy seems like it'd be simple enough if we paid either his domicile or the embassy. I guess it'd be safe to assume it was a relative. It'd be interesting if Ragland had deliberately instructed Camp to make trips to the embassy instead, just to try and lead Courtney's suspicions away from himself whilst he could, but we never found that out.

Here's hoping the answers are correct.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


My hunch is Ragland didn't start to seriously consider selling secrets to the enemy until very recently, possibly as late as the same week (on account of the arms fair and foreigners suddenly snooping around the plant, and the fact that he waited this long to pay off his debt). But there is no sure evidence for that either way. I still have no idea why his birthday is important. It's probably related to the briefcase, though, yeah. Maybe the reason the thief failed to cut it open was because it was brand new or something?

Watch as Holmes just goes "Well obviously it's Camp, Kehoe lied to you and Ragland only started smoking B&H yesterday, A.M. is the pseudonym of Emile Zobar and clearly this is all very obvious."

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 1 Solution

The numbers in parentheses are the point values for the question.

Part 1

1. Who killed Courtney Allen?

Lord Ragland. (25)

2. Why was he murdered?

He had discovered that Lord Ragland was about to sell SP#10-A to a foreign power. (25)

I think this is worth 15 for knowing Ragland was selling SP#10, +10 for knowing it was to a foreign power, but I think anyone who knew part of the motive would know it in full.

3. What was the significance of the meeting at Spaniard's Inn?

The sale of SP#10-A to Alexi Meshkoff took place there. (25)
I'd give 20 points to knowing this was the sale, and 5 points for Meshkoff, but you guys figured both out.

4. What was the reason for Richard Camp's visits to the French Embassy?

He was visiting his fiancee, Annette Zobar. (25)
This one I'd give half the points (13) to guesses that he was visiting someone/nothing illegal, +5 if you'd guessed Zobar, +7 for knowing she's his fiancee.

Part 2

1. What is the significance of Courtney Allen's birthday?

January 6 is also Holmes' birthday. (10)

2. Who was Courtney Allen's paramour at the time of his death?

Countess von Schulenberg (Freda Rudel). (10)

I'd award 9 points for Schulenberg, +1 for her real name.

3. Why was the tip of the cigarette found at the scene of the crime "pinched all around evenly"?

Because it was smoked through a cigarette holder. (10)

Holmes solved the case in 4 Clue Points.
They were Grant Arms Company (5 EC), Benson & Hedges (16 NW), Captain Egan at the Admiralty (10 SW), and the Deverell-street plant (12 SE).

Lucky for us Holmes didn't tamper with the evidence.

Since we visited 7 Clue Points, that's -15 to the score. If I added right, the thread scored in the mid-90s. An excellent job cracking the case!

My partial scoring is somewhat arbitrary, but is based on knowledge of other clues. Certain facts in Part 1 that Holmes is obviously guessing at (even if he is 100% correct in his guesses) I don't consider as important.

The explanation that follows will tie up all the important details, but I'll make another post tomorrow about some of the other details that could be found. If you have any questions about places you could have visited, ask and I'll throw it in.

Now for the full explanation from Sherlock:



We are gathered once again at 221B Baker Street comparing notes and discussing the case, trying to unravel its many threads, when Holmes finally speaks.

"From the outset it was obvious that the theft of Mr. Allen's wallet was but a decoy for the perpetrator's real intent. In the first place, it is unlikely that a common criminal would have overlooked two valuable rings and in the second, simple robbery would not explain the empty folder marked SP #10-A."

"But the briefcase was found locked," protests Watson. "As far as we know, Allen locked it and it remained so until you yourself sprang it open. I might add that I was quite shocked at your adeptness at such larceny."

"To study the criminal mind is to acquire knowledge of criminal methods. In any case, the murderer must have opened it, as evidenced by the spread eagle position of the body and the placement of the briefcase with regard to it. As Allen was shot, his arms described an arc out and away from the body. The briefcase, then, appears to have been flung some distance, as indicated by the gouge in the leather, caused by its scraping along the jagged cobbles. Yet it was fond beside the body and, more significantly, waist high, exactly the right position for the murderer to have retrieved it and brought it to the key on Allen's watch fob.

"Knowing that the contents of the folder were central to the murder and that the code stood for Special Project #10, a new naval gun for the Admiralty, it was a simple matter to cull two suspects from the customer list of Benson & Hedges Imperial brand smokers. The cigarette found at the scene was, of course, a Benson & Hedges cigarette."

"You must mean Count von Schulenberg and Emile Zobar, the military attaches from Germany and France," ventures Wiggins.

"No, not at all. Remember, all technical data was kept at the Deverell-street Plant. Folder SP #10-A, like the others in Allen's briefcase, contained only administrative data, data that would be of little or no use to a foreign power. It could, however, contain something that would be damaging to a company employee. Therefore the two significant names on the Benson & Hedges list were those of Lord Ragland and Richard Camp.

"Captain Egan, quite unintentionally, went a long way toward clearing Camp. A visit to the plant completed the job."

"His visits to the French Embassy were certainly suspicious," asserts Watson.

"The photographs on his desk explained them perfectly. The Church in the background with the unfinished towers is the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Mr. Camp's lady love is French and lives at the French Embassy. Further, I suspect that the lady has some familial relationship to Emile Zobar. The Benson & Hedges Imperials purchased by Mr. Camp, a cigar smoker, were intended as a gift for Monsieur Zobar.

"By process of elimination, then, Lord Ragland is our man."

"But why? What was the damaging information in the folder?" asks Watson.

"From the cryptic wire sent to Egan and the note concerning Spaniard's intercepted by Allen, which by the way explains why a note signed 'A.M.' was in Allen's handwriting, it is clear that Ragland was selling Special Project #10 to a foreign power. Whatever evidence Allen had was in the folder and about to be taken to Captain Egan.

"I believe Mr. Allen went to the plant that morning to confront Lord Ragland with that evidence. When he intercepted the note he saw a chance to catch Ragland and 'A.M.' — Alexi Meshkoff, military attache at the Russian Embassy – red-handed. He set up the meeting with Egan and was ready to 'pounce'.

"Ragland, for his part, was either told of Allen's surprise visit and the intercepted note or else he detected something amiss with the note itself. He probably waited during the day for the axe to fall and when it didn't, he realized that Allen was playing a waiting game. He took up station in the alley knowing that Allen would come that way and shot him."

Kangra fucked around with this message at 04:54 on Nov 3, 2015

Fat Samurai
Feb 16, 2011

To go quickly is foolish. To go slowly is prudent. Not to go; that is wisdom.


Kangra posted:

1. What is the significance of Courtney Allen's birthday?

January 6 is also Holmes' birthday. (10)
gently caress you, Holmes, taking points because you did not get a present. What happened to being all rational and above human feelings? :mad:

Good job, guys.

ElTipejoLoco
Feb 27, 2013

Let me fix your avisynth scripts! It'll only take me a couple horus.


I'm a little disappointed that the damage to the briefcase was such a simple thing as it getting scratched on cobblestone. I guess I just got too 'Chekhov's Detail'-oriented about it.

Is it implied that Holmes visited those clue points in the order they were listed? In any case, I guess it explains why paying Ragland a visit ended up being such an incredibly hammed up scene- it definitely felt like we went there pointlessly since we had already visited those main 4 already.

I feel like a couple of the quiz questions wouldn't get full answers without following up on the Spaniard's Inn and trying to follow up on Camp and the Countess in some way. Unless I missed some detail in the newspaper where the Countess's real name and Camp's fiancee's names were dropped.

Looking forward to the next one.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


:toot:

You know, I retrospect, we should've picked up on the fact that Camp had a cigar humidor in his office. People usually don't smoke both cigars and cigarettes, so this would've been a strong clue that he was probably not the one who dropped the cigarette end in the alley. I have no idea how Sherlock nailed down Camp's relationship with the French lady from such little information, though!

I also agree that the quiz could be more granular, with points awarded for details like knowing who the killer was selling secrets to, etc. On the other hand, that could easily end up in a spot where the phrasing of the questions themselves give away the answer.

This was a lot of fun!

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 09:18 on Nov 3, 2015

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Fat Samurai posted:

gently caress you, Holmes, taking points because you did not get a present. What happened to being all rational and above human feelings? :mad:

In fairness, Holmes never even bothers with Part 2 questions. He just fills out Part 1, and turns it in while saying, "I scored 100 on this. No need to check."


ElTipejoLoco posted:

Is it implied that Holmes visited those clue points in the order they were listed? In any case, I guess it explains why paying Ragland a visit ended up being such an incredibly hammed up scene- it definitely felt like we went there pointlessly since we had already visited those main 4 already.

I'm pretty sure this is the case, given most of the wrap-ups. I don't know if it's supposed to be his entire thought process, though, since I don't see how he'd know that Camp is a suspect before visiting the plant. Recognizing Zobar and Meshkoff's names are reasonable for Holmes, but knowing all the employees of a minor armaments company seems a bit of a reach.

I also don't get why he's unsure about the note. It's a bit vague, but the thing that makes the most sense is that the note in Courtney's briefcase is a copy of the note delivered to Ragland. Ragland then just was tipped off by the fact that Allen was there when it arrived. However, Meshkoff (who is, indeed, 'Mishkin') arrived at 8:30 and so it almost seems the meeting was set for 9, especially given Meshkoff's alibi.

If you visit the Russian Embassy, you find that indeed Meshkoff is a large man who walks with a cane. He claims to have been at the theatre that night, and if you go there they do in fact recall him attending. But then Wiggins asks, "Are you absolutely certain you saw him leave?"

Go to Meshkoff's house? You meet a surly Russian guard who speaks no English and pushes you away. (Although del Guerra, Camp, and a few others are at home. Zobar is at home sick, but you get more valuable info from the French Embassy).

Another thing I wonder is the assumption of Schulenberg's innocence. There's actually something interesting to that part of the story. It's mostly only implied, but you can get one key detail from Mycroft: Freda Rudel is her real name, and the marriage is probably a sham (as she did not change it). Mycroft says they are suspected of being spies. You can discover that the Count was fully aware of his 'wife's' affair, and thus it almost seems that he could be a suspect if one knew that whole line - imagine Courtney breaking it off and Schulenberg becoming frustrated with her failure. He possibly does have an alibi, though. I like to imagine this is a case of Mycroft knowing something more than Sherlock, but it was probably just an extended red herring.

Also, Henry Higgins, who appeared on the cigarette list, is indeed this guy. He tries to identify Wiggins' street of birth, wrongly, and we get nothing of value from him.

As an example of how the clues both do and don't 'know' where you've been, look back at the Grant Arms clue. The mention of 'prearrangement' with Beadle? If we'd gone to Scotland Yard we would in fact meet him there and set up the appointment.

There is one kind of clever clue relating to those stock certificates. Remember Wiggins' assumptions about Richard's occupation? You can go to the London Stock Exchange, where he'll casually mention that those companies are doing terribly, and that Ragland had invested quite a bit in them.

Radford & Jones will tell you that the debt built up over time, and they nearly stopped doing business with Ragland altogether. They no longer extend him any credit.

That's about it for Case 1. Case 2 should be ready to start by the weekend.

Kangra fucked around with this message at 01:54 on Nov 4, 2015

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 2 incoming. First, let's see what goes in the newspaper archive. It's actually a year between the first case and this one.

July 4, 1888:




August 17, 1888:




Bear in mind that all previous newspapers may have pertinent information.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 2

5 March 1889

The Case of the Cryptic Corpse



It is early in the morning when a note arrives summoning us to meet Holmes at the morgue at Bart's. Making it a point to forego breakfast, we proceed there immediately.

At the hospital, a young orderly, mistaking sleepy eyes for sorrowful ones, assumes we have come to identify the remains of a loved one. So excessive are his expressions of sympathy, we have not the heart to disabuse him and quickly make our way down the corridor toward a stairway and descend.

Down we plunge until we find ourselves in a dimly lit, cavernous room, with three long rows of marble slabs, most of which are occupied by white-sheeted bundles whose contents are both evident and eerie. Down the middle row a lantern gleams, casting in silhouette a group of moving figures gathered about one of the slabs. We make our way there silently to take our place on the periphery, mourners at the gravesite.

"The knife, long and slender, entered the back of the neck with an upward motion and pierced the brain," says Jasper Meeks. "Expertly done, I would say."

"It seems odd that in a crowded theatre, no one heard the commotion," says Inspector Lestrade.

"Not at all, Inspector," says Watson. "Death would have been instantaneous. There would have been no commotion to speak of."

Peering over Wiggins' shoulder, we see the body of a man in his mid-thirties. He is of slight build and although his height is difficult to assess in the prone position, we estimate it to be 5'7" or thereabouts. It might be said that he is handsome but his features are totally unremarkable. Only his carrot-coloured hair stands out.

Holmes points to the corpse's hands. "Well-manicured, almost delicate," he says, more to himself than to anyone else.

"And you know nothing about him?"

"Nothing at all, Dr. Watson," answers Lestrade.

"I have his effects in an adjoining room," says Meeks.

As we file away from the body, Holmes notes our presence and explains that the man was found dead last evening at the Elephant and Castle Theatre. He was killed during the performance and discovered by an usher afterward. The usher indicated that the deceased had occupied the same box, alone, every night for the past week.

Once in the room, Holmes turns his attention to the dead man's possessions laid out on a table there. He examines first the clothing. There is a coat, black with velvet-trimmed collar and pocket flaps, and trousers, deep gray with black pinstripes. A label in the lining reads 'Poole & Son.'

"He was a bit of a dandy," comments Wiggins, pointing to the shirt with ruffled front and cuffs.

"Indeed," seconds Watson, fingering a derby much like Wiggins' own.

"I emptied all the pockets, as you can see," says Sir Jasper. The inventory includes:

1. A bill from the Bridge House Hotel, dated March 3rd, in the amount of eight shillings.

2. £60 in notes plus odd coinage.

3. A cigar still in its 'Simpson's' wrapper.

4. A torn ticket for the March 4th performance at the Elephant and Castle; Box M, Seat 1.

5. A diamond stickpin.

6. A slip of paper which reads:

This is set in a script typeface (something like the Selectric's Script), probably to suggest neat handwriting.
pre:
L Borough High - R Borough R - St Geo C -
R Waterloo - X Bridge - L Vic Emb - R Villiers
Holmes picks up the diamond stickpin and goes to a glass enclosed case. "Quite genuine," he says, pointing to a scratch in the glass.

"What's this?" calls out Wiggins. He had picked up the derby and now he pulls a folded sheet of paper from the inside band.

"Excellent, Wiggins," says Holmes. "Let's see what you have there." The paper, unfolded and laid flat on the table, reads:

This one is typed.
pre:
March 5th

E ormji ErkiP geQi nYwx sr Wtmvtx oMww cSy
e FpeHi woMpp oItx oiiR iRkekiH e uymH ompp
wLi ehzErgiw Alivi ormkLx mr niwX tpec xeK
e vEtmIv er ehdi eFnyvi teWx teMh TpiewYviw
mj hMvo sr ekiRx oiIt fshomr Riev
xlswi wiiO Als viehc OrsA
"It would appear," says Holmes, "that we are dealing with a very mysterious fellow."

Today's paper:




I think we'll take the weekend to consider where to start.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


A case! The game's afoot!

- The handwritten note describes directions on foot from London Bridge Station (SE4) - or, indeed, the Bridge House Hotel where the man was staying - to Charing Cross Station (WC21); or a nearby location, like the Tivoli Music Hall (WC23), or Charing Cross Hotel (WC90), or the unlabeled house at WC20. (EDIT: Looking back at our earlier lookups, WC20 is Simpson's Cigar Divan, which is where the victim got his cigar!)
- The typed note is ciphered. The simplest ciphers I can think of are the Caesar cipher, a generalized monoalphabetic substitution cipher, and a Vigenère cipher. The middle one requires frequency analysis, and the last can be solved by looking for repetitions in the text, but let's try the simplest one first.

Caesar ciphers are simple, they just rotate the text a fixed number of steps. 13 is popular since it's symmetric, but that's clearly not the case here. There is another clue though: the letter "E" appears on its own several times in the text. There are only two words in the English language that could be: "I" or "A", with "A" being more common. That would correspond to a Caesar shift of 5; let's try that, shall we?

pre:
A knife AngeL caMe jUst on Spirpt kIss yOu
a BlaDe skIll kEpt keeN eNgageD a quiD kill
sHe advAnces Where knigHt in jesT play taG
a rApiEr an adze aBjure paSt paId PleasUres
if dIrk on ageNt keEp bodkin Near
those seeK Who ready KnoW
Oh my. That looks like English, although "spirpt" is not a word (should we blame the game or OP, or is that a clue?).

The capitalized letters above are: AALMUSIOBDIENNDDHAWHTGAEBSPUINENKWKW. Okay, so what the heck does that mean?

Time to read some newspapers, I guess...

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 00:21 on Nov 7, 2015

Kangra
May 7, 2012



I can confirm I copied it correctly. And it's not a misprint in the game, either.

Tax Refund
Apr 15, 2011

The IRS gave me a refund. I spent it on this SA account. What was I thinking?!

Hyper Crab Tank beat me to the map directions and to deciphering the note, so I'll just post a few observations.

First, congratulations to Dr. and Mrs. Watson on their wedding on March 1st (just last Friday)! I suppose Holmes will have to solve this case without his usual assistant. Perhaps he'll be relying on us more than usual? So what are you doing helping solve the case, Watson? Shouldn't you still be on your honeymoon?

Second, our mysterious victim had a genuine diamond stickpin and £60, plus coins, in his pockets. He was well-off, perhaps rich; certainly he had no financial troubles.

Third, he was staying at the Bridge House Hotel, and had written down directions from the hotel to the Elephant and Castle. He was not a native of London.

Fourth, the capital letters on the ciphered note are precisely one per column (occasionally a column has no capital letter). Since the note was typed, that is not a coincidence. The deciphered capital letters, reading left-to-right by columns instead of in "normal" reading order, are AHBAIDEAAKIWLWNEMBEUKNHWNSS_NDIT_PI_D_UOG (an underscore represents a column where no capital letter was present). This still doesn't make sense, though, so we haven't cracked the note just yet. Maybe it's something like "the letter just below/above the capital letter in each column"? Worth looking into further.

Fifth, it seems likely that our victim was in London to see Bunty & Clyde, "Australia's famous SONG & DANCE duo".

Perhaps a visit to the Elephant and Castle is in order? Or a visit to the victim's hotel room at the Bridge House, to see if any personal effects he might have left in his room might tell us more? Also, at some point we'll probably want to visit the tailors who made his clothing, Poole & Son, if only because it's practically required in a Sherlock Holmes case to have a tailor's label lead us to a clue.

But I think the Elephant and Castle should be our first stop, to inspect the scene of the crime and talk to the usher who found the body. Depending on what we find there, we might follow up on clues from there or we might go to the Bridge House to look at the deceased's room. (Assuming the manager will let us see it, but I'm assuming that when we say that we're investigating the death of the man who stayed there, he'll be happy to let us in.) The tailor should come later, after we visit the two most obvious places.

Tax Refund fucked around with this message at 03:46 on Nov 7, 2015

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


He could also have been there for Miss Minnie Cavill.

I'm a little curious about the hotel bill. It's dated March 3rd, two days ago, a Sunday. The victim had been in London for the past week at least; now, I don't know much about hotels and their billing practices, especially not in 19th century London, but is it usual to bill customers in the middle of their stay? Was he billed because he left the hotel and was staying somewhere else the night to the 4th?

So, points of interest to visit... the crime scene should probably be our #1, to see if there's any evidence left where he died or anything the ushers can tell us. The hotel would be interesting, too, especially if we he signed in under his real name. I'm going to assume he's Scottish or Irish and came to London for a specific purpose. Since he seems to feel the need to carry around ciphered notes, he's probably got something suspicious in mind... maybe Mycroft knows something about this guy? The directions to the cigar shop suggest to me that he had some business, perhaps shady, with the cigar shop owner. Of course, it could just be he's a dandy that got a tip about some really good cigars. We'd have to visit the place to know.

Lookup on the Elephant & Castle, please?

e: Nevermind, I found it on the map, it's at SE13.

e: Might as well officially vote: 1. The Elephant & Castle Theater (SE13), 2. The Bridge House Hotel (SE3), 3. Simpson's Cigar Divan (WC20).

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 10:11 on Nov 8, 2015

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 2, Clue 1

13 SE (Elephant & Castle Theatre)

The only bit of information to come from our interview with the manager of the Elephant and Castle Theatre and the usher who found the body is that, for five nights in a row, the red-headed man brought flowers with him to the theatre.

"I think we better question the backstage doorman," suggests Wiggins.

Ralph Parrish is more than anxious to help but can give us no real information.

"Lots o' gents bring flowers backstage but I don't recall no red-headed man. They don't tip their hats to me, you know."

They don't seem to be too bothered. I guess people get murdered there all the time.

CPs visited: 13 SE

Next clue will likely be decided Tuesday evening Holmes standard time.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Man, that's surprisingly disappointing. My only thought about that is that if the victim brought flowers to the theater all week long, but didn't give them to anyone backstage, what happened to them? If he had left with the flowers, I think the usher would've said. Was he romancing another guest? Someone who met with him in his box, perhaps, contrary to the earlier suggestion that he was there alone?

I'm not sure how we're supposed to interpret "they don't tip their hats to me". A derby hat is not a large hat at any rate and it would be easy to tell if the wearer had red hair or not.

With no other clues to go on, my vote is to just continue down the list... 1. The Bridge House Hotel (3 SE), 2. Simpson's Cigar Divan (20 WC).

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 2, Clue 2

3 SE (Bridge House Hotel)

At the Bridge House Hotel we speak to the desk clerk. He remembers a man with red hair.

"He came in on the morning of the third to reserve a room. He said that he and his wife would be in town for the evening and wished to stay over one night."

He flips the pages of the register to the 3rd.

"He registered under the name of Mr. & Mrs. Donald."

"Who was the clerk on the desk when he registered?"

"I was, as it happens. The night clerk called in sick and I was forced to work a double shift."

"Can you describe Mrs. Donald?"

"She was young and lovely and, well, playful. She showed me a pendant she was wearing and asked if it wasn't the loveliest thing I had ever seen."

We often have such luck in finding that the one person who might know something is working at the same time we visit.

CPs visited: 13 SE, 3 SE

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Hum, this new information doesn't square with anything, does it?

- The desk clerk said the victim only stayed in the hotel one night (Sunday, the 3rd) because he and his wife was in town for the evening only.
- However, the man was seen in the Elephant & Castle for at least the entire previous week.
- Furthermore, the victim was not seen in the company of a woman at the theater.
- The hotel bill found on the victim does match the night in question.
- Based on the name, the victim might be Scottish? There are sincere doubts he gave his real name at the hotel, though.

We can probably conclude that the victim is up to some shady business (as if the ciphered note wasn't enough). He must have another residence in the city somewhere, either because he lives here, or because he was staying somewhere else while visiting. This is evidenced by his visits to the theater the previous week. So why lay up in a hotel for one night in the middle of a stay? Who is this woman he was with at the hotel? Why lie to the clerk about their reasons for staying there?

I'm still up for visiting the next place I suggested, namely 1. Simpson's Cigar Divan at 20 WC. Whatever else is going on, we know the victim was there at some point. Other than that, I'm low on ideas. Maybe some good citizen left us some information at 2. Scotland Yard?

Can we also have a lookup on Poole & Son just in case we want to go there?

Tax Refund
Apr 15, 2011

The IRS gave me a refund. I spent it on this SA account. What was I thinking?!

I'm somewhat disappointed that the game didn't let us say, "He's been murdered; can we go up to his room and look for any clues that might help us find his murderer?" I feel a little let down by the lack of clues in the two most obvious spots.

Our only two leads now are Simpson's Cigar Divan at 20 WC, and Poole & Son. I also request a lookup on Poole & Son so we can go there next after Simpson's.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Looking up 'Poole & Son' :

Ponsford, Maxwell ....... 26 SW
Poole & Co .................... 10 EC
Poole, Richard ............... 56 WC
Porlock, Fred .................. 18 NW



Compared to the first case, this one doesn't give as much information. I'll probably post the next clue point up some time tomorrow (night in the US / wee hours of Thursday in London). But keep thinking about the clues you do have.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Kangra posted:

Poole & Co .................... 10 EC

Wait, is that right? 10 EC on the map is marked "Metropolitan Hotel". What does the directory say if you look up "Metropolitan Hotel", then?

Tax Refund
Apr 15, 2011

The IRS gave me a refund. I spent it on this SA account. What was I thinking?!

Okay, let's see what we know and what we can put together from it.

- The victim carried flowers openly to the theater, obviously angling for the attentions of one of the actresses, singers, or dancers. Could be Miss Minnie Cavill, could be Bunty or Clyde.
- The victim (assuming it was the same man) checked in to the hotel under what sounds like an alias, claiming to be married.
- Married men who are having affairs with stage girls would normally try to be discreet about it.
- Theory: the lady who claimed to be his wife was hired to play that part for the evening, perhaps by giving her that pendant. If so, she was so eager to show it off to the clerk because it was new (to her).
- Conclusion: if that is correct, he needed a cover story for being around on the 3rd.

That's all I can think of for now. WHY he needed a cover story is probably related to that cipher, but I still can't make heads or tails of it.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Hyper Crab Tank posted:

Wait, is that right? 10 EC on the map is marked "Metropolitan Hotel". What does the directory say if you look up "Metropolitan Hotel", then?

They're both at 10 EC. People and businesses may often share the same location/address, though only one will ever be active in a given case. The spots mentioned in the lecture don't have any alternatives, and there is one other that won't - 42NW, which is 221B Baker St. [I think in one or two cases this is a visitable location, but it's in situations when you aren't aware of what Holmes is doing]. Presumably some map locations would also not have anything else there (like parks, train stations and the like).

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Case 2, Clue 3

20 WC (Simpson's Cigar Divan)

The description of our unidentified man rings a bell with an old duffer who overhears our conversation with the manager of Simpson's Cigar Divan.

"Yes, I believe I know the fellow. Came in every afternoon about 2 o'clock for the last several weeks. I played chess with him. Quite a good player."

"Can you tell us his name?"

"You know, I don't believe he ever gave it. I once asked him where he was from. His accent, although slight, was very strange. He said that his family was originally from Scotland. That led to something of a discussion about ancestry, famous relatives and such. He said that part of his family line had migrated to France and that his name was the same as one of Napoleon's marshals. I never thought to ask which marshal."

"Did he mention anything at all about himself, a friend's name, a place he was going or had been, anything?"

"Every afternoon at 4:45 almost on the dot he would end our game. Said he had a pressing appointment. But, I'm afraid, he never elaborated."

CPs visited: 13 SE, 3 SE, 20 WC

The Merry Marauder
Apr 4, 2009

"But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

MacDonald seems a strong possibility, then, in an echo of the hotel ledger, though of course they could have married into the marshal's family.

Though I'd be entertained if it was MacMahon and he meant Napoleon III.

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Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Agreed that what they're going for is probably MacDonald (as in Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald). But, man, information sure is way more scarce this time around.

- The victim has been in London not just for the last week, but for the last several weeks. It makes it more likely that he outright has a residence in London.
- The 4:45 appointment I thought at first was about the Elephant & Castle, but 4:45 is a bit too early to be called "night" and at any rate the ushers have only been seeing him for the past week. It's probably something else.
- Why did the victim need directions from the hotel to the cigar shop?

On the off chance, could we have a lookup for MacDonald, please?

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