Lessons from Encyclopedia Brown, 41-90

Bloggified by Jake on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

41. A bicycle that hadn't been ridden in months would have flat tires!
42. The moon, like the sun, rises in the east so he wouldn't have seen it though the trees in the west that early in the evening!
43. It's not what he wrote, but what he didn't write that tells us who the kidnapper was!
44. Some people come up with really simple combinations for their safes with convoluted mnemonic devices to remember them just so Encyclopedia Brown can share some fun fact about wordplay when he explains how he figured out the combination!
45. Carousels in England go clockwise while carousels in America go counter-clockwise!
46. When someone sits on a chair like that, they can't stand up without shifting their head forward!
47. The snake might have squeezed through the bars to get into the cage, but after he ate the mouse/rat/rabbit/lizards, he would have been too fat to get back out!
48. Blind people fold their money in different ways depending on denomination!
49. If he'd been stranded in the desert/at sea without any water for four days, he couldn't be sweating!
50. It's impossible to make change for anything with $7.19 made up of a five, a one, a half dollar, a quarter, four dimes, and four pennies!
51. In his rush, he accidentally hit the C/V/H key on the typewriter whenever he meant to hit the V/C/N key! So the money/ring/necklace/priceless artifact isn't in the cat/vase/picture of a Norseman, it's in the vat/case/picture of a horseman!
52. There are cities in Texas called Moscow, Palestine, Athens, Paris, London, and Odessa!
53. If he'd seen the reflection in a large, silver fruit bowl, it would have been upside-down and too distorted to recognize anyone!
54. No one referred to World War One as such until World War Two!
55. If the tent was put up after it rained yesterday, the ground underneath should be wet, but it's dry!
56. The person we sexistly assume was a man was actually a woman, so the guy claiming to be her grandson is telling the truth, but it's also true she isn't his grandfather!
57. The Confederates called Bull Run "The Battle of Manassas!"
58. A blind man can't read a newspaper!
59. Since the knife was stuck in the watermelon the whole time, only the owner would know how long the blade was/what was engraved on the blade!
60. How did he know the Dr. Tracy/Casey/Bobby/Chris Johnson was a woman and a dentist?!
61. The egg he won the egg spinning contest with was hard boiled!
62. A letter from a judge wouldn't misuse simple legal terms like "libel" and "slander!"
63. A letter from the head of the college English department wouldn't contain common grammatical errors like a split infinitive and redundancies!
64. When the mud dried in the sun, the footprint left behind shrank!
65. A true wine expert would know to open a red wine an hour before serving!
66. Dogs are color blind!
67. A maple tree's surface roots steal moisture from grass!
68. There's no way he could have written that letter/drawn that picture/redrafted his will before dying in that Arctic cabin. The ink would have been frozen!
69. The milkman, who knew he didn't have to leave his daily delivery as the paperboy and mailman continued to do, was the guilty one!
70. Real nuns don't wear lipstick!
71. The coins were fake because they couldn't have been dated B.C.!
72. A real archaeologist wouldn't have written 57 A.D., he would have written A.D 57!
73. He knew the victim wouldn't be able to perform, which is why he was ready to play without tuning his violin or rosining his bow!
74. She only saw him from the back, so she couldn't have known whether the sweater was a cardigan or a pullover!
75. Mules can't reproduce!
76. Giraffes can't scream!
77. Pigs can't look up!
78. Birds can't nest in a palm tree!
79. If the coffee had really been boiling for a full hour, the water would have all been gone!
80. The one who gave him snow skiing/water skiing equipment instead of water skiing/snow skiing equipment like the rest is the guilty one!
81. Only the murderer upon being told that a gun was the murder weapon, would assume the victim was "clubbed to death!"
82. No woman would go to a hairdresser right before going sailing!
83. The cellist had no intention of playing or she wouldn't have worn a skirt!
84. Military chaplains aren't allowed to carry weapons!
85. The hairdryers would have been too loud for any of the women to hear what he said, so it must have been the deaf woman who could read lips!
86. He couldn't have hit him on the left side of his jaw with a left hook!
87. Electric clocks don't tick!
88. He was stealing wheelbarrows!
89. There's no stock report in the Monday newspaper!
90. People in Brazil speak Portuguese, not Spanish!

6 sarcastic replies:

Jessa Slade said...

Clearly I need to use more exclamation points in my dénouements.

TonyDuMont said...

What exactly was the case where the thief was stealing wheelbarrows? It must be a two-minute mystery, since I never read that in Encyclopedia Brown.

Jake said...

I don't remember off the top of my head, but I think it was a puzzle someone posed to Encyclopedia to see if he was really as smart as everyone says he is.

TonyDuMont said...

I read all 26 Encyclopedia Brown books (not counting the fact books) and I never heard of that case before.

Jake said...

Maybe it was 2-Minute Mysteries. I didn't think I started in on those this early in the list though.

The puzzle was that a security guard thought a guy was stealing stuff from a factory, but couldn't figure out what or how. Every day, the guy came out pushing a wheelbarrow full of garbage. The guard searched through it and found nothing of value. He'd search the guy and find nothing, yet he still was sure the guy was stealing something.

He was right. The guy was stealing wheelbarrows.

TonyDuMont said...

I know that #43 comes from The Case of the Kidnapped Professor. In it, the professor wrote a list of names: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Jackson, and Grant. Encyclopedia realized that they were a list of people who appear on currency--Washington on the $1 bill, Jefferson on the $2, Lincoln on the $5, Jackson on the $20, and Grant on the $50. Thus the kidnapper shared the name of the man on the $10 bill--Hamilton.

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