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The death of Sir Levikus (Posted on 2005-07-12) Difficulty: 2 of 5
Sir Levikus, one evening, rather unwisely, announced at dinner that he was cutting someone out of his will. Sure enough, the next morning, Sir Levikus was found slumped over the desk in his study, having been fatally stabbed with a paper-knife.

Herlock Sholmes, renowned private investigator, immediately began questioning all the suspects to discover who had seen the victim last.

Here are their statements, all of which are true:

a) His long-time friend, Martin, said : "I went to the study to show Sir Levikus a first edition I bought yesterday. He kept it to examine more closely."

b) Lady Jane (my sweet Lady Jane...), Sir Levikusīs wife (now widow), said : "I borrowed the evening newspaper from my husband. There was no paper-knife present at that time; I would have remembered it."

c) Nathan, the son of the deceased, said: "I did not have coffee with my father. When I went to the study he was reading the newspaper and smoking a cigar. He showed me Martinīs first edition."

d) Lisa, Sir Levikusīs daughter, said : "I went to return the newspaper mother had borrowed."

e) Tom, the butler, said: "As was usual after dinner, I brought the coffee service to the study. Sir Levikus was at his desk reading the evening newspaper."

f) Reny, the maid, said: "I only went in to clear the coffee service. I did see that four cups had been used."

g) Cristian, the brother of the murdered man, said: "Since there was no coffee when I went to the study, we had brandy together. I wanted to look at the newspaper, but it was not in the room."

h) Simone, Sir Levikusīs niece, said: "Certainly I recognize the paper-knife. My uncle brought it out when we were having coffee together. I noticed that one other cup had been used."

Herlock Sholmesīs incisive brain immediately determined who was the last person to visit Sir Levikus and thus, was his murderer.

Who was the killer? Can you list Sir Levikusīs eight visitors in order? Show your reasoning!

See The Solution Submitted by pcbouhid    
Rating: 3.8125 (16 votes)

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Solution solution | Comment 1 of 101
OK, here goes...

Since Cristian was in the study when there was neither coffee nor newspaper, we know he entered sometime between Lady Jane and Lisa and not between Tom and Reny. Since we know from Reny that four cups of coffee were used (I assumed one by Levikus and the other three by his visitors), these two intervals must overlap--they are not consecutive.

Tom could not have been in the room between Lisa and Lady Jane (because the newspaper was not there), so the Lady Jane and Lisa "interval" must include Reny. Thus Cristian entered between Reny and Lisa. To sum up everything so far:


Lady Jane




Simone must be between Tom and Reny (because he drank coffee) and so must Martin (in order for there to be four used cups). We also know Simone came in after Lady Jane (because the newspaper was gone). Also, Lady Jane was the only coffee-drinker to enter between Simone and Tom (because there was only one other used cup when Simone entered), so Martin must have entered between Simone and Reny. So, now we have this:


Lady Jane






Finally, since Nathan could not have entered between Lady Jane and Lisa (because the newspaper was there when he entered), and he must have come in after Martin (because Levikus showed Nathan Martin's first edition), Nathan must have been the last person to see Levikus, and, hence, the murderer.

Must be some sort of Oedipal thing...

EDITED: a "not there" was supposed to say "there"...woops...fixed now...

Edited on July 12, 2005, 2:55 pm
  Posted by yocko on 2005-07-12 07:05:44

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