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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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Question mental wanderings, and a request for clarification | Comment 56 of 101 |
(In reply to re: Assumptions? by pcbouhid)

In other words, each statement is a complete and full statement? No, wait, that can't be true or the four cup users would have identified themselves.  

Question 1: So, if someone does not mention the newspaper, it either may or may not have been present?

For instance, by Reny stating, "I only went in to clear the coffee..." we understand that she had no intention of taking care of other things in the room (such as brandy snifters, ashtrays,  blood :O ...) and her lack of comments about what else was present means nothing? That also means the possibility that they drank brandy out of the cups from the coffee service still exists, as Reny said, "four cups had been used," not "four cups of coffee had been drunk."

(This is when I would have a family member read a solution for me, to tell me one way or another if only coffee-drinkers had used those cups!  Hmmm... would that be considered cheating?)

Question 2: I'd like to make sure I have defined my terms correctly and understand a typical "Study" environment of this social class. Tell me if I am wrong, pchoubid:

coffee service includes: coffeepot full of coffee, cups with which to drink coffee, as well as items non-critical to the puzzle such as cream in creamer, sugar in sugar bowl, spoons to stir, all on a serving tray. Appropriate glassware to serve brandy, etc., would be located in the Study with the decanters of brandy, etc.

Off to make a latte and ponder.


  Posted by gail on 2005-07-20 17:47:27
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