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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 Man, what a challenge! | Comment 85 of 101 |

For one thing, I suspected Nathan right off the bat as soon as he mentioned the cigar; no one else said anything about a cigar. Here we go:

It's all about who had to have come before/after/in between, using the presence of the coffee, the paper, or the knife to work around. The first edition is just to show that Martin did not come last, and Nathan did not come first.

First the simple ones: Martin before Nathan, Lady Jane before Lisa.

Simone had to have come between Tom and Reny, or there would be no coffee, and after Lady Jane, or Lady Jane would have seen the knife.

At least one visitor would have had to come between Simone and Reny, because more cups had been used by then. That means we have this definite order:

Tom - Simone - ??? - Reny

So far, neither Martin, Lady Jane, nor Simone can be the killer, because someone would have had to come after them.

Cristian had to have come either before Lady Jane or after Lisa, or the paper would have been there. Conversely, Tom would have had to come before Lady Jane or after Lisa, or no paper. So that means we have this definite order:

Lady Jane - Cristian - Lisa

Now let's place Tom and Reny in the mix. Remember, Cristian can't be between them, so we have to place both of them before or after him. Factoring in the definite orders we have, we're left with these possibilities:

1. Tom - Lady Jane - Reny - Cristian - Lisa
2. Lady Jane - Tom - Reny - Cristian - Lisa
3. Lady Jane - Cristian - Tom - Reny - Lisa
4. Lady Jane - Cristian - Lisa - Tom - Reny
5. Lady Jane - Cristian - Tom - Lisa - Reny

If the paper is to be there when Tom arrives, that means that all but 1 and 3 are no good. Tom must be outside of Lady Jane and Lisa, and the only way we can accomplish that and keep Cristian outside of Tom and Reny is one of these two:

1. Tom - Lady Jane - Reny - Cristian - Lisa
2. Tom - Lady Jane - Reny - Lisa - Cristian

The second is no good, because then Lisa would have returned the paper before Cristian arrived. Number one is the only possibility.

Now to add Simone and the mystery coffee drinker, who must come between Tom and Reny, to the mix:

1. Tom - Simone - ??? - Lady Jane - Reny - Cristian - Lisa
2. Tom - Simone - Lady Jane - ??? - Reny - Cristian - Lisa
3. Tom - Lady Jane - Simone - ??? - Reny - Cristian - Lisa

Numbers one and two are no good, because then the knife would have been there for Lady Jane to see. Now we have a definite order for six of the eight. The mystery person in between must be either Martin or Nathan, but remember, Nathan didn't have any coffee. Therefore:

Tom - Lady Jane - Simone - Martin - Reny - Cristian - Lisa

Now it's down to either Nathan or Lisa, with Nathan placing anywhere after Martin. But our final piece of evidence: Levikus had the paper when Nathan showed up. Since Martin had to arrive after Lady Jane for him to have coffee after Simone, Nathan could not have come before Lady Jane. That means he came after Lisa returned the paper, and up until now, Lisa has been last.

Get the chair ready boys, we're gonna be fryin' a Nathan hot dog tonight!

...Did I say that? Someone hit me for making such a horrible joke...

Oh, and for the record, one sip of coffee is all you need to discern what it really is: battery acid.

I am so pissed at myself for that joke...

  Posted by Chris DeNicola on 2005-07-25 12:00:14
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