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Old 02-27-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
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The guests milled around the doors muttering, trying to work out the first puzzle. Surely the first one wouldn't be insanely difficult, would it? Would it require an Enigma machine to solve?

Of course not! The first puzzle can be solved without using any program or device, though it may be helpful to look something up online.

As the guests debated, a neatly-dressed woman in her mid-thirties rounded the corner, shoes clicking evenly on a pavement still wet with that morning's rain. She was running a few minutes late - she had to drop her daughter off at home - but it looked like the others hadn't gotten inside yet, so it hardly mattered.

"Good evening, Samuel," said Ocean Zweidler to the doorman, in crisp and formal tones. "Do you mind if I examine the clues?"

He nodded. "Indeed, Ms. Ocean." The ever-formal old man called her this as a compromise. She would never have accepted "Ms. Zweidler," and he would never first-name her until the ocean itself dried up.

As she examined the paper for clues, it occurred to her that the puzzle was, one might say, slightly inequitable. "Having never been in the men's bathroom," said Ocean, "how am I to make sense of the flickering light?" She spoke like a book, subordinate and ordinate clauses neatly delimited.

Samuel refused to drop any hints. "You've got everything you need right there, Ms. Ocean. Sorry. All I can say."

Hmm... she thought. What kind of coded message might a person send with a flickering light?

Ocean Zweidler's inventory:

Smartphone (with sound recorder, camera, GPS, notepad, and Internet access)
Magnifying lens (worn on a loupe around her neck)
Purse, containing:
* First aid kit
* Three pencils and a pen
* Two erasers
* A calculator
* Magnifying lens
* A paper notepad
* Paperclips
* Chewing gum
* Emergency whistle
* Reading glasses
* A small portable umbrella
* Plug-in phone charger
* A cigarette lighter (but no cigarettes)
* Nail clippers (which double as tension wrench for picking locks)
* Assorted detritus, receipts, etc.
* Wallet, containing:
** Driver's license
** Credit and debit cards
** $123.25 in cash
** Assorted membership cards, including a library card and a membership to the Detection Club
** Organ donor card
** Lockpicks (in hidden pocket)

(The above will not help you break the code in any way, but may eventually come in handy. What is missing from Ocean's inventory might also be worth noting.)

Last edited by WitchOfDoubt; 02-27-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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