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You are here You are here: Home Library 800-Literature Minute Mysteries Minute mysteries
  (126) Minute Mysteries  
About Minute Mysteries

The hundred-or-so Minute Mysteries listed here come with the ANSWER to the mystery listed side by side with the mystery, in this format:

The Mystery

Under the first, BLUE highlighted tab are the Mysteries posed.

Mystery Solved!

With the ANSWERS given under the RED highlighted tab.

(excuse any errors in the answers, which were loaded without looking.)



  • The object of minute mysteries (aka lateral thinking puzzles) is for you to unravel the mystery, based on very limited and somewhat ambiguous clues.
  • You are given a scenario (usually involving a death of some sort), and you have to deduce what has happened.
  • Someone must look at the solution so that you can ask them questions to try and figure it out.
  • The questions have to be phrased so that the only possible answers are yes, no or not relevant.
  • There is no limit to the number of questions, and it can be helpful to have multiple people working on the case.
Submit a Minute Mystery

If you know of a Minute Mystery that is not included in the group listed here on Gaian Corps, and care enough to take the time, please click the "Contact Us" menu choice shown above, and use the contact form to submit the Minute Mystery.

If you know of another website which features Minute Mysteries that is not listed on the previous tab (Minute Mystery Links), please use the contact form to submit the website information.

Also, if you spot any typos or errors in any of the answers, please use the contact form to submit that information.

Thanks in advance.

Mysteries 1 – 20

Mystery # 1 - In the middle of the ocean is a yacht . . .

The Mystery

In the middle of the ocean is a yacht. Several corpses are floating in the water nearby.

Mystery Solved!

#1  A bunch of people are on an ocean voyage in a yacht.  One afternoon, they all decide to go swimming, so they put on swimsuits and dive off the side into the water.  Unfortunately, they forget to set up a ladder on the side of the boat, so there's no way for them to climb back in, and they drown.

Mystery # 2 - Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice all live in the same house . . .

The Mystery

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice all live in the same house. Bob and Carol go out to a movie, and when they return, Alice is lying dead on the floor in a puddle of water and glass. It is obvious that Ted killed her but Ted is not prosecuted or severely punished.

Mystery Solved!

#2 Alice is a goldfish; Ted is a cat.

Mystery # 3 - A woman comes home with a bag of groceries, gets the mail, and walks . . .

The Mystery

A woman comes home with a bag of groceries, gets the mail, and walks into the house. On the way to the kitchen, she goes through the living room and looks at her husband, who had blown his brains out. She then continues to the kitchen, puts away the groceries, and makes dinner.

Mystery Solved!

#3  The husband killed himself a while ago; it's his ashes in an urn on the mantelpiece that the wife looks at.

Mystery # 4 - A body is discovered in a park in Chicago in the middle of summer . . .

The Mystery

A body is discovered in a park in Chicago in the middle of summer. It has a fractured skull and many other broken bones, but the cause of death was hypothermia.

Mystery Solved!

#4  A poor peasant from somewhere in Europe wants desperately to get to the U.S.  Not having money for airfare, he stows away in the landing gear compartment of a jet.  He dies of hypothermia in mid-flight, and falls out when the landing gear compartment opens as the plane makes its final approach.

Mystery # 5 - A man lives on the twelfth floor of an apartment building . . .

The Mystery

A man lives on the twelfth floor of an apartment building. Every morning he wakes up, gets dressed, eats, goes to the elevator, takes it down to the lobby, and leaves the building for work. In the evening, he goes through the lobby to the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator (or if it was raining that day) he goes back to his floor directly. However, if there is nobody else in the elevator and it hasn't rained, he goes to the 10th floor and walks up two flights of stairs to his room.

Mystery Solved!

#5  The man is a midget.  He can't reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him.  He can also push them with his umbrella.

Mystery # 6 - A woman has incontrovertible proof in court that her husband was murdered . . .

The Mystery

A woman has incontrovertible proof in court that her husband was murdered by her sister. The judge declares, "This is the strangest case I've ever seen. Though it's a cut-and-dried case, this murderess cannot be punished."

Mystery Solved!

#6  The sisters are Siamese twins.

Mystery # 7 - A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender pulls out a gun . . .

The Mystery

A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, "Thank you," and walks out.

Mystery Solved!

#7  The man has hiccups; the bartender scares them away by pulling a gun.

Mystery # 8 - A man is in a returning from Switzerland by train. If he had been in a . . .

The Mystery

A man is in a returning from Switzerland by train. If he had been in a non-smoking car he would have died.

Mystery Solved!

#8  The man used to be blind; he's now returning from an eye operation which restored his sight.  He's spent all his money on the operation, so when the train goes through a tunnel he at first thinks he's gone blind again and almost decides to kill himself.  Fortunately, the light of the cigarettes people are smoking convinces him that he can still see.

Mystery # 9 - Music stops and a woman dies.

The Mystery

Music stops and a woman dies.

Mystery Solved!

#9  The woman is a tightrope walker in a circus.  Her act consists of walking the rope blindfolded, accompanied by music.  The musician (organist, or calliopist, or pianist, or whatever) is supposed to stop playing when she reaches the end of the rope, telling her that it's safe to step off onto the platform.  For unknown reasons (but with murderous intent), he stops the music early, and she steps off the rope to her death.

Mystery # 10 - A man goes into a restaurant, orders albatross, eats one bite, and kills himself.

The Mystery

A man goes into a restaurant, orders albatross, eats one bite, and kills himself.

Mystery Solved!

#10  The man was in a ship that was wrecked on a desert island.  When there was no food left, another passenger brought what he said was albatross but was really part of the man's wife (who had died in the wreck).  The man suspects something fishy, so when they finally return to civilization, he orders albatross, realizes that what he ate before was his wife, and kills himself.

Mystery # 11 - A man is found hanging in a locked room with no furniture and a puddle of . . .

The Mystery

A man is found hanging in a locked room with no furniture and a puddle of water under his feet.

Mystery Solved!

#11  He stood on a block of ice to hang himself.

Mystery # 12 - A man is dead in a puddle of blood and water on the floor of a locked room.

The Mystery

A man is dead in a puddle of blood and water on the floor of a locked room.

Mystery Solved!

#12  He stabbed himself with an icicle.

Mystery # 13 - A man is lying, dead, face down in the desert wearing a backpack.

The Mystery

A man is lying, dead, face down in the desert wearing a backpack.

Mystery Solved!

#13  He jumped out of an airplane, but his parachute failed to open.

Mystery # 14 - A man is lying face down, dead, in the desert, with a match near his . . .

The Mystery

A man is lying face down, dead, in the desert, with a match near his outstretched hand. He is nude.

Mystery Solved!

#14  He was with several others in a hot air balloon crossing the desert.  The balloon was punctured and they began to lose altitude. They tossed all their non-essentials overboard, then their clothing and food, but were still going to crash in the middle of the desert.  Finally, they drew matches to see who would jump over the side and save the others; this man lost.

Mystery # 15 - A man is driving his car. He turns on the radio, listens for five minutes . . .

The Mystery

A man is driving his car. He turns on the radio, listens for five minutes, turns around, goes home, and shoots his wife.

Mystery Solved!

#15  The radio program is one of the call-up-somebody-and-ask-them-a-question contest shows; the announcer gives the phone number of the man's bedroom phone, and a male voice answers.

Mystery # 16 - A man driving his car turns on the radio. He then pulls over to the side . . .

The Mystery

A man driving his car turns on the radio. He then pulls over to the side of the road and shoots himself.

Mystery Solved!

#16  He worked as a DJ at a radio station.  He decided to kill his wife, and so he put on a long record and quickly drove home and killed her, figuring he had a perfect alibi; he'd been at work.  On the way back he turned on his show, only to discover that the record was skipping.

Mystery # 17 - A man is dead in a room with sawdust in one corner.

The Mystery

A man is dead in a room with sawdust in one corner.

Mystery Solved!

#17  The man is a blind midget.  For various reasons too complicated to go into, someone else has been sawing small pieces off of his cane every night, so that every day he thinks he's taller.  Since his only income is from being a circus midget, he decides to kill himself when he gets too tall.  (Variant answer: instead of sawing pieces off of his cane, someone has sawed the legs off of his bed.  He wakes up, stands up, and thinks he's grown during the night.)

Mystery # 18 - A pile of sawdust, no net, a man dies.

The Mystery

A pile of sawdust, no net, a man dies.

Mystery Solved!

#18  A midget is jealous of the clown who walks on stilts.  He saws partway through the stilts; the clown walks along and falls and dies when they break.

Mystery # 19 - A rope breaks. A bell rings. A man dies.

The Mystery

A rope breaks. A bell rings. A man dies.

Mystery Solved!

#19  A blind man enjoyed walking near a cliff, and used the sound of a buoy to gauge his distance from the edge.  One day the buoy's anchor rope broke, allowing the buoy to drift away from the shore, and the man walked over the edge of the cliff.

Mystery # 20 - A man sitting on a park bench reads a newspaper article headlined "Death . . .

The Mystery

A man sitting on a park bench reads a newspaper article headlined "Death at Sea" and says, "A murder has been committed!"

Mystery Solved!

#20  The man is a travel agent.  He had sold someone two tickets for an ocean voyage, one round-trip and one one-way.  The last name of the man who bought the tickets is the same as the last name of the woman who "fell" overboard and drowned on the same voyage, which is the subject of the article he's reading.

 

Mysteries 21 – 40

Mystery # 21 - A man is riding a subway. He meets a one-armed man . . .

The Mystery

A man is riding a subway. He meets a one-armed man, who pulls out a gun and shoots him.

Mystery Solved!

#21  Several men were shipwrecked together.  They agreed to survive by eating each other a piece at a time.  Each of them in turn gives up an arm, but before they get to the last one, they're rescued.  They all demand that the last man live up to his end of the deal.  Instead, he kills a bum and sends the bum's arm to the others in a box to demonstrate that he fulfilled the bargain.  Later, one of them sees him on the subway, holding onto the overhead rings with the arm he supposedly cut off, realizes he cheated, and kills him.

Mystery # 22 - Two women are talking. One goes into the bathroom . . .

The Mystery

Two women are talking. One goes into the bathroom, comes out five minutes later, and kills the other.

Mystery Solved!

#22 Both women are white and single. A black male friend of the one who goes into the bathroom was recently killed, reportedly by the KKK. The woman who goes into the bathroom discovers a bloodstained KKK robe in the other's laundry hamper, picks up a nail file from the medicine cabinet, and goes out and kills the other.

Mystery # 23 - A man is sitting in bed. He makes a phone call, says nothing . . .

The Mystery

A man is sitting in bed. He makes a phone call, says nothing, then goes to sleep.

Mystery Solved!

#23 He is in a hotel, and is unable to sleep because the man in the adjacent room is snoring. He calls the room next door (from his own number he can easily figure out his neighbor's, and from the room number, the telephone number). The snorer wakes up, answers the phone. The first man hangs up without saying anything and goes to sleep before the snorer gets back to sleep and starts snoring again.

Mystery # 24 - A man kills his wife, then goes inside his house and kills himself.

The Mystery

A man kills his wife, then goes inside his house and kills himself.

Mystery Solved!

#24 It's the man's fiftieth birthday, and in celebration of this he plans to kill his wife, then take the money he's embezzled and move on to a new life in another state. His wife takes him out to dinner; afterward, on their front step, he kills her. He opens the door, dragging her body in with him, and all the lights suddenly turn on and a group of his friends shout "Surprise!" He kills himself. (Note that the whole first part, including the motive, isn't really necessary; it was just part of the original story.)

Mystery # 25 - Abel walks out of the ocean. Cain asks him who he is . . .

The Mystery

Abel walks out of the ocean. Cain asks him who he is, and Abel answers. Cain kills Abel.

Mystery Solved!

#25 Abel is a prince of the island nation that he landed on. A cruel and warlike prince, he waged many land and naval battles along with his father the king. In one naval encounter, their ship sank, the king died, and the prince swam to a deserted island where he spent several months. In the mean time, a regent was appointed to the island nation, and he brought peace and prosperity. When Prince Abel returned to his kingdom, Cain (a native fisherman) realized that the peace of the land would only be maintained if Abel did not reascend to his throne.

Mystery # 26 - Two men, one big and burly and the other short and thin . . .

The Mystery

Two men, one big and burly and the other short and thin, enter a bar. They both order identical drinks. The big one gulps his down and leaves; the other sips his slowly, then dies.

Mystery Solved!

#26 The drinks contained poisoned ice cubes; the man who drank slowly gave them time to melt, while the other didn't.

Mystery # 27 - Joe leaves his house, wearing a mask . . .

The Mystery

Joe leaves his house, wearing a mask and carrying an empty sack. An hour later he returns. The sack is now full. He goes into a room and turns out the lights.

Mystery Solved!

#27 Joe is a kid who goes trick-or-treating for Halloween.

Mystery # 28 - A man takes a two week cruise to Mexico from the U.S . . .

The Mystery

A man takes a two week cruise to Mexico from the U.S. Shortly after he gets back, he takes a three day cruise which doesn't stop at any other ports. He stays in his cabin all the time on both cruises. As a result, he makes $250,000.

Mystery Solved!

#28 He's a smuggler. On the first cruise, someone brings the contraband to his cabin, and he hides it in an air conditioning duct. Returning to the U.S., he leaves without the contraband, and so passes through customs with no trouble. On the second trip, he has the same cabin of the same ship. Because it doesn't stop anywhere, he doesn't have to go through customs when he returns, so he gets the contraband off safely.

Mystery # 29 - Hans and Fritz are German spies during World War II . . .

The Mystery

Hans and Fritz are German spies during World War II. They try to enter America, posing as returning tourists. Hans is immediately arrested.

Mystery Solved!

#29 Hans and Fritz do everything right up until they're filling out a personal-information form and have to write down their birthdays. Fritz' birthday is, say, July 7, so he writes down 7/7/15. Hans, however, was born on, say, June 20, so he writes down 20/6/18 instead of what an American would write, 6/20/18.

Mystery # 30 - Tim and Greg were talking. Tim said "The terror of flight" . . .

The Mystery

Tim and Greg were talking. Tim said "The terror of flight". Greg said "The gloom of the grave". Greg was arrested.

Mystery Solved!

#30 Another WWII story. Greg is a German spy. His friend Tim is suspicious, so he plays a word-association game with him. When Tim says "The land of the free", Greg responds with "The home of the brave". Then Tim says "The terror of flight", and Greg says "The gloom of the grave". Any U.S. citizen knows the first verse of the national anthem, but only a spy would have memorized all four verses.

Mystery # 31 - A man is found dead in his parked car. Tire tracks lead . . .

The Mystery

A man is found dead in his parked car. Tire tracks lead up to the car and away.

Mystery Solved!

#31 The dead man was the driver in a hit-and-run accident which paralyzed its victim. The victim did manage to get the license plate number of the car; now in a wheelchair, he eventually tracked down the driver and killed him.

Mystery # 32 - A man dies in his own home.

The Mystery

A man dies in his own home.

Mystery Solved!

#32 His home is a houseboat and he has run out of water while on an extended cruise.

Mystery # 33 - A woman in Paris in 1895 is waiting for her husband . . .

The Mystery

A woman in Paris in 1895 is waiting for her husband to come home. When he arrives, the house has burned to the ground and she's dead.

Mystery Solved!

#33 I'm told this is a true story. Windows in Paris at that time were apparently imperfectly flat; they could act as lenses. One particularly hot day, the sun shining in through such a window caused a woman's lingerie (which she was wearing at the time, awaiting her husband's return) to catch fire, and eventually the entire house caught fire and burned.

Mystery # 34 - A man gets onto an elevator. When the elevator stops . . .

The Mystery

A man gets onto an elevator. When the elevator stops, he knows his wife is dead.

Mystery Solved!

#34 He's leaving a hospital after visiting his wife, who's on heavy life-support. When the power goes out, he knows she can't live without the life-support systems (he assumes that if the emergency backup generator were working, the elevator wouldn't lose power).

Mystery # 35 - A policeman follows a burglar into a bar . . .

The Mystery

A policeman follows a burglar into a bar. When he enters the bar he finds a set of identical twins, dressed the same, with the loot between them. After several minutes he arrests one of the twins.

Mystery Solved!

#35 Both twins were wearing glasses. The burglar, however, was wearing photosensitive sunglasses; the policeman noticed them changing shade and realized the man must have just entered.

Mystery # 36 - She lost her job when she invited them to dinner.

The Mystery

She lost her job when she invited them to dinner.

Mystery Solved!

#36 Let's say "she" is named Suzy, and "they" are named Harry and Jane. Harry is an elderly archaeologist who has found a very old skeleton, which he's dubbed "Jane" (like "Lucy"). Suzy is a buyer for a museum; she's supposed to make some sort of purchase from Harry, so she invites him to have a business dinner with her (at a restaurant). When she calls to invite him, he keeps talking about "Jane," so Suzy assumes that Jane is his wife and says to bring her along. Harry, offended, calls Suzy's boss and complains; since Suzy should've known who Jane was, she gets fired.

Mystery # 37 - He couldn't find a chair, so he died.

The Mystery

He couldn't find a chair, so he died.

Mystery Solved!

#37 The man was a lion tamer.

Mystery # 38 - A car without a driver moves; a man dies.

The Mystery

38 - A car without a driver moves; a man dies.

Mystery Solved!

#38 The murderer set the car on a slope above the hot dog stand where the victim works. He then wedged an ice block in the car to keep the brake pedal down, and put the car in neutral. The murderer then flew to another city to avoid suspicion. It was a rainy day but warm enough for the ice to melt. When the ice melted, the car rolled down the hill and struck the hot dog man at his roadside stand, killing him.

Mystery # 39 - As I drive to work on my motorcycle, there is one corner

The Mystery

As I drive to work on my motorcycle, there is one corner which I go around at a certain speed whether it's rainy or sunny. If it's cloudy but not raining, however, I usually go faster.

Mystery Solved!

#39 There's a car wash on that corner. On rainy days, the rain reduces traction. On sunny days, water from the car wash has the same effect. If rain is threatening, though, the car wash gets little business and thus doesn't make the road wet, so I can take the corner faster.

Mystery # 40 - A woman throws something out a window and dies.

The Mystery

40 - A woman throws something out a window and dies.

Mystery Solved!

#40 The object she threw was a boomerang. It flew out, looped around, and came back and hit her in the head, killing her.

Mysteries 41 – 60

Mystery # 41 - An avid birdwatcher sees an unexpected bird. Soon he's dead.

The Mystery

An avid birdwatcher sees an unexpected bird. Soon he's dead.

Mystery Solved!

#41 He saw the bird at 20,000 feet get sucked into an engine.

Mystery # 42 - A man shoots himself, and dies.

The Mystery

A man shoots himself, and dies.

Mystery Solved!

#42 The man is a heroin addict, and has contracted AIDS by using an infected needle. Since he has no hope to live, he shoots himself up with an overdose, and commits suicide.

Mystery # 43 - A man walks into a room, shoots, and kills himself.

The Mystery

A man walks into a room, shoots, and kills himself.

Mystery Solved!

#43 The man walked into a casino, and went to the craps table. He bet all the money he had to his name, and shot craps. Since he was now broke, he became despondent and committed suicide.

Mystery # 44 - Adults are holding children, waiting their turn . . .

The Mystery

Adults are holding children, waiting their turn. The children are handed (one at a time, usually) to a man, who holds them while a woman shoots them. If the child is crying, the man tries to stop the crying before the child is shot.

Mystery Solved!

#44 Kids getting their pictures taken with Santa.

Mystery # 45 - A man marries twenty women in his village . . .

The Mystery

A man marries twenty women in his village but isn't charged with polygamy.

Mystery Solved!

#45 He's a priest; he is marrying them to other people, not to himself.

Mystery # 46 - There are two people dead in a cabin in the woods.

The Mystery

There are two people dead in a cabin in the woods.

Mystery Solved!

#46 It's the cabin of an airplane that's crashed there.

Mystery # 47 - A man pushes a car up to a hotel and realizes he's bankrupt.

The Mystery

A man pushes a car up to a hotel and realizes he's bankrupt.

Mystery Solved!

#47 It's a game of Monopoly.

Mystery # 48 - She said "I love you," and died.

The Mystery

She said "I love you," and died.

Mystery Solved!

#48 She was a circus performer who performed rope tricks. During one of them, she hung from the ceiling holding only a rope in her mouth. The other end of the rope was held by her husband.

Mystery # 49 - As a man jumps out of a window, he hears the telephone ring . . .

The Mystery

As a man jumps out of a window, he hears the telephone ring. He tries to stop himself, but can't.

Mystery Solved!

#49 This is a post-holocaust scenario of some kind; for whatever reason, the man believes himself to be the last human on earth. He doesn't want to live by himself, so he jumps, just before someone else calls.

Mystery # 50 - A man is found dead on the floor in the living room.

The Mystery

A man is found dead on the floor in the living room.

Mystery Solved!

#50 The dead man is Santa Claus; he slipped while coming down the chimney and broke his neck.

Mystery # 51 - A man is sitting in a train compartment. He sees a three-fingered . . .

The Mystery

A man is sitting in a train compartment. He sees a three-fingered hand through the compartment window, in the hallway of the train. He opens the compartment door and shoots the person with the three-fingered hand, but he goes free.

Mystery Solved!

#51 He's with a policeman, who's taking him to jail, and he uses the policeman's gun. He was convicted of his wife's murder; she had framed him for it somehow, involving cutting off two of her own fingers and mailing them to the police. Since he had already been convicted of her murder, he couldn't be tried twice for the same crime, and since he obviously hadn't actually been guilty before, he's set free.

Mystery # 52 - There is a dead man lying in the desert next to a rock.

The Mystery

There is a dead man lying in the desert next to a rock.

Mystery Solved!

#52 The dead man is Superman; the rock is Green Kryptonite. Invent a reasonable scenario from there.

Mystery # 53 - A man is found dead in the arctic with a pack on his back.

The Mystery

A man is found dead in the arctic with a pack on his back.

Mystery Solved!

#53 It's a wolf pack; they've killed and eaten (most of) the man.

Mystery # 54 - A man is lying dead in a room. There is a large pile of gold . . .

The Mystery

A man is lying dead in a room. There is a large pile of gold, jewels, and so on on the floor, a chandelier attached to the ceiling, and a large window through which rays are coming.

Mystery Solved!

#54 The room is the ballroom of an ocean liner which sank some time ago. The rays are manta rays. The man ran out of air while diving in the wreck.

Mystery # 55 - A man goes home, turns out the light, and goes to bed . . .

The Mystery

A man goes home, turns out the light, and goes to bed. He wakes up the next morning, reads the newspaper, and kills himself.

Mystery Solved!

#55 The man works in a lighthouse. By turning out the light he killed a couple hundred people. After reading about that the next morning, he killed himself.

Mystery # 56 - A raft carrying passengers took a trip down the Amazon

The Mystery

A raft carrying passengers took a trip down the Amazon. The raft capsized, and no survivors were found.

Mystery Solved!

#56 A group of people were floating down the Amazon river when they floated under a big tree. A snake was hanging down, so the entire boat ran to one side and capsized; the people were then eaten by piranha.

Mystery # 57 - A man is lying dead in a pool of blood and glass.

The Mystery

A man is lying dead in a pool of blood and glass.

Mystery Solved!

#57 The man caught a large fish and was so excited he went to a phone booth to call his wife. In trying to describe the size of the fish, he said, "It was THIS big!" and stretched his arms wide to indicate its length. His arms went through the sides of the phone booth, his wrists were sliced by broken glass, and he bled to death.

Mystery # 58 - A woman walks up to a door and knocks . . .

The Mystery

A woman walks up to a door and knocks. Another woman answers the door. The woman outside kills the woman inside.

Mystery Solved!

#58 The woman outside is a psychotic librarian. The woman inside has an extremely overdue book.

Mystery # 59 - There is blood on the ceiling of my bedroom.

The Mystery

There is blood on the ceiling of my bedroom.

Mystery Solved!

#59 A mosquito bit me, and I swatted it when it later landed on my ceiling.

Mystery # 60 - A woman goes into a convenience store to buy a can of Coke . . .

The Mystery

A woman goes into a convenience store to buy a can of Coke. She pays for it with a $20 bill and receives $20.05 in change. No mistake was made.

Mystery Solved!

#60 It's in Canada; she pays in American money and receives change in Canadian money.

Mysteries 61 – 80

Mystery # 61 - A newspaper reported the following: "Yesterday . . .

The Mystery

A newspaper reported the following: "Yesterday, Jacques Dubois finished first in the walking race held in Paris. He walked 62,137 miles." The article was not in error.

Mystery Solved!

#61 The comma, in European numbers, is used the same way Americans use a decimal point. The man thus (Americans would say) walked 62.137 miles.

Mystery # 62 - Two children born in the same hospital, in the same hour . . .

The Mystery

Two children born in the same hospital, in the same hour, day, and year, have the same mother and father, but are not twins.

Mystery Solved!

#62 The children are two of a set of triplets.

Mystery # 63 - A couple will build a square house. In each wall they'll have . . .

The Mystery

A couple will build a square house. In each wall they'll have a window, and each window will face north.

Mystery Solved!

#63 The house is at the south pole.

Mystery # 64 - There are a pipe, a carrot and a pile of pebbles together in the

The Mystery

There are a pipe, a carrot and a pile of pebbles together in the middle of a field.

Mystery Solved!

#64 It's the remains of a melted snowman.

Mystery # 65 - The telephone rang in the middle of the night and the woman woke up . . .

The Mystery

The telephone rang in the middle of the night and the woman woke up. When she answered it the caller hung up. The caller felt better.

Mystery Solved!

#65 It was a husband calling from overseas to see that his wife arrived home all right. Hanging up before three seconds elapse results in no charge to the calling party. He could not call person-to-person because the local operators did not speak English.

Mystery # 66 - The seals came up to do their show but immediately dove back

The Mystery

66 - The seals came up to do their show but immediately dove back into the water.

Mystery Solved!

#66 The seals were frightened by an audience of nuns, who, to the seals, looked like a herd of killer whales.

Mystery # 67 - A man is found dead in an alley lying in a pool of red . . .

The Mystery

A man is found dead in an alley lying in a pool of red with two sticks crossed near his head

Mystery Solved!

#67 The man died from eating a poisoned popsicle.

Mystery # 68 - A man called to a waiter in a restaurant, "There's a fly in my tea!" . . .

The Mystery

A man called to a waiter in a restaurant, "There's a fly in my tea!" "I will bring you a fresh cup of tea," said the waiter. After a few moments, the man called out, "This is the same cup of tea!" How did he know?

Mystery Solved!

#68 The man had already sugared his tea before sending it back.

Mystery # 69 - A man is found dead outside a large marble building . . .

The Mystery

A man is found dead outside a large marble building with three holes in him.

Mystery Solved!

#69 The man was a paleontologist working with the Archaeological Research Institute. He was reviving a triceratops frozen in the ice age when it came to life and killed him.

Mystery # 70 - An ordinary American citizen, with a clean police record . . .

The Mystery

An ordinary American citizen, with a clean police record but no passport, managed to visit over thirty foreign countries. He was welcomed in each country, and left each one of his own accord. He did this in one day.

Mystery Solved!

#70 He was a mail courier who delivered packages to the different foreign embassies in the United States. The land of an embassy belongs to the country of the embassy, not to the United States.

Mystery # 71 - Three heavy people try to crowd under one umbrella . . .

The Mystery

Three heavy people try to crowd under one umbrella, and nobody gets wet.

Mystery Solved!

#71 It is sunny and hot.

Mystery # 72 - A black man dressed all in black, wearing a black mask . . .

The Mystery

A black man dressed all in black, wearing a black mask, stands at a crossroads in a totally black-painted town. All of the streetlights in town are broken. There is no moon. A black-painted car without headlights drives straight toward him, but turns in time and doesn't hit him.

Mystery Solved!

#72 It's daytime; the sun is out.

Mystery # 73 - The wind stopped blowing and the man died.

The Mystery

The wind stopped blowing and the man died.

Mystery Solved!

#73 The sole survivor of a shipwreck reached a desert isle. Unfortunately, he was blind. Luckily, there was a freshwater spring on the island, and he rigged the ship's bell (which had drifted to the island also) at the spring's location. The bell rang in the wind, directing him to water. When he was becalmed for a week, he could not find water again, and so he died of thirst.

Mystery # 74 - An Arab sheik tells his two sons that are to race their camels . . .

The Mystery

An Arab sheik tells his two sons that are to race their camels to a distant city to see who will inherit his fortune. The one whose camel arrives last will win. The brothers, after wandering aimlessly for days, ask a wise man for advise. After hearing the advice they jump on the camels and race as fast as they can to their destination.

Mystery Solved!

#74 The wise man tells them to switch camels.

Mystery # 75 - A man puts a quarter down, and leaves.

The Mystery

A man puts a quarter down, and leaves.

Mystery Solved!

#75 The man has put a quarter of the cost of a new car into a down payment; he then drives away in the car.

Mystery # 76 - A man lies dead next to a feather.

The Mystery

A man lies dead next to a feather.

Mystery Solved!

#76 The man was a sword swallower in a carnival side-show. While he was practicing, someone tickled his throat with the feather, causing him to gag.

Mystery # 77 - A man carrying an attaché case full of $20 bills falls . . .

The Mystery

A man carrying an attaché case full of $20 bills falls on the way to the bank and is never seen again.

Mystery Solved!

#77 The man falls off the river bank and drowns.

Mystery # 78 - The pope is giving a speech. A man in the audience shoots . . .

The Mystery

The pope is giving a speech. A man in the audience shoots the mayor who is behind the pope.

Mystery Solved!

#78 The pope has returned to the village where he began his priesthood fifty years earlier. He was late for the ceremony, so the mayor spoke first; he claimed to be the first person to give confession to the pope, fifty years earlier. When the pope arrived, he related that the first confession he had heard was that of the murder of a young woman. The man in the audience had a sister who was murdered at that time.

Mystery # 79 - A man travels to twenty countries and stays in each country for a month . . .

The Mystery

A man travels to twenty countries and stays in each country for a month. During this time he never sees the light of day.

Mystery Solved!

#79 The man is a mummy, on tour to different museums throughout the world.

Mystery # 80 - King Henry VIII is lying at the bottom of the stairs with a gash . . .

The Mystery

King Henry VIII is lying at the bottom of the stairs with a gash across his face.

Mystery Solved!

#80 It is a painting of Henry VIII.

Mysteries 81 – 100

Mystery # 81 - Joe wants to go home, but he can't go home . . .

The Mystery

Joe wants to go home, but he can't go home, because the man in the mask is waiting for him.

Mystery Solved!

#81 A baseball game is going on. The base-runner sees the catcher waiting at home plate with the ball, and so decides to stay at third base to avoid being tagged out.

Mystery # 82 - A man lies dead in a room with fifty-three bicycles in front of him.

The Mystery

A man lies dead in a room with fifty-three bicycles in front of him.

Mystery Solved!

#82 The bicycles are Bicycle playing cards; the man was cheating at cards, and when the extra card was found, he was killed by the other players.

Mystery # 83 - Two people are playing cards. One looks around and realizes . . .

The Mystery

Two people are playing cards. One looks around and realizes he's going to die.

Mystery Solved!

#83 The one who looks around sees his own reflection in the window (it's dark outside), but not his companion's. Thus, he realizes the other is a vampire, and that he's going to be killed by him.

Mystery # 84 - A woman opens an envelope and dyes.

The Mystery

A woman opens an envelope and dyes.

Mystery Solved!

#84 Should be done orally; the envelope is an envelope of dye, and she's dying some cloth, but it sounds like "opens an envelope and dies." if said out loud.

Mystery # 85 - A man is holding a box. Though he cannot see into it . . .

The Mystery

A man is holding a box. Though he cannot see into it, he knows what's inside.

Mystery Solved!

#85 He's allergic to whatever's inside the box.

Mystery # 86 - A man was walking along some railroad tracks

The Mystery

A man was walking along some railroad tracks when he noticed that a train was coming. He walked toward the train before stepping aside.

Mystery Solved!

#86 The man was on a bridge.

Mystery # 87 - A man was going about his daily occupation when he noticed . . .

The Mystery

A man was going about his daily occupation when he noticed that his shirt was torn. 15 minutes later, he was dead.

Mystery Solved!

#87 The man was an astronaut out on a space walk.

Mystery # 88 - A train pulls into a station, but none of the waiting passengers move.

The Mystery

A train pulls into a station, but none of the waiting passengers move.

Mystery Solved!

#88 It's a model train set.

Mystery # 89 - In his own home a man watches as a woman dies . . .

The Mystery

In his own home a man watches as a woman dies, yet does nothing to save her.

Mystery Solved!

#89 He saw it happening on TV.

Mystery # 90 - There is a dead man, a beetle on top of a book, and a pile of bricks.

The Mystery

There is a dead man, a beetle on top of a book, and a pile of bricks.

Mystery Solved!

#90 The man was an amateur mechanic, the book is a Volkswagen service manual, the beetle is a car, and the pile of bricks is what the car fell off of.

Mystery # 91 - A dish moves, a scientist makes a discovery.

The Mystery

A dish moves, a scientist makes a discovery.

Mystery Solved!

#91 The dish is a satellite dish.

Mystery # 92 - A man is alone on an island with no food and no water . . .

The Mystery

A man is alone on an island with no food and no water, yet he does not fear for his life.

Mystery Solved!

#92 He is on a traffic island.

Mystery # 93 - A husband coming home hears his wife call "Bill, don't kill me!" . . .

The Mystery

A husband coming home hears his wife call "Bill, don't kill me!". He walks in and finds his wife dead. Inside are a postman, a doctor, and a lawyer. The husband immediately knows the postman killed his wife.

Mystery Solved!

#93 The postman is a man. The doctor and lawyer are women.

Mystery # 94 - Bruce wins the race, but he gets no trophy.

The Mystery

Bruce wins the race, but he gets no trophy.

Mystery Solved!

#94 Bruce is a horse.

Mystery # 95 - A man rolls over a glass bottle. He travels the last 100 miles

The Mystery

A man rolls over a glass bottle. He travels the last 100 miles of the Sahara 5000 road race with a flat tire.

Mystery Solved!

#95 The flat tire is his spare.

Mystery # 96 - Man pleads with boss not to fly to Chicago . . .

The Mystery

Man pleads with boss not to fly to Chicago. The boss goes and when he returns, he fires the man.

Mystery Solved!

#96 The man was a night watchman who told his boss that last night he had a dream that the boss would die in a plane crash. The boss fired him for sleeping on the job.

Mystery # 97 - On an archaeological dig, the frozen remains of a man and woman . . .

The Mystery

On an archaeological dig, the frozen remains of a man and woman are found. Immediately, the archaeologists realize that the remains are those of Adam and Eve.

Mystery Solved!

#97 The two bodies lacked what only Adam and Eve would lack -- bellybuttons.

Mystery # 98 - A horse jumps over a tower and lands on a man, who disappears.

The Mystery

A horse jumps over a tower and lands on a man, who disappears.

Mystery Solved!

#98 A chess game; knight takes pawn.

Mystery # 99 - It's the year 860 A.D., at Camelot. Two priests are sitting . . .

The Mystery

It's the year 860 A.D., at Camelot. Two priests are sitting in the castle's chapel. The queen attacks the king. The two priests rise, shake hands, and leave the room.

Mystery Solved!

#99 The two priests are playing chess; one of them just mated by moving his queen.

Mystery # 100 - Two people are talking long distance on the phone

The Mystery

Two people are talking long distance on the phone; one is in an East-Coast state, the other is in a West-Coast state. The first asks the other "What time is it?", hears the answer, and says, "That's funny. It's the same time here!"

Mystery Solved!

#100 One is in Eastern Oregon (in Mountain time), the other in Western Florida (in Central time), and it's daylight-savings changeover day at 1:30 AM.

Mysteries 101 – 126

Mystery # 101 - A boy and his father are injured in a car accident . . .

The Mystery

A boy and his father are injured in a car accident. Both are taken to a hospital. The father dies at arrival, but the boy lives and is taken to surgery. A grey-haired, bespectacled surgeon looks at the boy and says, "I cannot operate on this boy — he's my son."

Mystery Solved!

#101 The surgeon is the boy's mother.

Mystery # 102 - The glass breaks, and then the man dies.

The Mystery

The glass breaks, and then the man dies.

Mystery Solved!

#102 The man is an avid reader, who worked at a bank. On his lunch break, he wondered off into a vault to read, when nuclear holocaust occurred, leaving him the only man alive on Earth. The prospect of being alone didn't phase him since he had plenty of books to read and food to eat. However, one day, he tripped and broke his reading glasses, so he killed himself because he was unable to read.

Mystery # 103 - A man is running. He sees lights flickering and begins to walk.

The Mystery

A man is running. He sees lights flickering and begins to walk.

Mystery Solved!

#103 The man is running to stop the execution (via electric chair) of a death row inmate since new evidence has cleared his name. But when he sees the lights flicker, he realizes that he's too late.

Mystery # 104 - A woman goes to the doctor. Later that evening she kills herself.

The Mystery

A woman goes to the doctor. Later that evening she kills herself.

Mystery Solved!

#104 The doctor is a psychiatrist, and the woman is seeing him to help her get over her recent divorce. The doctor has been having an affair with another patient, and wants to kill his wife. So, he tells this woman that he needs to hypnotize her to help her get over her ex-husband. But under hypnosis, he convinces her to drive to his house and kill his wife. But the doctor is worried that she might remember at some point, so he calls her that night, entrances her over the phone and tells her to kill herself, which she does.

Mystery # 105 - A man is lying dead in a room. There is a large pile of gold . . .

The Mystery

A man is lying dead in a room. There is a large pile of gold and jewels on the floor, a chandelier attached to the ceiling, and a large open window.

Mystery Solved!

#105 The room is the ballroom of an ocean liner which sank some time ago. The man ran out of air while diving in the wreck.

Mystery # 106 - A woman buys a new pair of shoes, goes to work, and dies.

The Mystery

A woman buys a new pair of shoes, goes to work, and dies.

Mystery Solved!

#106 The woman is the assistant to a circus knife-thrower, who stands in front of a target as knives are thrown around her. The new shoes have higher heels than she normally wears, causing the thrower to misjudge his aim.

Mystery # 107 - A car without a driver moves; a man dies.

The Mystery

A car without a driver moves; a man dies.

Mystery Solved!

#107 The murderer sets the car on a slope above the hot dog stand where the victim works. He wedges an ice block in the car to keep the brake pedal down, puts the car in neutral, and flies to another city to avoid suspicion. It's a warm day; when the ice melts, the car rolls down the hill and kills the hot dog man.

Mystery # 108 - She grabbed his ring, pulled on it, and dropped it, thereby saving his life.

The Mystery

She grabbed his ring, pulled on it, and dropped it, thereby saving his life.

Mystery Solved!

#108 They were skydiving. He broke his arm as he jumped from the plane by hitting it on the plane door, and he couldn't reach his ripcord with his other arm. She pulled the ripcord for him.

Mystery # 109 - Mr. Browning is glad the car ran out of gas.

The Mystery

Mr. Browning is glad the car ran out of gas.

Mystery Solved!

#109 Mr. and Mrs. Browning had just gotten married. Mrs. Browing was subject to fits of depression. They had their first fight soon after they were married; Mr. Browning stormed out of the house, and Mrs. Browning went into the garage and started up the car, intending to kill herself by filling the garage with car exhaust. But the car ran out of gas quickly, and Mr. Browning, ret>urning home to apologize, found Mrs. Browning in time to summon help and restore her to health.

Mystery # 110 - A man leaves a motel room, goes to his car, honks the horn, and returns.

The Mystery

A man leaves a motel room, goes to his car, honks the horn, and returns.

Mystery Solved!

#110 It's the middle of the night. The man goes outside to get something from his car, but forgets which room he was in. His wife is deaf, so he honks the car horn loudly, waking up everyone else in the motel. The other residents all get up and turn on their lights, and the man returns to the one room that remains dark.

Mystery # 111 - Two dead people sit in their cars on a street.

The Mystery

Two dead people sit in their cars on a street.

Mystery Solved!

#111 Because there was a heavy fog, two people driving in opposite directions on the same road both stuck their heads out of their windows to see the center line better. Their heads hit each other at high speed, killing them both.>

Mystery # 112 - A man ran into a fire and lived. A man stayed where there was no fire and died.

The Mystery

A man ran into a fire and lived. A man stayed where there was no fire and died.

Mystery Solved!

#112 The two men were working in a small room protected by a carbon dioxide gas fire extinguisher system, when a fire broke out in an adjoining room. One of the men ran through the fire and escaped with only minor burns. The other one stayed in the room until the fire extinguishers kicked in and died of oxygen starvation.

Mystery # 113 - Three men die. On the pavement are pieces of ice and broken glass.

The Mystery

Three men die. On the pavement are pieces of ice and broken glass.

Mystery Solved!

#113 A large man takes the elevator from the ground floor to the third floor penthouse apartment he shares with his wife. After greeting her, he sees a man's watch on the table and assumes she's been having an affair. Thinking her boyfriend has escaped down the stairs, he rushes to the French windows and sees a good-looking man just leaving the main entrance of the building. Furious, the husband pushes the refrigerator through the window onto the young man below. The young man is killed by the refrigerator. The husband is killed from a heart attack caused by overexertion. The wife's boyfriend, who was hiding inside the refrigerator, is killed from the fall.

Mystery # 114 - Two people in a room alone. One looks around and realizes

The Mystery

Two people in a room alone. One looks around and realizes he's going to die.

Mystery Solved!

#114 The two people are Siamese twins. One wakes up, notices that the other one is dead, and realizes he will die soon, too.

Mystery # 115 A man is alone on an island with no food and no water

The Mystery

A man is alone on an island with no food and no water, yet he does not fear for his life.

Mystery Solved!

#115 The island is a traffic island.

Mystery # 116 - A man walks into a room, shoots, and kills himself

The Mystery

A man walks into a room, shoots, and kills himself

Mystery Solved!

#116 The man walks into a casino and goes to the craps table. He bets all the money he owns, shoots craps, and loses. Now flat broke, he becomes despondent and commits suicide.

Mystery # 117 - Beulah died in the Appalachians, while Craig died at sea

The Mystery

Beulah died in the Appalachians, while Craig died at sea. Everyone was much happier with Craig's death

Mystery Solved!

#117 Beulah and Craig were hurricanes.

Mystery # 118 - A man was brought before a tribal chief, who asked him a question

The Mystery

A man was brought before a tribal chief, who asked him a question. If he had known the answer, he probably would have died. He didn't, and lived.

Mystery Solved!

#118 The native chief asked him, "What is the third baseman's name in the Abbott and Costello routine 'Who's on First'?" The man, who had no idea, said "I don't know," the correct answer. However, he was a big smart aleck, so if he had known the answer he would have pointed out that "What" was the second baseman's name. The chief, being quite humorless, would have executed him on the spot.

Mystery # 119 - A writer with an audience of millions insisted that he was never

The Mystery

A writer with an audience of millions insisted that he was never to be interrupted while writing. After the day when he actually was interrupted, he never wrote again

Mystery Solved!

#119 He was a skywriter whose plane crashed into another plane.

Mystery # 120 - A young woman is whisked away to a far off land, where she kills . . .

The Mystery

A young woman is whisked away to a far off land, where she kills the first person she meets. Then she teams up with three others to kill again.

Mystery Solved!

#120 The young woman is Dorothy, and the story is The Wizard of Oz.

Mystery # 121 - Three men are dead near a car.

The Mystery

Three men are dead near a car.

Mystery Solved!

#121 The solution is quite complicated: Joe went to his favorite bar for his usual drink, which is made with blue curacao. The bartender, Steve, is out of curacao, so he hands the empty bottle to his trainee, Alan, and tells him to fill it up with some more "blue stuff" from the supply in the back. Alan can't find any "blue stuff" in the supply room, so he assumes the bartender wanted some sort of windex. Since he can't find this either, he goes to a car parked out back and drains its windshield washer fluid into the bottle and hands this to the bartender. Unknowingly, Steve makes Joe his drink with the washer fluid, and Joe drinks it and heads off. When he reaches his car, he begins to feel sick, and decides he'd better get to a hospital. However, it has snowed and his windshield is snow-covered. He reaches to spray his windshield with de-icer wash, but it's empty since it was HIS car from which the trainee drained the washer fluid. But he's too ill to waste time cleaning off the windshield or allowing it to melt, so he pulls out of the space, but immediately runs over the bartender, Steve, who was taking out the trash. Joe gets out of the car to see what he hit, but he collapses immediately and dies, having succumbed to the poison. Steve is critically wounded, but manages to yell out for help. Alan hears his cries and runs out the back door to see what's wrong. But, he slips on a patch of ice, and lands on his head, killing him immediately. Shortly thereafter, Steve dies from his injuries.

Mystery # 122 - A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three . . .

The Mystery

122 - A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Being an astute observer, he picks one door and lives.

Mystery Solved!

#122 He picks the third door because the reason the lions haven't eaten in 3 years is because they are dead.

Mystery # 123 - A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water . . .

The Mystery

A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

Mystery Solved!

#123 The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry.

Mystery # 124 - A very rich man hires a poor man to clean one wing of his extravagant

The Mystery

124 - A very rich man hires a poor man to clean one wing of his extravagant domicile. The poor man, wanting to impress his new boss, cleans the entire house. Soon after, the man quits his job.

Mystery Solved!

#124 The poor man is hired by Aladdin to clean his palace. Aladdin only wants the man to clean part of the palace because he does not wish anyone to enter his bedroom, where he keeps the magic lamp. The poor man meticulously scrubs the palace from head to toe, and rubs the magic lamp in the process. The djinn appears; the poor man wishes for riches, and no longer needs the job.

Mystery # 125 - He was killed because of poor eyesight.

The Mystery

125 - He was killed because of poor eyesight.

Mystery Solved!

#125 He was a referee who made a poor call. He was burned to death by fans reflecting sunlight from their slick-covered game programs.

Mystery # 126 - Two men look at each other and start to argue . . .

The Mystery

Two men look at each other and start to argue. They make a phone call. One man leaves for home and the other begins to dig.

Mystery Solved!

#126 The two men started at opposite ends of the trench, digging toward each other. Instead of meeting up, though, they pass each other, meaning that one man dug at a skewed angle, or started at the wrong place. They call their supervisor, who tells them that one man was right and the other must re-dig his half in the right place.

800-899 – Literature

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Snow Crash (excerpts)

Snow Crash (excerpts)

  Snow Crash (excerpts)       By: Neal Stephenson Excerpts from Snow Crashrelated to the subjects of:    ■ History    ■ Religion    ■ Linguistics       (primarily the Sumerian language)    ■ Viruses

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Entangled

From: Speculative Book Review From the inside cover: Time is not what it seems... When a drug overdose causes Leoni, a troubled teen from twenty-first century Los Angeles, to have a near death experience, her soul is lifted from the modern world and flung into a parallel time 24,000 years in the past. There her fate becomes entangled with that of Ria, a young Stone Age woman fighting for her life against the ferocious Illimani, an army of evil led by the vicious Sulpa, a powerful demon determined to destroy humanity.

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Contents: 800 – Literature