To recap, here is the Paul Sloane puzzle from last week:
One day a man received a parcel in the post. Inside, he found a human left arm. He examined it carefully and then repacked it and sent it on to another man. The second man also examined the arm. He then took it out to the woods and buried it. Why should they have done these things?
And no, Matt, he wasn’t an arms dealer, but respect for that pun.
There were some other good guesses, although none quite so bizarre as the actual answer itself. Dan came closest – he had the right idea until his ingenuity somewhat led him astray. Also Dana pitched in with an inspired Hannibal-themed answer – Ariel and I have both agreed since that Hannibal-themed guesses are highly encouraged and whoever suggests them will be forever loved and admired by us.
Dana’s answer was unsurprisingly incorrect [Ariel says: Paul Sloane didn’t have the honour of having seen this incredible show. Everyone go watch the television series immediately.], but I am now certain that Paul Sloane writes all of his ‘puzzlers’ while feverishly and repeatedly mumbling ‘THIS IS MY DESIGN.’ [Ariel adds: This fabulous in joke could be all yours for the very low price of watching Hannibal now.]
The three men had been together on a flying mission in the Pacific. Their plane had come down and they were adrift for many days in a dinghy. They had had some water but no food and were gradually starving to death. Eventually, out of desperation, they agreed to amputate their left arms in order to eat them. They swore a solemn oath that each would have his left arm cut off. One of the three was a doctor and he amputated the arms of one and then later of the other of his colleagues. Just before his turn came, they were rescued. However, his oath was still binding and he later had to have his arm amputated and sent to his colleagues for them to see that the oath had been kept.
I know Will, I don’t understand either.
This answer is so fucked up that even Brian Fuller wouldn’t have thought of it. [Ariel says: I’m starting to strongly suspect these lateral puzzles inspired the style of story telling on Lost.] I never thought I’d see a weirder pact on this blog than the non-disclosure agreement that Christian Grey made Ana sign, but I was clearly wrong.
Did this doctor’s colleagues really expect him to cut off his arm even after they were rescued? Were they really that pedantic?? I can’t help but wonder if they never even considered the possibility that their pal might still respect the oath and cut his arm off, but, upon receiving the severed limb in the post, found it far too awkward to call up the doctor and explain the misunderstanding to him. If I was placed in that situation, I would probably do the same. [Ariel says: Their manners were actually more important to them than the pact.]
In the spirit of fairness, this week I have chosen a puzzle where it is just about feasible that somebody will guess the correct answer:
The police in Venezuela have been trying to arrest a notorious criminal for some time. They know where he lives. On several occasions, they have obtained a warrant for his arrest and have gone to his house. However, as soon as they enter the house, he locks himself in his bedroom. The police then go away frustrated. Why should that be so?
Thinking caps on everybody.