Many years ago, I taught folklore at a summer camp(we had new campers each week of different ages, from 8-15). At the time, the folklore class was pretty unstructured, so I could more or less do as I pleased. Sometimes I told ghost stories, sometimes sports games, sometimes mythology, whatever I thought might be entertaining to the kids. One of the most useful things we did was two minute mysteries, as they allowed me to be lazy.

The basic rules are as follows: a scenario is laid before the people playing, and you're allowed to ask as many yes/no questions as you like to determine the answer. The answer to the question may also be 'Irrelevant' if it has no bearing on the solution.

I request the following :

* One question per post

* If you already know the answer, please keep it to yourself and let others play. Same with Googling the answer.

Once the scenario is solved, the person who solves it gets to post a new one OR they can pass it back to someone else who's interested (FYI, I'm happy to post more).

So here's the first scenario:

A man is found dead, surrounded by 52 bicycles. What happened?

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Yes, she still performs (I saw her in the UK last year).

The fact that she's a singer is how I know of her, but it's not relevant to the puzzle.  Think about reasons why I might have been be surprised (fifteen years ago) to hear of someone getting married.

Randy Jackson said:

I'm trying to think of questions to ask but I'm not coming up with anything useful. 

Does the singer still perform? 

"Think about reasons why I might have been be surprised (fifteen years ago) to hear of someone getting married."

Was it a gay wedding?


I knew the singer was gay, so was very surprised to hear that she'd married.  The friend who told me about the wedding then pointed out that Ontario had (in 2003) recently legalised same-sex marriages.  After that, it all made sense.

The singer is Janis Ian.  Her song "Married in London" refers to the wedding:

We wed in Toronto
The judge said "Amen"
and when we got home
we were single again

Your turn next, Jeff.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Think about reasons why I might have been be surprised (fifteen years ago) to hear of someone getting married."

Was it a gay wedding?

Randy, do you want to post another puzzle?

If this had gone on much longer, I was ready to ask, "Did the singer learn the truth at seventeen?"

As I said earlier, I cannot believe I forgot about this until Peter mentioned it was at Torcon 3. We were there. My wife and I tried to get into the Gaylaxians party that evening, but, by the time we got there, it would have required a shoehorn to fit another person in the room, and our ultimate destination was a party a friend was hosting.

It was quite awhile later that my sister finally married her same-sex partner-- also in Toronto.

Actually  I think Rob got it before Jeff. 

Peter Wrexham said:

Randy, do you want to post another puzzle?

Oh, great, I'll give it a little thought and come back with something. 

Sorry, Rob, Jeff's answer started a new page, so I didn't notice that you'd got the correct answer first.  You also got it before I posted my last heavy hint, so extra congratulations!

Yes, a same-sex wedding (with George R.R. Martin as one of the witnesses).

So you get to set the next puzzle.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I think I found the key: Was it a same-sex wedding?

No worries.

Here's one -- and hopefully it hasn't been posted before, since I've been out of the thread for a while:

A man buys rice at $1 a pound from American growers and sells it for 2 cents a
pound. As a result of this he becomes a millionaire. How could this be?

Did he sell it in a currency with a different rate of exchange?

Are the dollars and cents in the same currency?

ETA: Looks as though Jeff and I have the same idea!

If that is the correct answer, I yield to Peter. (I had planned to take the day off today, but my workload won't permit it.)

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