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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No 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Was it accidentally eating "human soup" which led him to commit suicide?

Was it realizing he ate "human soup" in the past which led him to commit suicide?

(Though I have no idea how this would come about)

Yes

JD DeLuzio said:

Was it realizing he ate "human soup" in the past which led him to commit suicide?

(Though I have no idea how this would come about)

Whew!  I think that the order of events must be:

  • Some time in the past, he ate what he thought was turtle soup.
  • This soup was actually human soup.
  • Eating human soup was not an accident.
  • At the restaurant, he ate turtle soup that really was turtle soup.
  • As a result, he realised that the previous soup was human, not turtle.
  • The guilt he felt caused him to commit suicide.

Is that summary correct?

And if so, are we simply (hah!) left with the problem of working out how he came to eat human soup?

Yes

Peter Wrexham said:

Whew!  I think that the order of events must be:

  • Some time in the past, he ate what he thought was turtle soup.
  • This soup was actually human soup.
  • Eating human soup was not an accident.
  • At the restaurant, he ate turtle soup that really was turtle soup.
  • As a result, he realised that the previous soup was human, not turtle.
  • The guilt he felt caused him to commit suicide.

Is that summary correct?

And if so, are we simply (hah!) left with the problem of working out how he came to eat human soup?

Was the human soup made by someone else?

Yes 

Peter Wrexham said:

Was the human soup made by someone else?

Was the human soup made of necessity, for example to avoid starvation?


Yes
Peter Wrexham said:

Was the human soup made of necessity, for example to avoid starvation?

Did the soup-maker and our protagonist survive a shipwreck, plane crash or similar disaster?

Okay, I think I've got this.

At some point in the past, someone else prepared human soup and told our protagonist it was turtle soup. It wasn't until the man ate real turtle soup that tasted completely different that he realized he must have eaten human soup. It was this knowledge that drove him to commit suicide.

But why couldn't it have been squirrel soup (or soup made from some other wild animal)? Well, there must have been no other animals on the island or whatever (assuming a shipwreck).

But then where did the "chef" get the human to make the soup without our guy knowing about it?

Wait. It's not a shipwreck... they're stranded on a mountain and the chef told the protagonist that the third guy (who he made into soup) went to get help.

No, that won't work. Where would he get a "turtle" on a  mountain?

But it couldn't be a shipwreck, either (unless the third guy "swam" for help).

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