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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Is the new hire's name Ike Witt? 

Yes.

Randy Jackson said:

Is the new hire's name Ike Witt? 

So the head office had approved the hire and only required the name of the new manager to move forward with the hiring process? 

Randy Jackson said:

So the head office had approved the hire and only required the name of the new manager to move forward with the hiring process? 

Yes.

The batch of messages from head office included a number of CVs (or resumes, as I believe they're called in the US), and a covering note asking if I had a preference among these possibilities for the post.  My voicemail "I quit" was interpreted as "Ike Witt", the name of one of the candidates.

This puzzle was inspired by an incident in the SF short story "Placet is a Crazy Place" by Fredric Brown.  It's set on a planet whose features include a figure-8 orbit about two stars, one of which is anti-matter; collapsed-matter birds that fly through the normal-matter mantle around the planet's super-dense core; and buildings that collapse when the birds fly through their foundations.  The protagonist has had enough of dealing with this madness when he sends the "I quit" message.

Over to you, Randy.

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.

I probably know the answer to this, though I haven't seen it as a puzzle before.  It does, however, sound very like a genuine local news story from a few years ago, when I was living in London (England).  I'll keep quiet, unless no-one else can work it out.

Did the recently deceased fall from a plane?

Randy Jackson said:

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.

Yes. 

JD DeLuzio said:

Did the recently deceased fall from a plane?

Randy Jackson said:

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.

Is it my turn, or is there more to work out?

A little more. I'm generally pretty emphatic when someone has solved the puzzle to my satisfaction.

He stowed away in the wheel-well and died from hypothermia (which has happened a number of times historically). He fell out and received the other injuries on impact. The wheel mechanism may also have injured him when they retracted.

That is correct and completely solves the puzzle 

 Your turn to post a new one.


JD DeLuzio said:

He stowed away in the wheel-well and died from hypothermia (which has happened a number of times historically). He fell out and received the other injuries on impact. The wheel mechanism may also have injured him when they retracted.

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