Divining for a Date 2008, March challenge

A crime has been committed! The monkey has been high-hatted! Unfortunately, the police are all out of leads in the case. They don’t have much to go on except a vague description of the perp, that there was a weapon involved and it happened in “some kind of room”.

The monkey was able to determine that the person who high-hatted him was someone he saw blogging on this site, but was unable pick anyone out of a line-up! Now he’s frustrated with law-enforcement’s lackluster effort and says that the only true justice would be to take down the Skepchicks by using a psychic investigator!

So get out your divining rods, crystal pendulums, or Sylvia Brownes and tell us whodunit! But hurry! The statute of limitations on this heinous crime runs out at 11:59 pm EST on March 31.

Here is the information that the police have collected:

The perp is a skepchick blogger (gender unknown) and the crime happened within the confines of the boardgame Clue.

Suspects (click here for more information on each suspect):

  • Rebecca
  • writerdd
  • Stacey
  • tkingdoll
  • Masala_Skeptic
  • a.real.girl
  • Elyse
  • Sam
  • Jill
  • Jen
  • C L P Iwan
  • Bug_Girl
  • Vera
  • Amanda
  • Evelyn

The possible weapons:

  • Knife
  • Candlestick
  • Revolver
  • Rope
  • Lead Pipe
  • Wrench

The possible locations:

  • Hall
  • Lounge
  • Dining Room
  • Kitchen
  • Ballroom
  • Conservatory
  • Billiard Room
  • Library
  • Study

To solve this crime, the police are going to need to know who did it, what weapon they used, and where it was done. They would consider it a bonus if the psychic could explain the motive in less than 250 words.

(sit tight, the winner of the Feb challenge will be posted soon!)


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. Rebecca, with a wrench, in the conservatory.

    See, Louie the Orangutan wanted to meet with Jane Goodall, but couldn't find her (you know all those humans look alike). So, considering that Dr. Goodall is a prominent conservationist, he decided to look in the conservatory.

    Now, Rebecca was already there throwing and incredible booze-up for her sexularist pals, and when Louie showed up, it sort of threw a "monkey-wrench" into the evening's festivities (Orangutans are notoriously straightlaced, you know).

    The said wrench fell square on poor Louie's head in the form of Rebecca's version of a Pan-Galactic Gargle-Blaster– a version in which the large gold brick is replaced with a wrench.

    Poor Louie ended up comletely smashed out of his anthropoid mind, and awoke– naked, and skull throbbing– next to some strange human female in a bedroom.

    Louie discreetly crawled out of bed, had a quick shower, five aspirin, and called the police. From the library.

  2. It’s a sad story, really. The monkey was just done putting a shiv to a bird throat when bug girl walked into the conservatory and saw it. It may have been the booze or the fact that some bugs can fly like birds, but bug girl was overcome with sudden empathy, so she grabbed the knife off the monkey’s hands and clubbed him with the hilt.

    bug girl

  3. Rebecca did it.

    In the library.

    With me…

    Wait… that wasn't a psychic vision, just a wandering fantasy… Sorry about that. Let's try this again…

    I'm getting something… I can feel… yes, definately, high-hat…. There was a monkey involved… A person… a dark place. I definitely get that there was water nearby, and something dark. Emotional turmoil – they knew each other… They were close. A percieved betrayal…

    I have it! Evelyn in the library with the candlestick. BEcause the monkey became an evolution denier.

  4. The monkey, despondent still after 30 years of being looked over for the part of Clyde in Every Which Way But Loose, was trying to find a place to end it all. He happened into the study where he thought he would papercut himself to death – monkeys being notoriously masochistic.

    Amanda noticed something odd, wandered in to see the monkey, by all appearances, stealing valuable books, and she took it upon herself to stop the simian thief. She used the closest object, a decorative candlestick, to smash the monkey on the top of his hairy little depressed (now in more ways than one) head.

    It was Amanda in the study with the candlestick. For sure.

    Well, at least 80%.

    Ok, 40%.

    Actually I’m not sure at all. It’s a complete guess.

  5. The game is afoot…

    Can a humble psychic detective, like me, catch a Skepchick?

    This is a very messy business. Skepchicks high-hatting monkeys? If you are admitting to this, then it must be the lesser of two crimes. And considering the sorry state of the monkey. I think I know what happened:

    The Skepchicks invited two monkeys over to play a game of Clue. Two monkeys entered, one [confused] monkey left. The second monkey is…dead. Buried in a shallow grave, in a desolated industrial area of Boston. Within bicycling distance of Rebecca's apartment. Near water. [why do people always bury their monkeys near water?] Look there. You'll find a body.

    As for curious case of the high-hatted monkey on the Clue board:

    Although I wouldn't turn my back of that femme fatale Amanda, [why is she trying to get me to drink from that sweet cup of reason?] my psychic intuition clearly indicates the true and unexpected villain:

    Jill with a candlestick in the study.

    I trust you'll turn yourself in.

  6. A less experienced psychic would mistakenly assume that it was tkingdoll with a revolver in the lounge. But the truth is more sinister than that. The skepchicks are actually innocent. The monkey was, in fact, highhatted by a religious nutter.

    He was trying to silence the truth. The monkey was an inconvenient reminder, the embarrassing cousin. The black sheep of the family that made them all look foolish. So he snuck into the basement, where the monkey lives in his little room, and stuffed him in a burlap sack. He then took the monkey's collar and intended to hide it in Amanda's room in an attempt to frame her for the kidnapping. But Teek caught him in the act and tried to chase him out. She didn't mean to shoot the monkey, it was an accident. In fact, if it hadn't been for her, the monkey would have died. She took him to the hospital to get stitched up. She saved him from the evil christian …

  7. writerdd is a recovering b/a xtian, so she'd be most likely to have high-hatted the monkey.

    She was reading Whole Earth Review at the time "her brain cracked open". Wikipedia says of WER:

    Whole Earth Review's motto was Access to tools and ideas

    The only tool listed is a wrench.

    A University or College of Arts can be defined as a Conservatory, so on a wild ass guess, I'm saying she was at such a place when said cracking of said brain took place.

    WriterDD, in the Conservatory, with a wrench.

  8. I'm beginning to get a vision…yes its becoming clear to me now. I'm getting a b name.. Aw yes it was Bug Girl…she was in the dining room trying to catch some sort of insect that was very important to her research by using the wax from a candlestick. When she looked up to her horror there was a monkey chowing down on her newly captured collection of specimens. He didn't mean any harm he had simply heard that bugs were a tasty treat. Without thinking she swung around with the candlestick and yelled, "Why if I had a big enough bird this would be the end of you!" But alas, all she had was moth.

    I predict the monkey will drop the charges, it was his partially his fault.

  9. I too received a vision via closed circuit television and this case is largely a misunderstanding. Masala Skeptic was pursuing her desire to find Indian skeptics when she encountered the monkey in the library.

    Having heard that monkey was allegedly Lord Hanuman of the Indian epic, the Ramayana, she decided to put said claims to the test. Since one of Lord Hanuman's purported powers is the ability to change size, she tied him up with the rope.

    The monkey, claiming that he couldn't use his mighty powers in the presence of an unbeliever, requested Masala Skeptic leave the room. Now alone, he struggled to free himself from the ropes, but in doing so, he knocked a copy of the collected works of Joe Nichols that had recently been bound and it landed squarely on his head.

    So clearly, it was simply a debunking gone wrong – Masala Skeptic in the library with some rope.

  10. Bug_Girl with a knife in the library. Bug Girl is extremely sensitive to the filth that people leave of pages with their grease smeared finger tips and saliva coated thumbs. It's just wrong. That is why she always carries a knife. It isn't just any knife but a WW1 Wilkinson bayonet. She uses said weapon to turn the pages of the books in the library.

    Having discovered the monkey in the act of reading while eating a banana Bug Girl lost all control of herself. She impaled the yellow fruit with the blade, high hatted the monkey and fled into the nearby wood screaming at the top of her lungs, "Potassium rots paper, these monkeys know nothing"

    I KNOW it is true for I saw it with my third eye. ;)

  11. Damn. I went the whole "figure it out" route.

    I meant to say I read it in the tarot chicken blood.

    Damn. I hate when I forget to read the chicken blood.

  12. It was Elyse with a revolver in the conservatory.

    The motive? simple. The butler let the hor dourves get cold, thus incurring the wrath of the master of the house, and Elyse, who never cared for the damned dirty ape determined it would be an ideal time to high hat it, knowing that the blame would be foisted upon the butler, who would surely now have the motive after being humiliated publicly. Elementary.

  13. The monkey was trying to help Rebecca cook a chicken, but he was having a problem ripping the legs off. Angry at the monkey’s lack of coordination, Rebecca grabbed a knife and sliced the poor monkey to death.

    So, Rebecca, Knife, Kitchen.

  14. My mystical DnD dice inform me that it was:
    a.real.girl with the rope in the Billiard Room.

    As for motive, I rolled against a list of Hercule Poirot stories. It turns out that a.real.girl conspired with the monkey. The monkey was to marry an heiress for her fortune, then off the heiress. When the plan went pair-shaped, she high-hatted the monkey and then herself.

  15. Jill with a Revolver in the Billiard Room.

    Under the evil psychic influence of Colonel Mustard with a candlestick in Tokyo (using one of Uri Geller’s 70s-era bent spoons as a psychic antenna)…

  16. Elyse had obviously heard an intruder, and, with an instinct to protect her offspring (the current generation must save the next, even if it costs their own life), she grabbed a knife and caught the monkey in the hall (on the way to the nursery) :)

    I would protect my (18 month old) baby, too

  17. Stacey was in her study trying to do some homework by candlelight. The monkey’s distracting attempts to psychoanalyze her drove her berserk whereby she grabbed the candlestick and clobbered him.
    Stacey Candlestick Study

  18. I decided to apply a form of Excel random number numerology that I just made up…

    After 10 runs (an arbitrary number but predetermined) of 16,384 random number trials (one for each column in an excel 2007 Worksheet) for each of the 3 elements of this murder, the following is predicted:

    Murderer: Rebecca (Clear lead* of 97 after 163,840 trials)
    Weapon: Rope (Marginal lead of 3 over the Lead Pipe after 163,840 trials)
    Room: Library (Clear lead* of 134 after over 163,840 trials)

    The motive is unknown but will involve the numbers 97, 3 or 134 as indicated above.

    *Statistics has no place in numerology ;)

  19. I was just having some raisin bran this morning for breakfast when I noticed my spoon was made of metal. Copper is also a metal, which conducts electricity very well, and we all know how crows love sitting on power lines. Other birds are smarter than that though, and they hang out in the Conversatory. The crime must have been commited there.

    Later, I went to Karate practice and it occured to me that Karate started with a K. Just like Kraft Dinner. University students love to eat that stuff, but universities have a known liberal bias. Just like Buddhists. Buddhists meditating while a candle burns in front of them… a candle sitting in a candlestick. The murder weapon.

    Now that I’m home I’m thinking about what to eat for lunch. Maybe lasagna. From Italy, where the pope lives. The pope is christian, just Muhammad Ali isn’t. Boxing is a pretty cruel sport, but and just like bug_girl it starts with a B. Cruel, cruel bug_girl, the murderess.

    Bug_girl must have done it with the candlestick in the conservatory.

  20. It was Sam, in the ballroom, with the lead pipe.

    His motive for the terrible crime was simple: money

    The estate of Sam’s paternal grandfather is going through probate. Sam knew he could increase his share of the loot if he offed one of his family members, in this case, his cousin, the monkey. Sam wasn’t entirely sure if excessive high hatting would take care of the job, but he was blinded by a very human greed.

  21. I’ve been trying my damn best to channel some great historical detective. After a while I realized that all the detectives I’d been trying to communicate with were fictional… . So I then decided to try ESP with the monkey as the only witness… damn, again not so Curious George is fricken fictional. So I’m left with trying to read the Eylse’s mind. Well I need lots of clues to read minds, lots and lots! So I’m going with a not so rational stab in dark.

    It was Bug-Girl. The monkey was attracted to her after spying a yummy looking insect on Bug-Girl’s T-shirt, and while attempting some kindly grooming behavior, that was horribly mistaken by Bug-Girl, the monkey got high hatted with a candlestick in the study where Bug Girl was reading the latest edition of “Women in Entomology”. The only light in the room was a candle which Bug-Girl likes to read by to attract any wandering and unsuspecting specimens.

  22. Such an evil act could only be committed by a slave to the dark side. So 666 would seem to be the clue however a sidekick could probably be determined by 667. The first 2 digits must refer to the weapon and location and we find there is only one possible solution. The wrench in the lounge, the only words with 6 letters each. And how many suspects have 7 characters in their name? That’s right, only one ..Rebecca. To provide further proof we see that 3 suspects have 6 letters in their name but we know only one was the thug and only one has 7 letters.
    The motive was clear after the printers lost the artwork for the new tees.
    Where else to get a fresh ‘rubber stamp’ of a monkey’s face for the tees?
    If you look at the tee closely you can actually see the grimace from when the monkey was clubbed. You can even see where the blow landed, just above the right eye. Just naaaasty, Rebecca, Lounge , Wrench.

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