Tried in the Furnace

by David W. Talley
Solving Tips

Story


Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps guzzled a frothy tankard of ale in a couple of gulps and called urgently for another. The experienced bar maid at the Goose and Grasshopper poured speedily of her plenty, immediately recognizing the symptoms of a gentleman in distress. Full of a host's earnest concern, she asked Barmy what could be troubling him so.

When Barmy had restored the tissues sufficiently to speak, he replied haughtily that the world would be a happier place if young girls would remember the lessons they learn at their mothers' knees when those girls grow to become mothers themselves. He then proceeded to tell a stirring tale of woe.

Always willing to help, Barmy had agreed to fill in for the curate of the picturesque hamlet of Maiden Eggesford. The man of God had (with what motives, Barmy now admitted wondering?) sprained an ankle before boarding a bus to escort the Mothers of the village on their Annual Outing. Once out from under the vicar's controlling authority, these demure paragons of respectability had acted more like a band of pirates of the Spanish main, Barmy complained, than sedate matrons in their middle years. After progressing no more than 50 yards on their journey, these red-hot Mothers, sixteen in all, had abandoned the vicar's instructive and enlightening programme and ordered their driver to direct the bus toward the Amusement Park and Arcade on the pier at nearby Bridmouth-on-Sea.

Barmy felt a rising dread at the thought of releasing his increasingly effervescent group of Bacchantes in a spot with so much scope for action. Events fully justified his fears. Five of the Mothers seemed to appoint themselves as leaders of the troupe, and no comment or look of Barmy's could restrain their ardor.

One Mother led all sixteen of them in singing a ribald song at the tops of their voices. Another beaned a green grocer with his own tomato. A third claimed to notice a fire on board a sailboat tied up to the pier, and, when the owner leaned over to look, shoved him into the ocean. A fourth put out her cigar in the navel of a plaster copy of the Venus de Milo offered for sale in the arcade. The fifth pinched a young man in an immodest spot as he walked by the group.

Barmy could distinguish the Mothers only by their attire. One wore a puce mantle, while another clutched a crocheted shawl around her shoulders. Another wore a pink bonnet, still another was dressed in bombazine, and the last wore a Homburg hat that she had wrestled from the head of the bus driver and steadfastly declined to return.

Based on Barmy's descriptions of these ringleaders, the bar maid named them as Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Mainway, Mrs. Ottley, Mrs. Dopplewaite, and Mrs. Larson. She could coax only a few additional clues about those dread events from Barmy, his natural cloth-headedness and the healing effects of the ale combining to cloud his memory.

From the six statements below, can you tell which Mother committed which offense in what order while dressed in what garment?


./Labels/h_Mother.png ./Labels/h_Garment.png ./Labels/h_Order.png
./Labels/v_Dopplewaite.png ./Labels/v_Harrison.png ./Labels/v_Larson.png ./Labels/v_Mainway.png ./Labels/v_Ottley.png ./Labels/v_Bombazine.png ./Labels/v_Crocheted_shawl.png ./Labels/v_Homburg_hat.png ./Labels/v_Pink_bonnet.png ./Labels/v_Puce_mantle.png ./Labels/v_First.png ./Labels/v_Second.png ./Labels/v_Third.png ./Labels/v_Fourth.png ./Labels/v_Fifth.png
./Labels/v_Incident.png ./Labels/h_Cigar_sniffing.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Derriere_pinch.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Pier_push_off.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Ribald_songs.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Tomato_assault.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/v_Order.png ./Labels/h_First.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Second.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Third.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Fourth.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Fifth.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/v_Garment.png ./Labels/h_Bombazine.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Crocheted_shawl.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Homburg_hat.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Pink_bonnet.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
./Labels/h_Puce_mantle.png Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark
x o blank
x o blank x o blank x o blank x o blank
x o blank x o blank x o blank x o blank
JavaScript Grid by Scott Noyes

Clues

  1. The mother in the puce mantle perpetrated her outrage earlier in the day than Mrs. Harrison's but later than the mother who led the others in singing a ribald song.
  2. A mother beaned a green grocer with his own tomato immediately after the mother in the Homburg hat (who didn't start the fun) breached the peace.
  3. A mother put out her cigar in the navel of the Venus de Milo before the mother with the crocheted shawl offended public sensibilities, who in turn misbehaved earlier in the day than Mrs. Mainway.
  4. The mother who shoved a boatman off the pier did not commit the first offense, and at least one mother brought the blush of shame to Barmy's cheek after that fateful shove and before Mrs. Dopplewaite's offense.
  5. The mother in the pink bonnet, a dedicated nonsmoker, did not lead the embarrassing singing.
  6. Mrs. Ottley and the mother in bombazine both objected to the stench of the smoker's cigar.



Solving Tips


Use an X when you are sure that two fields do not match. Use a dot when you are sure that two fields do match. Click once to place an X. Click a second time to place a dot. Click a third time to clear the box.

Select marker color by clicking the colored radio buttons. You can use colored marks to indicate which clue provided a value, or to indicate a guess that might not be correct, or just because you like solving puzzles in teal.

Use the "Save" button to save a puzzle in progress. Use the "Load" button to reload the puzzle. This feature uses cookies - fear not, we aren't tracking you or stealing credit card numbers (we couldn't, even if we wanted to.) At the moment, only one puzzle may be saved at a time on each computer (unless using different browsers or accounts). There is no warning if you save over another puzzle, and no undo!

Use the "Current Solution Window" button to parse the grid for your solution. This feature simply looks for dots in the top set of rows and creates a list that you can copy and paste into your email for submission.

If you want to clear the grid and start over, just refresh the page. Note that there is a bug in IE6 (and possibly other browsers), so that if a color other than the default is selected, that color may appear to be selected after the reload, but the actual color used will be the default.

Feature Requests
What would you like to see added to the JavaScript grid? Send me your requests and ideas.

Bug Reports
If you encounter something strange, or a JavaScript error, or some other oddity, let me know!

Scott
ssnoyes@hotmail.com