Competition Results – and Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day is here! I can’t wait to find out what Santa has brought me – maybe that’s why I can’t find any more Brian Flynn titles on eBay, as Santa has bought them all and left them under the tree for me! Yup, that’s bound to be it. After all, it was a Christmas present of The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye that started this obsession with Flynn (and, according to one person in the know, has made it harder for people in general to get hold of Flynn’s work). Still, I live in hope that there might be a Purple Calf or Running Nun under my tree…

But Christmas is a time for giving, as well as receiving, so it’s time to give the answers to my ridiculous competition, and let someone have some good tidings… because three people actually got the answer right!

OK, the words in question in the puzzle – which, if you recall, occur five times or more in titles that I’ve reviewed in the seven years that I’ve been drivelling on for – were:

ALL, BLACK, BLOOD, BONES, BOOK, BRYANT, CASE, CRIME, DARK, DAY, DEAD, DEATH, DEVIL, DIE, DYING, FIRE, FROM, HERRING, HOLMES, HOUSE, KILLING, KING, LADY, LAST, MAY, MAZE, MURDER, MYSTERY, NICK, NIGHT, NINE, RED, ROOM, SECRET, SERPENT, SHERLOCK, TESLA, TIME, TRAGEDY, WHITE and WOMAN

So the most popular murderous colours are red and white and women and ladies are more murderous than men (apart from Kings)! And yes, FROM could qualify as the sort of connective word that I said wasn’t there, but never mind, eh?

So, only read on if you want to know the answer…

… ready?

OK, the unused letters rearrange to give the name FOTHERINGTON which, as two readers pointed out, is the middle name of Brian Flynn’s sleuth Anthony Bathurst, as mentioned in the reviews of The Wife Who Disappeared and Black Agent (and on the Flynn index page). Except it isn’t… Bathurst’s name is in fact LOTHERINGTON but I made a mistake in those posts – I’ll correct it soon, but for now, I’ll leave it to you to point and laugh at my mistake. And I leave it up to you to decide on whether I made this puzzle to highlight the mistake or whether I made the mistake again when setting the puzzle and only realised it after it was published…

I did wonder about one response that cited “FOTHERINGTON and Black Agent (or any other Flynn title)” – as it is only in those two aforementioned reviews that Fotherington applies to, but I called in a couple of independent adjudicators (well, my wife and Kate from Cross Examining Crime) and they decided that it was close enough. So congratulations to Jonathan, Jeff, Santosh and Mike. And my random number generator (i.e. Excel, “RAND(INT()*4)+1”) produces the winner as…

… drumroll…

Jonathan! Congratulations to all who had a go – I’ll try and make it a bit trickier next time.

Merry Christmas!

7 comments

  1. Yes, I was misled by your reply to my question and thought that FROM was excluded. This delayed my solution.
    Anyway, thanks for an entertaining puzzle !

    Like

    • You’re welcome. And to be honest, I missed the fact that I’d used FROM, when I replied. But you got there in the end. Hope you understand my reply about missing the subtlety, but it didn’t really matter.

      Like

  2. Actually, I thought that Lotherington was incorrect and Fotherington was correct ! Why ?
    You have used Lotherington more than 3 times and Fotherington only twice.( I have never read your index page) and you mention in your update “I have used it incorrectly at least three times so far this year…”

    Like

  3. From! I had great fun working on this and came pretty close (I had all the others) though I couldn’t figure out that final one.

    Thanks for the puzzle and another year of fascinating reviews. Hope you enjoy the rest of your break. Merry Christmas!

    Like

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