The Stirring Case of the Double French

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woelpad
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The Stirring Case of the Double French

#1 Post by woelpad » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:57 pm

I challenge you to solve the latest Sherlock Holmes puzzle (riddle, brain teaser, ...) in the Pouch Zine, called "The Stirring Case of the Double French".

http://www.diplomatic-pouch.org/Zine/S2 ... rring.html

Synopsis: You're given a map where all units have been removed and only ownership of supply centers is shown. Your task is to find out where the first army from Paris and the army from London are on this map. No information on the current year or season are given, nor should you assume anything about the starting position. The real question you should ask yourself is: "How was this map constructed?" The only other hint is in the title.

Feel free to expose your answer and discuss how you derived it. The correct solution will be published sometimes later this month in the upcoming F2018M Zine.

Map: http://uk.diplom.org/pouch/Zine/S2018M/ ... French.gif

Code: Select all

AUSTRIA (0/8)  BER BUD BUL GRE LVP NWY SPA VIE                                    
ENGLAND (0/4)  DEN LON NAP SER                                                    
FRANCE  (0/3)  BRE MAR PAR                                                        
GERMANY (0/2)  MUN VEN                                                            
TURKEY  (0/17) ANK BEL CON EDI HOL KIE MOS POR ROM RUM SEV SMY STP SWE TRI TUN WAR
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Squigs44
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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#2 Post by Squigs44 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:24 pm

This looks tough. My initial gut reaction was that England's control of Serbia means there is an army there, which would be a good guess for the London army. However, Serbia could have been captured by a different army England built, or Serbia could be empty, with the army moving on after capturing it.
The double French title could be referring to the double L's in Marseilles, but even that is a guess at best. I'm going to have to think on this some more.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#3 Post by Durga » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:40 pm

This is fun. I'm far too stupid to engage with it, but I like the idea!
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xorxes
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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#4 Post by xorxes » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:20 pm

Squigs44 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:24 pm
This looks tough. My initial gut reaction was that England's control of Serbia means there is an army there, which would be a good guess for the London army. However, Serbia could have been captured by a different army England built, or Serbia could be empty, with the army moving on after capturing it.
The double French title could be referring to the double L's in Marseilles, but even that is a guess at best. I'm going to have to think on this some more.
What do you mean by "the London army"?

Assuming "double French" means both cities are in France, then army London could be moving to Brest or Marseilles (can't move to Paris). The first army from Paris could have arrived just about anywhere on the map, so Par, Mar or Bre are all possible for the other French city. For simplicity I'd wager it's the train from Mar to Bre as Bre is more likely for army London to reach (although Edinburgh being Turkish may be a hint that we must look for the most unlikely scenario possible) and we wouldn't want the first army from Paris to have arrived in Paris because that would be boring.

I'm also working with the assumption that the first riddle was given as a hint that the second one would make as little sense as that first one.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#5 Post by Squigs44 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:27 pm

xorxes wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:20 pm
Squigs44 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:24 pm
This looks tough. My initial gut reaction was that England's control of Serbia means there is an army there, which would be a good guess for the London army. However, Serbia could have been captured by a different army England built, or Serbia could be empty, with the army moving on after capturing it.
The double French title could be referring to the double L's in Marseilles, but even that is a guess at best. I'm going to have to think on this some more.
What do you mean by "the London army"?

Assuming "double French" means both cities are in France, then army London could be moving to Brest or Marseilles (can't move to Paris). The first army from Paris could have arrived just about anywhere on the map, so Par, Mar or Bre are all possible for the other French city. For simplicity I'd wager it's the train from Mar to Bre as Bre is more likely for army London to reach (although Edinburgh being Turkish may be a hint that we must look for the most unlikely scenario possible) and we wouldn't want the first army from Paris to have arrived in Paris because that would be boring.

I'm also working with the assumption that the first riddle was given as a hint that the second one would make as little sense as that first one.
Oh, I read it wrong. Thought that we were given starting locations for both armies. Looks like the London clue is referring to the current location of that army, while the Paris clue is the starting location of that army?

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#6 Post by xorxes » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:46 pm

Squigs44 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:27 pm
xorxes wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:20 pm
Squigs44 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:24 pm
This looks tough. My initial gut reaction was that England's control of Serbia means there is an army there, which would be a good guess for the London army. However, Serbia could have been captured by a different army England built, or Serbia could be empty, with the army moving on after capturing it.
The double French title could be referring to the double L's in Marseilles, but even that is a guess at best. I'm going to have to think on this some more.
What do you mean by "the London army"?

Assuming "double French" means both cities are in France, then army London could be moving to Brest or Marseilles (can't move to Paris). The first army from Paris could have arrived just about anywhere on the map, so Par, Mar or Bre are all possible for the other French city. For simplicity I'd wager it's the train from Mar to Bre as Bre is more likely for army London to reach (although Edinburgh being Turkish may be a hint that we must look for the most unlikely scenario possible) and we wouldn't want the first army from Paris to have arrived in Paris because that would be boring.

I'm also working with the assumption that the first riddle was given as a hint that the second one would make as little sense as that first one.
Oh, I read it wrong. Thought that we were given starting locations for both armies. Looks like the London clue is referring to the current location of that army, while the Paris clue is the starting location of that army?
"Army London" usually refers to whatever army is currently in London. "The first army from Paris" is more mysterious, but I understood it as the army that was in Paris at the start of the game. I don't see how this riddle has a unique solution though, I'm probably missing something.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#7 Post by Jamiet99uk » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:56 pm

Are the French forces in control of Bre, Par, Mar the same player as holds London?

If so, why are they a different colour?

xorxes
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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#8 Post by xorxes » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:01 am

Jamiet99uk wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:56 pm
Are the French forces in control of Bre, Par, Mar the same player as holds London?

If so, why are they a different colour?
France controls the three original French centers and England controls Den, Lon, Nap, Ser, according to the map, but I don't see how that helps with anything.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#9 Post by woelpad » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:53 am

xorxes wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:20 pm
I'm also working with the assumption that the first riddle was given as a hint that the second one would make as little sense as that first one.
:razz: Don't fear. The actual puzzle is perfectly logical, once you understand what's going on.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#10 Post by woelpad » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:56 am

Jamiet99uk wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:56 pm
Are the French forces in control of Bre, Par, Mar the same player as holds London?

If so, why are they a different colour?
Great question. The answer to it will get you a far way.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#11 Post by ghug » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:54 am

Would you prefer we not work together in a public forum to solve it?

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#12 Post by woelpad » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:25 am

ghug wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:54 am
Would you prefer we not work together in a public forum to solve it?
No. Collaborate as much as you like. I'm just enjoying the to and fro.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#13 Post by Claesar » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:12 am

Turkey is on 17, but I doubt we have a stalemate here. Your best bet would be to email the mods to ask for a forced draw, hoping one of them is drunk enough to execute your request :?
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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#14 Post by woelpad » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:32 am

xorxes wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:20 pm
What do you mean by "the London army"?
It's actually "the army from London", which means that it was built in London, either at the start or in the course of the game. Just wanted to clear that up.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#15 Post by woelpad » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:38 am

Claesar wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:12 am
Turkey is on 17, but I doubt we have a stalemate here. Your best bet would be to email the mods to ask for a forced draw, hoping one of them is drunk enough to execute your request :?
I can assure you, Turkey isn't going to win this game. :lol:

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#16 Post by Claesar » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:51 am

Since under normal conditions London doesn't start with an army, we can assume this was not a normal game. Of course, this was already hinted in the OP "how was this map constructed?". One variant that the original rulebook suggests is 'picking SCs' i.e. you take turns to pick a supply centre to start the game with. Probably an interesting variant with 5 players. This would mean the (starting) army built in London didn't even have to be English, it could've been French. Hence the double French?

Then again, it could be something else entirely. Perhaps they weren't even playing Diplomacy, but merely etch-a-sketching.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#17 Post by woelpad » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:05 pm

Claesar wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:51 am
Then again, it could be something else entirely. Perhaps they weren't even playing Diplomacy, but merely etch-a-sketching.
The game follows normal Diplomacy rules with the inclusion of a few fairly well-known variant rules that anyone who has ever played variants would probably recognize.

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#18 Post by Squigs44 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:31 pm

What if the colors dont represent countries? France could be playing by themselves, and the colors are something like the year in which France captured them. Started with France in 1901, got Germany in 1902, England 1903, Austria 1904, and hasn't captured Turkey yet. There are a couple problems with that exact situation, but something along those lines?

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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#19 Post by ghug » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:15 pm

I think we're thinking too much like Diplomacy players and not enough like riddle solvers.

As xorxes points out, there's no way there's a unique solution given just the map. The title suggests that there's been some "stirring", and there's probably something else going on with the double French. I imagine we also have further clues in the text. Maybe all of those letters.
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Re: The Stirring Case of the Double French

#20 Post by SirThursday » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:38 pm

Being American, I must confess to not having read (m)any of the Sherlock Holmes novels... but the Sultan says that language/words/letters aren't the puzzles that he is known for, but this sort of map puzzle is more the sort he's known for. Is that a clue? I was under the impression that Holmes' mysteries were chiefly about murder or lost items?

"The question to ask is how the map was constructed", either by playing the game, in which case a unique solution seems impossible to discover, or the territories were selected as a hint in itself, in which case the elimination of Italy and Russia may be a hint?

"the city where the first army from Paris has arrived " is part 1, but given the French control only their home centers in the given map, are we to believe that they've just reclaimed their home center(s)? or have they lost enough centers elsewhere that they are down to their last three units, but those are abroad? So then most likely only 1 is still an army, or is in a place only an army can go (not coastal center).

"bound for the same final destination as army London" is part 2, and would seem to indicate that there is presently an army in London, which is about to go somewhere else. As "Wales" or "Yorkshire" would be dreadfully boring answers, as the solution would then be "just move north", I would assume the trick is in a convoy of some kind. So London is about to be convoyed into a place where a French army could go, based on where we assume the French army is currently?

I'm not good at riddles, but I'll be following this thread with great anticipation

So I would guess that A Lon is about to be convoyed into the mainland somewhere (as a train from Paris cannot access the Island apart from the Chunnel, but that may not exist in this scenario), and the trick is finding where that Army from Paris is, so that we know where it could go which could also be a convoy location from London

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