When Inspector Kit was just a little kitty, she desperately wanted to be a spy - jetting off to foreign countries, thwarting international diamond thieves.

And now the big day has arrived - her very first mission. And it's rather disappointing. This was not she had in mind - a grubby room somewhere in America.

The room's seen better days for sure - there's not even a stunning view to compensate. The first window shows a brick wall, the second a dead-end street and the third a bit of sky with the top of a billboard.

As for lasers, codebooks and electronic forcefields, forget it. There's a very old map of America and a flipchart with an impressive obscene doodle on it.

In the corner, there's a dusty bookcase with a few old books falling to bits - no-one has touched them for years.
The extremely promising selection is The Life History of the Louse (with pictures-1974 edition), Chart-Topping Hits (1977 edition), How To Keep Your Hamster Happy (1976 edition), Fun and Easy Codes for Kids (mouldy cover only).
Joining them on the shelf are a few rusty staples, some bits of old string and half a dozen drawing pins.

And the mission instructions on a piece of paper torn from the flipchart.

Find the state that the bomb has been planted in - X marks the spot.


That's all there is. Apart from a coffee stain. And another obscene doodle.

This spying lark isn't so glamorous as it seems. But the problem has to be solved...

  • $\begingroup$ Does the story matter or block text is enough to solve it? +1 looks interesting $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Dec 10, 2016 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ Some of the story matters. You may have to use some sources outside the text to work out some parts... $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2016 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Kit-Ginevra- Also, is the given information enough? Looks trivial to me. If it is, you can add trivia tag I guess. $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Dec 10, 2016 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Everything you need to solve it is in there-yes it could be trivial I think and so has been tagged $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2016 at 23:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here's your map.Thrilling isn't it... link $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2016 at 14:40

3 Answers 3


Send the bomb squad to ...


Following the clues . . .

  • The Windows

    The first two windows are unimportant. The third window shows the top of a billboard.

  • The Bookcase

    The only thing on it that matters is Chart-Topping Hits (1977 edition).

These taken together suggest

looking at the Billboard Chart-Topping Hits for certain years, as noticed and pointed out by @incognico whose discovery gave me the fresh insight needed to solve this.
So, what years do we look at? ...

  • The Mission Instructions

    The numbers, 60659-11160-81874-41475, now that we know what to look for, look like not just years, but specific dates. So let's find the top singles for those dates:

    60659 is 6/6/1959; the Billboard #1 Single on that date was "The Battle of New Orleans"
    11160 is 1/11/19601; the Billboard #1 Single on that date was "El Paso"
    81874 is 8/18/1974; the Billboard #1 Single on that date was "The Night Chicago Died"
    41475 is 4/14/1975; the Billboard #1 Single on that date was "Philadelpha Freedom"

  • The Map

    The key here is the line from the Mission Instructions:
    "Find the state that the bomb has been planted in - X marks the spot."

    As I suggested in earlier incarnations of my answer, we need to find a way to draw two lines that cross in an X on the map; this requires four locations. Looking up the Billboard hits and noting they all name cities, we now have four locations.

    Drawing lines between New Orleans and Chicago, and El Paso and Philadelphia, gives us:

    enter image description here

Putting It All Together

It's hard to tell on that map where they cross, but it appears the intersection is in Illinois (I redrew straighter lines and the intersection is a bit inside IL, near the Shawnee National Forest). I had Kentucky here earlier, as it's pretty close to the IL/KY border. (And on Google Maps it seems to be inside Tennessee; go figure.)

I'm going with Illinois.

$ $

1 11160 could also have been 11/1/1960, but no city is named in the song for that date.

  • $\begingroup$ Nowhere near. A look at the map will show that New Mexico is present in all its stately glory... $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2016 at 22:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Congrats, your edit let me change my -1 :) $\endgroup$
    – LeppyR64
    Dec 13, 2016 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ We regret your bomb squad is off on a wild goose chase Mr.Rubio. If they don't exist as ZIP codes,then you can't use them as ZIP codes I'm afraid.... $\endgroup$ Dec 13, 2016 at 10:51

Work in progress by a newbie ;)

A number of the details, such as

The title, "Number 1 Mission"
The view of the "..top of a billboard"
The book "Chart Topping Hits"

might mean Inspector Kit should look at

Billboard magazine's #1 hits

likely for the years of the books, which seem to be -

1974 The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand
1977 Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright) by Rod Stewart
1976 Silly Love Songs by Wings

Not sure if I'm on the right track or not, but it is fun!

  • $\begingroup$ Nice try! And Welcome to Puzzling!! $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Dec 22, 2016 at 8:07

Not done yet.
Just some idears and things that are going through my mind about this.
Could obviusly be totaly wrong.
Things i think are important:

thwarting international diamond thieves
The first window shows a brick wall
The second a dead-end street
The third a bit of sky with the top of a billboard
> If we look at these a bit more abstract we could get some songs and bands out of this
>> diamond thieves + a bit of sky = lucy in the sky with diamonds by the Beatles
>> The second a dead-end street could = Dead End Stree by the Kinks
>> The first window shows a brick wall = Another brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd
> i dont know how to use this yet and maybe im totally of ;)

Things i found important but have no clue how to use them:

Very old map of America
impressive obscene doodle on it.
The Life History of the Louse (with pictures-1974 edition)

Chart-Topping Hits (1977 edition)
How To Keep Your Hamster Happy (1976 edition)
Fun and Easy Codes for Kids (mouldy cover only)

Anyways i have a lot of fun thanks buddy


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