A new year and a new mission for Kitty.

Having successfully located the bomb on the previous mission, Kitty is on the next level of training and is delighted to see conditions have improved considerably.

This time she's in a rather nice hotel room and now she knows where she is as there is a rather pleasant note from the management with her mission instructions.

Time to explore—the room is a big octagonal one with a double bed. It’s been done up very nicely for the time of year with tinsel decorating the walls, one of those dancing Santa Clauses jangling away on the windowsill and a rather jolly Christmas tree in the corner next to the door leading through to a separate bath and shower cubicle.

And there’s snacks too! Tea and coffee making facilities, a nice selection of biccies and funsize chocolate bars:a Mars, a Bounty and an Aero. Ooh a minibar too! On the top shelf is a selection of alcohol—gin, whiskey, brandy and on the bottom shelf a range of condiments—mint sauce, mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and mustard.

In the bookcase are a few novels, a couple of children’s books, ’The Mystery of the Locked Hotel Room’, a book of birthstones, a book of zodiac signs, a guide to alphabet substitution codes and ‘Fungal Fun—a study of amusing skin diseases.’

In the cupboard by the bath are some cleaning things—some rubber gloves, an apron, a small iron, some hand and face towels and a couple of small bottles of Febreze fabric conditioner and Surf washing powder. And a small dead spider… yuk…

So there you go Kitty. Lie back on the hotel bed, enjoy the contents of the minibar and try to deduce when and where this bomb will go off.

  • $\begingroup$ I've edited it to have the link go to a Stack Exchange Imgur link, which will just show the image. $\endgroup$
    – Mithical
    Jan 1, 2017 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ Much as Kitty is enjoying her life luxuriating at the hotel, her trainers haven't heard from her in four days and are getting slightly worried about her... $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2017 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ Kitty has been declared missing in action.Last we heard,she was getting close with some of the clues.Although the bounty was awarded, alas that was a red herring-there is nothing about 12 or Caesar ciphers that will help her. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2017 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Bringing this back up in the hope that someone will be able to salvage Kitty from where she's been languishing for 10 dismal months... and maybe get round to that bomb...sometime $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2017 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ Kitty is long dead from eating that chocolate bar. No use in saving her now... $\endgroup$
    – user
    Feb 8, 2018 at 2:50

3 Answers 3


I can't put in a full answer, but maybe this will help others:

  1. The number 12 is significant: it's December, the 12th month; 12 birth stones; 12 signs of the zodiac. It's also possible the number 8 (octogon room) is significant.
  2. I believe the main clue from the bookshelf is the guide to alphabet substitution codes. The other books are likely red herrings, aside from pointing to the number 12.
  3. The numbers in the hotel note are interesting. The wait staff heights:

    5'9 5'7 5'6 5'7

    and the maids (are those bra sizes? How odd):

    32B 34C 32C 30D

  4. Then we have the minibar and cupboard, where specific lists of items are given:

    • a Mars, a Bounty and an Aero
    • Gin, Whiskey, Brandy
    • Mint sauce, Mayonnaise, Cranberry sauce and Mustard
    • rubber gloves, an Apron, a Small iron, some hand and face towels and a couple of small bottles of Febreze fabric conditioner and Surf washing powder

I'm confident the alphabet codes clue means there is a code for the numbers and listed items, possibly where the number 12 is a key or offset for a Caesar cipher, but at this point there are still too many possibilities for me to make much headway. I also considered using the heights as two digit values in an ascii table and the bra sizes as hex values, but had no luck there, either.

  • $\begingroup$ Wild guess: possibly the time is 5:36pm. The note header says 1736. In military time that's, of course, 5:36pm. The male staff are all 5' and the female staff are in the 30s range. 1736 seems likely candidate since it can be construed as a time when combined with the tendency for repeating numbers. $\endgroup$
    – Ouroborus
    Jan 8, 2017 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm... possibly the serving staff tells the day and or time, and the four lists each points to location, where we can again draw an X to mark the spot. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 1:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hm. I thought that 1736 was just part of the imprinted letterhead. (It's the year Augusta, GA, was founded, by the way.) There's another reference to the number 12, though: Each of the 4 maids and 4 waiters have 3 words after them in brackets. Two of the maids have names that are birthstones. And there are hints to the names of months hidden thoughout: Febreze, Mars, Apron, Mayonnaise, Junior guests, Augusta, Octagonal, Novels, Decoration. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Jan 9, 2017 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ The 1736 has nothing to do with it-that just happens to be part of the letterhead. I don't even know what a Caesar cipher is, so it isn't that. And you don't have to draw X's on the staff. They object if you do that... $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ Also note the RUBY and SAPHIRE are birth stones hinted at on the book shelf. (July and September respectively) $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2017 at 19:33

The answer is obvious... at least I hope so. Kitty has time to skidaddle, as the bomb will go off at ...

Feb, 12 @ midnight. I looked in the letter for the answers. I hope I'm right.

ooops...Hold on. I will work on the WHERE part...sorry...Got caught up in the excitement of the whole thing!

  • $\begingroup$ In the future please use spoilers; I've added these for you. You've also made an edit from a different userid - you should consider merging your guest91158 and your @phrazzled users together, so you're not having a schizophrenic experience here (and so your reputation earnings are consolidated under one id). $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Mar 2, 2018 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ I'm afraid both of you are wrong wherever you might be. So far I'd follow M. Oehm's deductions as he/she/it/they is on the best path... $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2018 at 11:57

OK - The bomb is in Sidney. Maybe it will go off at lunch? (I can't add comments because I just joined this group. So, I can only add something here in an answer.)

I think the candy bars may refer to sailing ships: HMS Mars, HMS Bounty, Aero

The two books: birthstones and the zodiac may refer to a different chart of birthstones that has different dates than the one that is just for months. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthstone

One thing that may lead to a alphabet substitution: Bra cups have sizes, too. So:

32 -- B = 8"

34 -- C = 9" 32 -- C = 9"

30 -- D = 10"

If this is relevant, then maybe A = 7, B = 8, C = 9, D = 10, etc.

I've only been trying to figure this out for a couple of hours. But, I've tried to look at it differently based on some of the comments above.

Geez...I'm only trying to help poor Kitty!!!


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