# Sheerluck Helms and the STRIKE Assassin

Whatson rushed into the room to find Sheerluck waiting for him with. 'Sorry I'm late,' gasped Whatson.

Sheerluck looked him up and down, and asked casually 'Why were you late?'

Whatson looked down and mumbled 'The stations were packed.'

Sheerluck gave him what seemed to be the beginning of a smile before saying 'You didn't check your phone when I texted and hence missed the station. You were at the bar and possibly drinking sightly too much which resulted in you forgetting about your phone. You are feeling guilty about this and therefore lied when I questioned you.'

He turned away as if nothing had happened. Whatson frowned and stepped forward besides him. After a moment of silence he asked 'How did you know that?'

Whatson considered all this for a moment before shaking his head and saying 'Well I'm here now. What's happened?'

'A rather... ironic case this time. An assassin has, indeed, been assassinated.'

'Well that's a good thing isn't it?'

'No. Look I'll show you.'

Sheerluck led Whatson into a room. A man was lying on the floor, obviously dead. That was the only thing that seemed different.

'He was shot by a friend or work associate who had come to visit. The police have identified him by his fingerprints as Simon Mikhailov, a Russian assassin hired by the criminal organization STRIKE. Selective Terrorist Retinue In Killer Environs. They are assassins who work for someone. I don't know who yet but I have a feeling that we will find out soon enough. The man who killed Mr Mikhailov left no fingerprints despite leaving handprints on several places which suggests he has had his fingerprints surgically removed.

'What do you mean we'll find out soon enough?'

'Mr. Mikhailov here was hired to kill us Whatson.'

'What! Why!?'

'STRIKE believe we are dangerous. They don't want their cover blown. But Mr. Mikhailov never got the chance to complete his assignment. It seems he was bribed to give away some information about STRIKE. But before he could tell, STRIKE got wind of this and sent someone over to kill Mr. Mikhailov. He was not expecting this, in fact the person sent over I believe was one of his closest friends. There are marks around the door and a recently stubbed out cigarette next to a pair of shoe marks outside the house where the friend met Simon here and they talked for a while. Then the guest was invited inside the house. He must have been a friend as he took off his shoes by the door, there is an extra pair of marks on the shoe rack which are much larger than the other shoes. There are crumbs and a slight mark on the coaster on the table which meant that Simon made food and drink for our friend. The friend had a concealed gun. It was a Strike One made by Arsenal Firearms and produced in Russia. While he was eating, he stood up, knocking his chair backwards slightly as you can see and shot Mr Mikhailov through the heart with a single 9mm bullet.'

'After that the friend hacked into Mr Mikhailov's computer and a large amount of money, presumably the money he was bribed with, was transferred to an untraceable bank account. However he did leave something behind. Something which worries me greatly...'

He broke off and walked over to the table on which a briefcase sat. He flicked the top open and took out a few sheets of paper. he turned and walked back to Whatson.

'This briefcase was found in Mr Mikhailov's bedroom, hidden in a secret compartment. It appeared at first to contain a load of nonsense, but STRIKE are famous for hiding their assignments and targets in puzzles, so if an incident such as this occurred then no-one would no the next target and they could be assassinated by someone else. However, I solved this puzzle and know who Mr. Mikhailov was assigned. And it makes me very concerned.'

He handed the papers to Whatson and walked out the room. Whatson frowned. The papers did indeed look like a load of nonsense. And it was extremely unlike Sheerluck to be worried.

He looked at the files the briefcase contained. there was a story, a list of numbers and a website address which seemed to be missing 5 letters. The story seemed to be cryptic clues, but without a definition. Maybe they had a common theme which brings them altogether, that could also be important later on.

A clock went over head with a laughing pilot. Someone placed their nervous organ on a storing unit. A farm animal made of money. Something is hidden beneath a fastener and an opener. Some underwear has been coiled. A person's upper part is above their lower part. Another person's expressive part is similar to a storm. It always doesn't allow condensed moisture to fall but it always flows rapidly in a stream. Weapons to chompers. Someone was pouring abuse into a wound. A coloured fish. Someone went to their creator. A part of confectionery. A feline and computer part. Choose a person's thought maker. Small insects in clothing. The earliest ruse in a collection of purposefully arranged ink. Allow a pet away from a portable storage. Sight organs are larger than a digestive. Reverse towards a first shape. The final hollow tube. Inside a screw-like object's outer casing. A container of boiling aquatic creatures. An orange vegetable twig. Something very good north of a piece of garment. Nervously remains the upper body part that is carrying the symbol of leadership. Have four tea single blinks. Remove a plant organ from another's novel. Take the ape away from your behind. A normal name. Grant a listening body part.
Elderly married female's vertebrae end. A small common plant is consistently more colourful on the alternative surface. Study betwixt the strokes. The day before's recentness. In the beginning aeroplane organism grabs the invertebrate. Additional seawatery substance to an injury. Elongated deity compared to first place.

35 4 23 11 38 24 1 3 25 6 28 7 34 13 32 14 18 16 33 19 15 29 31 30 2 20 26 22 5 36 37 10 27 12 9 8 21 17

i.stack.imgur.com/xxxxx.png

Whatson frowned. He had no idea how Sheerluck had got a name from this.

# How did Sheerluck know they were targets?

Note: The Characters in this puzzle are completely made up and any relation to outside characters is completely coincidental. Also note that the majority of this puzzle is story. The next few puzzles won't be as lengthy, this story is to just set the scene for the rest of the series.

• You don't have to answer this if it's too much of a hint; but is numbers 1-38 but only 37 sentences intentional, or is a sentence possibly missing? – Will Jan 10 '17 at 7:31
• @Will ah a sentence is probably missing. I'll check – Beastly Gerbil Jan 10 '17 at 7:45
• Oh, sorry. Got confused by 'Who'. Shouldn't the question be how did Sheerluck know who Mikhailov was hired to kill? – uptoNoGood Jan 10 '17 at 7:49
• @Will fixed it. – Beastly Gerbil Jan 10 '17 at 7:57
• RE disclaimer: For what it's worth, I'm fairly sure the copyright has expired on A.C.Doyle's works. – Jasen Jan 10 '17 at 10:55

Start by

reordering the sentences using the numbers (e.g., the first sentence actually needs to be the 7th sentence because 1 is 7th in the list)

Another person's expressive part is similar to a storm.

Face like thunder

Something very good north of a piece of garment.

An ace up one's sleeve (Thanks, uptoNoGood!)

It always doesn't allow condensed moisture to fall but it always flows rapidly in a stream.

It never rains, but it pours

Someone placed their nervous organ on a storing unit.

Rack their brain

Take the ape away from your behind.

Get the monkey off your back

Someone was pouring abuse into a wound.

Someone went to their creator.

Meet their maker

In the beginning aeroplane organism grabs the invertebrate.

Early bird gets the worm (Thanks, Jasen!)

The day before's recentness.

Elderly married female's vertebrae end.

Old wives' tale

Something is hidden beneath a fastener and an opener.

Under lock and key

Study betwixt the strokes.

A feline and computer part.

Cat and mouse

Small insects in clothing.

Ants in pants

The final hollow tube.

Last straw

Allow a pet away from a portable storage.

Let the cat out of the bag

Elongated deity compared to first place.

Good as gold (Thanks, Gareth!)

The earliest ruse in a collection of purposefully arranged ink.

Oldest trick in the book (Thanks, Jasen)

Reverse towards a first shape.

Back to square one

Nervously remains the upper body part that is carrying the symbol of leadership.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown (Thanks, Jasen)

Additional seawatery substance to an injury.

Salt to a wound

Remove a plant organ from another's novel.

Take a leaf from one's book

A farm animal made of money.

Cash cow

A person's upper part is above their lower part.

Weapons to chompers.

Armed to the teeth

Take forty winks

A small common plant is consistently more colourful on the alternative surface.

The grass is always greener on the other side

A coloured fish.

Red herring

Inside a screw-like object's outer casing.

In a nut shell

An orange vegetable twig.

Carrot stick

A container of boiling aquatic creatures.

Kettle of fish (Thanks, Jasen!)

Choose a person's thought maker.

Pick their brain

Sight organs are larger than a digestive.

Eyes bigger than stomach

A part of confectionery.

Piece of candy/chocolate/cake

A clock went over head with a laughing pilot.

Time flies when you're having fun

A normal name.

Average Joe

Grant a listening body part.

Lend an ear

Some underwear has been coiled.

Knickers in a twist

Now we can

take the first letter of each answer

to get

FAIRGAMEYOURCALLGOBUSTCHATTRICKPEPTALK

splitting this into more phrases up gives us

fair game / your call / go bust / C / hat trick / pep talk

from which we can infer the missing characters in the URL are

fygHp (C being a capital letter indicator)

which gets us this

the text on this image is

Grcf zmab oealobymqb we Uu Psxuv, 222J Pgbfpsd Awzsqb, Lwbpwq

which is

A Vigenere cipher with the key IDIOM

it decodes to

Your next assignment is Mr Helms, 222B Butcher Street, Iondon

Yikes. That sounds even worse than Fleet Street.

• Awesome work. How did you figure out the cipher? – shalvah Jan 10 '17 at 21:01
• @shalvah The sentence "Maybe they had a common theme which brings them altogether, that could also be important later on." – Will Jan 10 '17 at 21:02

# Partial answer. A list of idioms.

The note appears to be mostly a list of literal translations of idiomatic phrases. But there's some cryptic clues in there too.

1

A clock went over head with a laughing pilot.

Time Flies when you're having fun

2

Someone placed their nervous organ on a storing unit.

brain box

3

A farm animal made of money.

Cash cow. (or possibly a golden goose)

4

Something is hidden beneath a fastener and an opener.

Under lock and key.

5

Some underwear has been coiled.

Knickers in a twist ( panties... would be American )

6

A person's upper part is above their lower part.

7

Another person's expressive part is similar to a storm.

something face, (several possibilities.)

8

It always doesn't allow condensed moisture to fall but it always flows rapidly in a stream.

It never rains, but it pours.

9

Weapons to chompers.

knives between teeth (or daggers -)

10

Someone was pouring abuse into a wound.

11

A coloured fish.

A red herring

12

Someone went to their creator.

Met their maker (possibly others)

13

A part of confectionery.

Piece of cake

14

A feline and computer part.

Cat and mouse.

15

Choose a person's thought maker.

Pick their brain.

16

Small insects in clothing.

Ants in his pants (or her, their)

17

The earliest ruse in a collection of purposefully arranged ink.

Oldest trick in the book

18

Allow a pet away from a portable storage.

Let the cat out of the bag.

19

Sight organs are larger than a digestive.

Eyes bigger than - stomach

20

Reverse towards a first shape.

Go back to square one.

21

The final hollow tube.

Last trump ??? ( or "tailpipe" - but not an idiom. )

22

Inside a screw-like object's outer casing.

In a nutshell. (a engineer's nut is not particularly screw like other than the internal screw thread)

23

A container of boiling aquatic creatures.

kettle of fish. (??? usually "a fine"- )

24

An orange vegetable twig.

Carrot Stick (but not really an idiom)

25

Something very good north of a piece of garment.

Ace up one's sleeve.

26

Nervously remains the upper body part that is carrying the symbol of leadership.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown (It's a shakespeare quote)

27

Forty winks

28

Remove a plant organ from another's novel.

Take a leaf from their book (leaf is technically correct, but to me it seems page is more common)

29

Take the ape away from your behind.

Remove the monkey from your back

30

A normal name.

Plain Jane.

31

Grant a listening body part.

Lend an ear

32

Elderly married female's vertebrae end.

Old Wife's Tale

33

A small common plant is consistently more colourful on the alternative surface.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

34

Study betwixt the strokes.

35

The day befores recentness.

Yesterdays News. (-paper)

36

In the beginning aeroplane organism grabs the invertebrate.

The early bird gets the worm.

37

Additional seawatery substance to an injury.

Rub salt into a wound (???)

38

Elongated deity compared to first place.

Good as gold.

I hope that helps a bit.

• I think they are cryptic clues not idioms :-/ – Techidiot Jan 10 '17 at 10:22
• most of the answers are idioms – Jasen Jan 10 '17 at 10:23
• 37 is "good as gold". – Gareth McCaughan Jan 10 '17 at 10:42
• 33 counted twice ?! – uptoNoGood Jan 10 '17 at 11:03
• 25 might be "ace up (one's) sleeve" – uptoNoGood Jan 10 '17 at 11:05