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Oh, my phone is dead again! Want to know why? Well, I just spent 2 hours on a call with my friend. He loves gossips and I was caught in one of his epic tale!

Today, he narrated this story to me.


Me and my other eight friends were traveling for a weekend trip. The street was scary, reminds me of the Elm Street. It was already too late. But we were lucky to have a good chauffeur with us as none of us knew how to drive.

It was around 2am that the car suddenly stopped in the middle of nowhere. Scared to death, we started panicking. We asked the driver to get out and check what's wrong. He agreed and got off. It was foggy outside and we were hardly able to see anything.

It was about 30 minutes now that the driver has gone. It was the time when we needed to be really scared. Somehow, we managed to spend 30 more minutes. But alas, the driver didn't return. But there was a thud on the window from outside. And then another and more. It was like we were surrounded by mob. Probably they were some kind of nearby tribal people or may be thieves or err.. the zombies?

Whoever they were, we were struggling! We locked out doors and decided to stay in and make a call. But, the phones were not working as we have lost the signals. We finally decided to try starting the car. And to our surprise it started. The engine swiftly turned on. BUT.... Who will drive? None of us knew how to drive. So, we decided to make a list of who can do what and what could be done to get out of this horrible situation. And following were the things we came up with this arbitrary list -

Alex - He owns a Cab.
Monty - He likes the Moon
Ethan - He can Feed the animals
Garry - He has this weird devilish laugh Hihihihihi
Joshua -He has Thousand dollars.
Paul - He loves his PS-7. (Oh, he really has that version)
Will - He likes to Zzzzzz all day long, yeah he hardly stays awake.
Victor- He has the biggest TV.
And then there was me - I was the Jon Snow of all because I knew nothing - A Blank! :) But I always stood first in my class!

Well, once the above list was done, I looked at it and I thought it was hilarious. I told them this was no fun. There is an important call to make. Our lives are on line. And then, they all got seriously involved in making a better list and came up with this -

Victor, Ethan, Paul, Garry and Monty - Can grab the Steering.
Paul, Alex, Joshua, Ethan - Can apply the Brakes.
Monty, Garry, Paul - Can use the Horn.
Ethan, Alex, Garry, Paul - Can handle the Gears.
Will - Garry, Ethan, Paul - Can use the Wipers.
Joshua, Alex, Ethan, Victor, Paul, Garry - Can handle the Acceleration.

So, it was confirmed that there won't be a single person who is going to take us home but may be two, three or more. After a lot of thinking, and brainstorming I decided who is going to drive us home. But, before revealing to my friends, I needed to check my phone one last time. And to my bad, it was still the same, without any signals.

Finally, the drivers were ready and we took off. Guess what? We reached safely back home.


Wasn't the story a little weird? You think it’s a made up one? Oh, yes! It is a made up one. But conceptually true. So, who cares! Hope you had fun reading it. Oh wait, now that you know how the story went, don't you want to find out who were the legendary saviors? To know the truth, you just need to connect the dots and fill in the blanks. No, I won’t tell you how. I will simply ask you two questions -

1. Who DROVE the car?

2. Who were the friends?

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have this feeling I don't know the answer yet but I already love the trick. $\endgroup$ – Lilian Delaveau Feb 17 '17 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ (Cab, Alex ), (Moon,Monty) ,(Feed,Ethan), (Hihihihihi,Garry) ,(Thousand,Joshua), (PS-7,Paul), (Zzzzzz,Will), (TV,Victor) ,(I knew nothing - A Blank! first,Jon Snow) $\endgroup$ – Amruth A Feb 17 '17 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ @AmruthA That's a good start! $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 17 '17 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ "Who DROVE the car?" is Alex or another cab driver from Alex's friends i think but i think i'm not solved at all and not get any close... $\endgroup$ – Ibrahim Alkan Feb 19 '17 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ Why can't Paul drive?According to the list,he can use the steering,horn,wipers,accelerators,brakes and gears-in fact he's the only one mentioned in all of these. $\endgroup$ – Kit-Ginevra Feb 19 '17 at 12:24
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Driving the car ...

... was a joint effort of Ethan, Paul, Monty and Victor.

The friends are ...

... the keys of a telephone keypad. Their names start with one of the assigned letters for the keys 2 to 9 and the things that are associated to them (in italics) are also made up of the respective letters.

I am the number one, which comes first and doesn't have any letters assigned. (There's the additional hint that Paul has a PS-7, where 7 is Paul's key and the whole story is about a dead phone.)

1 — blank — I
2 ABC — Cab — Alex
3 DEF — Feed — Ethan
4 GHI — Hihihihihi — Gerry
5 JKL — K (Thousand) — Joshua
6 MNO — Moon — Monty
7 PQRS — PS-7 — Paul
8 TUV — TV — Victor
9 WXYZ — Zzzzzz — Will

Operating the various parts of the car ...

... is done via letters, too. For example Steering translates to (7, 8, 3, 3, 7, 4, 6, 4) on the phone keypad. That means the numbers 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 are required and consequently, Ethan, Gerry, Monty, Paul and Victor can handle the Steering.

The question is who DROVE the car, so the answer is all those who are required to type DROVE or (3, 7, 6, 8, 3): Numbers 3, 6, 7 and 8, which are my friends Ethan, Monty, Paul and Victor.

(Good thing I'm the blank – I never get to do any work in this story.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Cool. You nailed it! :) One little thing, you might mention the clues you have found to reach the answer. Also, To know the truth, you just need to connect the dots and fill in the blanks. You have connected the dots, now you can fill in the blanks in the title mob-one ;) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 19 '17 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ I solved this mainly by finding the patterns in the blockquotes. If there are further hints (besides the dead phone) in the surrounding text, I've missed them. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Feb 20 '17 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ Filling the blanks in "mob - one" leads to "mob-ile ph-one", but I've only noticed this after you had pointed me to the title. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Feb 20 '17 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ @M Oehm - Yeah. That was just there for an end and was not a clue. +15 :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 20 '17 at 10:00
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Work in progress : clues

At the moment, I'm not able to see the start of the path for solving this. However, for the record and if it can help, here are a few remarks.

Names & first list

If we link friends names to their item, we notice some strange semi-patterns (you know, it seems to have a connexion but doesn't really fit and drives you mad), like, almost every item initial is close to the owner initial. (A-C, M-M, E-F, G-H, Joshua-Thousand (well, almost), P-P, W-Z, V-T, Jon Snow/Me - Blank!). Every letter in the word also are close from each other, but permutations or order seems random (Cab = CAB, Moon = MON, ...) Of course this is weird, but italic words also have their initial upper case, it appeals attention. Or maybe all of this is a friggin big fat red herring.

Names & second list

I can only say every part of the vehicle also has its initial upper case. Doing a graph didn't help me see a pattern, except for the fact that Paul is able to handle every part, but OP already dismissed the fact that Paul drove.

EDIT

Just as I finished writing this post, @m-oehm published the whole solution. Good work ! I'll see if I'm useful elsewhere ;)

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