Breaking news from the United Nations, where a celebration has ended in tragedy

It is believed the calamity occurred during a rendition of the Elbonian State Dance - a traditional victory reel where partners move round two places for each round. This was being performed to welcome Elbonia's entry as the newest member of the UN.

In the second round, HM King James II of Elbonia, a portly gentleman, joined the dance party and the ceiling, the guests and the Elbonian Military Choir plunged onto the room below which was holding a debate on UN Protocols on Capital Punishment.

It seems ten diplomats have been squished, but amidst the chaos, many of those attending the debate took the chance to run for cover in the free bar in an adjacent suite.

One eyewitness was able to give a somewhat coherent account - the new Elbonian representative to the UN, Mr. Dilbert. Before the effects of a concussion from a pair of large regal buttocks set in, he gave this statement.

'When it happened, I was coming down the hallway - it is partly next to the Debate Room - and just gone round the turn behind it. I'd been to the loos as I'd just had my third Elbonian Glory (a cocktail containing sugar, iodine and rum). As everyone stood to applaud Barack Obama's speech, there was a crash behind me, rolling me onto that piece of carpet behind you. I banged my head hard on the floor, but worse was to come. As I looked up, I heard a groan and James II's buttocks were heading towards me. As I'm a little man, it didn't half hurt...'

So which nations were represented by the now sadly flattened victims?

  • $\begingroup$ Is it safe to assume that neither the use of Dilbert and Elbonia specifically, nor the punctuation style (no space before or after punctuation marks) is relevant to the puzzle? $\endgroup$
    – RDFozz
    Feb 9 '18 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Correct-that's just the way I punctuate and there are clues waiting in the story,but our favourite cube dweller isn't one of them. $\endgroup$ Feb 10 '18 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ Well - there are 20 capital letters in the quoted story (capital punishment). The most obvious idea is to map them to two character country codes (country names "squished" to two characters) - but the first two in order (WI) don't map, so I guess that's not it. $\endgroup$
    – RDFozz
    Feb 13 '18 at 20:38

It has suddenly struck me that

if the room below was holding a meeting on UN protocols for capital punishment, only the 30-odd nations in the UN that practice capital punishment would be in there. Add to that the fact that those who weren't squashed had taken advantage of the free bar in the next room, that would mean that the the nations in question would be those that:
a) Practice Capital Punishment and
b) Do not drink alcohol.
I do not have the names of those particular countries at the moment, but that's certainly the list I'd start with.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A debate might involve people both for and against a particular viewpoint, and the story indicates that only some of the survivors went to the bar. $\endgroup$
    – RDFozz
    Feb 9 '18 at 21:51

Possible partial answer:

The last sentence starts "As I'm a little man,"

"As I'm" could be "unsquished" to "As I am", giving us "A[s I am]", or Siam (now Thailand).

No idea if this is even headed in a right direction, but thought it was worth tossing out there.


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