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Today, I started my job as a package delivery man. As chances have it, one of the delivery addresses was right on my apartment floor! However, the handwriting was so bad I couldn't even make out the room of the recipient. I guessed the only way to do so was to go room by room and asked who ordered this package.

"Knock, knock" I started with room 501. A petite woman, drenched in sweat, slightly opened the door through the door chain. "Did you order a package recently?" I asked. "No, but if I did just leave the package at the door next time. I need total focus before my next college track meet, and I don't want to lose my spot as the best distance runner!" Okay humble-bragger, I whispered to myself.

"Knock, knock" I continued with room 502. A man in cast answered the door. "Did you order a package recently?" I asked. "No mate, every time I ordered something from you guys it got broken. By the way, would you like to know how I got this cast? I was driving the other day, but forgot that in America they drive differently from Australia, so BANG I hit a car going the opposite direction. The doctor ordered me to not go outside. You know that feeling when you are trapped in your room and a day might feel like forever?" Sure, mate, no need to tell your life story to me.

I passed by my room and my brother's room. Even though my brother ordered tons of packages like these, I'm certain that he did not order this one. As I walked through, I noticed the door knob to his room was a little bit rusty. I made a mental note to replace it for him and moved on.

"Knock, knock" I knocked on room 505. A little kid answered the door. "Ask your parents if they ordered a package recently," I asked, and the kid ran back inside. Moment later, out walked a tall, athletic couple with a bubbling personality. "Did you guys ordered any package recently?" I asked. "Is it a Lifesaver?" The husband asked. "My wife has been trying to teach me how to swim, but her Lifesaver is too big for me!" I checked the content of the package, told them no, and said goodbye. Such a nice couple. They even ordered one of their kids to get me a cold glass of water to drink!

"Knock, knock" I knocked on room 506. A man answered the door. "If you are one of those kids who likes to apologize..." he raised his voice. "Actually, I want to know if you ordered a package recently." I replied. "Oh...I'm sorry. No I don't think so...Last time I ordered anything was a while ago...by the way, sorry for getting angry at you. It's just me and my wife just moved here recently, and some meddling kids in the neighborhood keep making fun of my name plaque..." I said no problem and bid adieu again.

Here is it, the last room. room 507. I knocked on the door, but then noticed an Eviction Letter posted on the door. "Dang it, the people in here left!" I murmured to myself after seeing no one answered. Took years to get the package here and no one even receive it! Well, at least I got to know what the woman who used to occupy this room looked like, with the help of the package.

Questions:

  1. Why was the woman evicted?
  2. Who is my brother?
  3. What is the package? (I realize that this question might be a bit hard, but if you answer the first question it will be clearer)
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  • $\begingroup$ You might like this one, from a couple of years ago. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 31 '18 at 20:37
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I'm thinking your neighbors are

planets

and the package is

a space probe - specifically New Horizons (credit to @Riley )

501

Mercury: Closest to the sun ("drenched in sweat"), and moves the fastest (i.e. covers the most distance) of all planets at 47.87 km/s ("the best distance runner")

502

Venus: Rotates in the opposite direction as most other planets ("drives in the opposite direction"), and has the longest rotation period ("a day might feel like forever"). Also has seen a number of failed satellite/probe/etc missions ("everytime I order something it gets broken")

503 (You)

Earth: You send the space probes ("the package delivery man")

504 (Your brother)

Mars: Mars is sometimes called the "rust planet" because of it's color and composition ("doorknob was rusty"). We also send a lot of satellites/probes/etc there ("he orders a ton of packages like these")

505

Jupiter & Saturn: Jupiter & Saturn are the largest planets ("tall athletic couple"), and are gaseous ("bubbly"). They have lots of moons ("kids"), at least one of which, Europa, has oceans ("a cold glass of water"). Their rings ("lifesavers") don't fit each other.

506

Uranus & Neptune: Children make fun of Uranus's name, and neither Uranus nor Neptune has seen a space probe since Voyager 2 in the 80's ("last time I ordered anything was a while ago")

507

Pluto: Recently lost its status as a full planet ("evicted"); it saw no space probes ("packages") while it was still a planet

The Package

New Horizons: Was sent out to Pluto while it was still a planet, but didn't make it until 2015, after Pluto had been "evicted". It still, however, provided us the first up-close pictures of Pluto ("I got to know what the woman looked like"). Credit again to @Riley for the specific probe name, and for correcting the terminology ("satellite" vs. "space probe").

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    $\begingroup$ Very smart, I would have never thought of that. I like questions that make you think a bit harder, because I'm that type of person that thinks literally. A definite +1 $\endgroup$ – Sweet_Cherry May 31 '18 at 0:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think the precise package was rot13(Arj Ubevmbaf). The package was sent before she was evicted. And now the package deliverer knows what she looks like based on the package. $\endgroup$ – Riley May 31 '18 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ Technically, wasn't the package a rot13(fcnpr cebor) instead of a rot13(fngryyvgr)? The latter must rot13(beovg) which was not the case here. $\endgroup$ – Riley May 31 '18 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ Ironic given your username :) $\endgroup$ – Riley May 31 '18 at 0:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Sweet_Cherry The fact that there were in-depth descriptions of each neighbor, but they didn't directly reference each other, implies that this puzzle is not self-contained, but rather references outside knowledge (the tags also hint at that). There are only 7 rooms, which threw me off a bit, but once I considered the spouses, I started thinking about well-known groups of 9 things. The fact that one of the things was recently kicked out of the group, and also the emphasis on "Lifesavers", pointed me to planets; from there it was just matching up story clues to planetary attributes. $\endgroup$ – CaptainPlanet Jun 1 '18 at 3:38

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