It is a lovely Monday afternoon, when you, Detective Ashmolean, are given a new case. Kids have been disappearing all over town, and it is your job to find the kids and arrest the kidnapper. All of the kidnappings happened while the kids were at the local school, and because today is a teacher work day, that is where you check out first.

As you arrive at the school, the Principal explains what is happening. "During the day, kids are mysteriously disappearing, but we have no idea when it happens or where they are taken to! Our security cameras never catch the kidnapper. Please help us!" You tell the Principal to lock down the school so that only the teachers and staff are on school grounds.

You bump into the science teacher grading papers in his room as you are walking down the hallways. You see the music teacher talking with the math teacher standing by a tree outside at the playground. The lunch lady is busy preparing rotten, disgusting cafeteria food for the next day. The janitor is rearranging all of the desks. As you enter the cafeteria, you see the reading and language teachers discussing students for the upcoming academic awards.

You explore the whole school without finding anything, but suddenly, a bulletin board catches your eye. In the center of the giant bulletin board, you can make out the words "Kids tahen lo_". It looks like fresh blood, so the kidnapper must be one of the staff. You try to see if there is anything special about this blood, but as you study it closer, you see that the border of the bulletin board has the same pattern repeated over and over again. Here is the pattern:

enter image description here enter image description here

  1. Where should you go next?
  2. Who should you suspect?

Hint 1:

The AnsWeR iS nOT a FrUIt

Hint 2:

If you replace the sandals with glasses, they still have the same meaning.

Hint 3:

The arrows have to do with stack exchange

Hint 4:

The place you should go to is a city

Big Hint 5:

Ok fine the arrows stand for voting, which gives you rep.

Big Hint 6:

Who is doing something that is not right for their job?

Big Hint 7:

Hint 1 stands for capital, so go to a capital city

  • $\begingroup$ I'd suspect just about everyone - rot13(jul ner gurl nyy va gur fpubby ba n Fhaqnl?) $\endgroup$
    – Mohirl
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 15:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Should I say teacher work day? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ "so the kidnapper must be one of the teachers": does that include the the janitor and the lunch lady or only the three teachers + the principal? $\endgroup$
    – Narusan
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ I thought I changed it; Thanks for telling me! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 20:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is no stenography $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 14:52

6 Answers 6


You should go to



The first part of the rebus is a PAIR of sandals, and if you switch them out for glasses, you still get a PAIR of glasses. The second part is two arrows, pointing up and down, and the hint says that it represents voting, and if you get votes it gives you REP. Put these two together and you get PAIRREP, and because there are random capital letters in hint one you change it to PARIS.

You should suspect the



Why would a janitor be moving desks? The teachers are all here.


Answer to Hint:

The capitalized letters from the hint read 'TAWRSOTFUI'. read Remove 'A FRUIT' (the answer is not a fruit) from that and rearrange the letters, and you receive 'twos', which is another word for 'pair'.

Info on picture (edit: I just found out what a rebus was, interesting!):

Sandals and arrow - Both of those are a pair, which sounds similar to pear--but unlike a pear, it's not a fruit (see hint).

My incomplete--and probably incorrect--theory:

There are two kidnappers working together. "Tahen lo_" sounds like someone tried to scribble "taken to ___", implying a location. "Pairs" (because the picture depicts two pairs) is an anagram of "Paris"--but why would kids be taken there? The language teacher working with the reading teacher to determine those up for "academic awards", perhaps? The lack of explanation for the blood is unsettling.

An alternative, horrifying theory:

The word "pare" (yet another homophone for "pair" and "pear") means to trim the edges. The picture depicts a pair of sandals ("pare") and two arrows pointing outwards ("edges"). Who would want to pare the kids? The lunch lady preparing "rotten, disgusting" cafeteria food...

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to puzzling.stackexchange. I see that you've learned how to hide answers already and have provided a detailed answer. Here is the link to the help page if you'd like it, puzzling.stackexchange.com/help. Happy puzzling! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Remember, you should be able to solve puzzles without hints :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 12:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The pair for the sandals is correct, but the arrows mean something different $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 13:04

Since, those 2 pics conclude me one thing, pair

Now, this pair has something to do either with location or the staffs.

And "Kids tahen lo_" sounds like kids taken to_ since I get images just after this sentence I am going to assume to give preference to location and keep my thinking linear.

kids taken to_(pair), what is that supposed to mean?

what about this pair has something to do with school premises?

Well, you kind of have a pair of a toilet, (one for boys, one for girls) is this it? Go to the toilet and suspect the janitor!?

Any other thing, as pair in a school premises? Can't think of! Those up and down arrows may simply point to up and down the building as well but that makes me want to go to both the locations since question kind of asks to go only to one place that will be crucial. Though, In this case, as well I will suspect the janitor.

Coming to staffs

Principal talks about no idea when it happens or where they are taken to! And I comprehend a similar sentence on the bulletin board. kids taken to_. But is this question really this detailed oriented? But then what does this pair has to do with principal?

Coming to other teachers, out of all the teachers the only teachers I find out of place are

The maths and music teachers. You asked the principal to lock the doors so that everyone of the teachers are inside. So Why the hell are they OUTSIDE? Did principal did not close the door? Was this some mistake? You can correct me. But right now the suspicion increases towards both the teachers. But since I have to choose only one. Let's use pair clue again. In Music, you see a same pattern being repeated again and again. But Mathematics can be described as study of patterns too. But I am going to go with Music teacher because the second picture of the 2 arrows (up and down) is a common strumming pattern when teaching guitar.


Based on the latest hint. I think up and down arrows maybe have to do something with high and low states which can be represented as 1 and 0 in computer. If we pair them together we get the value 2 in binary.


Alright, I had already though about the up votes/down votes when I saw the the hint that it is related to stack exchange. But still that didn't seem to make much sense.

Out of all the staff, the only people who seem to be doing something that is not right for their job is the Lunch Lady(unless what you wrote for her was metaphorical) and Music and Maths Teacher (But they both could be taking a little break outside and chat. They should be inside and do some important work related to academics or discuss with reading and language teachers for the upcoming academic awards. Maybe give their votes as well.

So based on the latest Hint, I am going to go with

the Lunch Lady because she is the only one doing something that is right for her job.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! Could you hide your answer inside spoiler tags, please, to avoid potentially spoiling the solution for anyone who wants to have a go at the puzzle themselves? $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ I tried it but was getting some error. Maybe you can edit it? :) $\endgroup$
    – KidKai
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, spoiler tags can be tricky sometimes. I'm not sure where to put them, but I'll hide most of your final paragraph as that's where the core of your answer is. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't tell the principal to lock the doors, I told him to lock down the school. The playground is part of the school! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @ZaniXu I edited the text to reflect that the principal locked "down the school so that only the teachers and staff are on school grounds." You can roll back my edit if it is incorrect. $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 13:10

I'm still not closer to finding out where the children are or who has taken them but here is how far i've gotten:

  1. Hint 1

The uppercase characters, rearranged can form : 'Wait for us'

  1. Hint 2

The images represent 'pair' and 'rep', perhaps 'repair' but with 'Kids taken to ' this doesn't make a lot of sense.

  1. Hint 3

This 'city' could be interpreted in other way, my guess is that the children haven't left the school at all and are kept somewhere on the site


The children are perhaps hiding from a teacher (?). I don't see why the children would be taken (in broad daylight) to another city. A staff member that doesn't teach at the school would be more likely (either the lunch lady or the janitor).


I would go with the following two steps (partial answer):

(1) Check in the basement/terrace of the school for any locked up children


(2) Suspect and hence question the reading and language teachers about the disappearances


already identified by Strangely, a pair of accomplices are there to this and they are - Reading and Learning teachers - cryptically point Right and Left sandals / for that matter even spectacles can do - which is a pair.


the upcoming academic awards - which were being discussed by those teachers - point someway the arrows(up) and I am not sure about the down arrow as of now - but they can hint the places at the top and bottom of the school building /structure, where kidnapped children could have been kept locked.

Hope, this helps.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I just needed those two teachers to have something to talk about, and the suspect is one person, but it has something to do with pair... $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 22:34

Answer to hint 6:

I would suspect the



Why would he be arranging desks on a Monday afternoon


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