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Harry the hit man is hired to whack Vic the victim. Vic lives in the apartment complex illustrated below, and Vic parks overnight in the circled parking spot, and always leaves for work around 8am. At 7:50am, Harry begins walking back and forth in the driveway (gray area), waiting for Vic to walk out of his apartment, or to drive past Harry. Harry repeatedly walks from point A to B to C to D to E and back to D to C to B to A. The first three times from point E, Harry sees Vic’s car parked in the circled spot. The fourth time, Vic’s car is gone, but no car drove past Harry. The driveway is the only way out. How did Vic get away?

(This easy puzzle was inspired when my neighbor drove out one morning without my seeing her)

illustration of apartment complex

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    $\begingroup$ When you say "no car drove past Harry", do you mean that objectively, no cars drove past Harry, or that subjectively, Harry does not observe any cars driving past him? $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2019 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ I mean objectively, no car drove past Harry. $\endgroup$
    – FlanMan
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't it a bit creepy to tell the whole world that you are spying on your neighbour in the morning ? $\endgroup$
    – Evargalo
    Jul 11, 2019 at 8:39
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    $\begingroup$ I changed the wording from rot13("Ivp nyjnlf cnexf") to rot13("Ivp cnexf bireavtug"). Thanks to all for bringing this up. $\endgroup$
    – FlanMan
    Jul 11, 2019 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ @piojo but it still would have worked with the old text, because rot13(fgbccvat sbe n zvahgr naq fgnlvat va gur pne vf hfhnyyl abg fgevpgyl cnexvat) - but the new text is more explicit and does not depend on this fine distinction $\endgroup$
    – Falco
    Jul 12, 2019 at 7:45

5 Answers 5

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I'm not sure Vic has any idea this hit man had it out to get him, so let us build a scenario where Vic is oblivious:

Vic starts driving away while Harry is around point A, but gets a call on his cell phone. Like a good driver, he pulls into a parking spot at C and takes the call. Harry walks by not realizing Vic is parked, missing him. Having completed the call, Vic drives off when Harry is at E.

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah it came to me while thinking of Vic building a Mech suit out of the pieces of his car he quickly dismantled. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2019 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ And there was me thinking his ice car melted and evaporated into the water cycle... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ Probably the answer, but rot13( vg qbrf pbagenqvpg "Ivp nyjnlf cnexf va gur pvepyrq cnexvat fcbg") :) $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ I don't like this answer, as it undermines Harry as a hitman. If I were Harry, I'd expect this to happen. $\endgroup$
    – cst1992
    Jul 11, 2019 at 7:01
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    $\begingroup$ @SteveV It doesn't make sense to interpret that sentence that way -- vs Ivp BAYL cnexrq va gur uvtuyvtugrq fcnpr, ur jbhyq arire or noyr gb cnex ng jbex. $\endgroup$
    – Sneftel
    Jul 11, 2019 at 7:42
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Perhaps

while going from B to A, Vic was behind Harry (in his quiet electric car) and had gone down the driveway before Harry turned around to go back to B.

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    $\begingroup$ This seems to be the obvious answer, so I've asked a clarifying question. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2019 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, no car drove past Harry, so this is not the solution. $\endgroup$
    – FlanMan
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ @FlanMan Your map and walking-system makes this the easiest solution; it's also one of the most common unbeatable enemy gatekeeper puzzles in many games; wait for the baddie to hit a blindspot near your egress point and slide right past them. If Harry is walking towards A and the car is behind him and doesn't actually reach Point A, then the car hasn't passed Harry's line-of-sight, which is effectively the same thing as the car not passing Harry when dealing with a silent electric car. You should re-word your question to be more explicit if you're not willing to accept this answer. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2019 at 0:02
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Moment1- Harry C, Vic E;
m2     - Harry B, Vic D;
m3     - Harry A, Vic C;

Vic realized that he forgot his lunch and parks near C and runs upstairs; Meanwhile Harry returns to E realizing Vic's car is gone.

Vic grabs his lunch, gets into the car and goes to work and ... they lived happily ever after.

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    $\begingroup$ Right idea, but sadly one day to late (see accepted answer) $\endgroup$
    – Falco
    Jul 12, 2019 at 7:46
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Another solution that fits the criteria.

Vic has a flat tire the night before when he is close to the apartment but only realizes it at 7:53 am the next day in the parking lot. He calls roadside assistance and waits inside the apartment. A towing truck happens to be close by and shows up at 8:01. They realize the spare tire is low on air and decide the vehicle needs to be towed. Vic rides in the front of the towing truck at 8:03. Harry sees the Vic's parked car at 7:52, 7:56 and 8:00 am. At 8:04, it's not there. He sees the towing truck earlier but doesn't realize it's Vic's car that's being towed away.

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Vic takes the route from E to A, While Harry is somewhere at points B, C or D.

(guessing that the route is not shown in pic on purpose)

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  • $\begingroup$ A better guess would be that the route is not shown because it doesn’t exist!! $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2019 at 8:06

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