Someone has been murdered!

Eight suspects have been identified. The contents of their bags have been emptied to use as evidence and are listed below alongside their names.

Which one of them was the murderer?


Hint 1:

A letter arrived in the office this morning. The letter was written by someone claiming to be the murderer and they said they "have no re-morse."

Hint 2:

In addition, the contents of all suspects' bags (including the murderer's own bag) were selected by the murderer as clues. Even the people chosen to gather were carefully selected based on their name.

Hint 3:

It was discovered that the murderer left behind some notes they may have dropped. It seems like a list of first names sorted by the letter they start with. Eight names are circled, all of them being suspects.

When you figure out the intended solution, you will know for sure that it is correct.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Quinn has an interesting set of planned activities that day. $\endgroup$ – padawan Apr 24 '20 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ Do I need to use a magnifying glass like Sherlock to solve this? $\endgroup$ – m4n0 Apr 24 '20 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ @padawan I suspect the same. Was he in pursuit of something informative in that optical disc? $\endgroup$ – m4n0 Apr 24 '20 at 22:42
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    $\begingroup$ I think the hint is hinting about morse code. $\endgroup$ – Dooper Apr 26 '20 at 1:02
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    $\begingroup$ I believe @LannyStrack has found the intended answer, but I can't help feeling this puzzle is entirely dependent on the detective pulling the objects out of the bag in precisely the correct order... I would be interested to know if somebody else could be wrongly incriminated if the suspects' bags were emptied differently! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Apr 26 '20 at 10:47

The killer is:


We can solve this by:

for each of the eight suspects, adding the letter taken from the morse code of that person's bag contents to the first letter of the name of that person. For example, with Adelaide, we add A (the first letter of Adelaide) to D (from the corresponding 'dash dot dot' morse code which we get from visually converting the contents of Adelaide's bag). A (1) + D (4) = E (5).
Doing this for all 8 suspects, we get ECTRIEBA.

The bag items alone, when converted visually from morse code into letters, produces DAOGRMIE. This anagrams into IDEOGRAM, as was already pointed out by several other solvers herein. If we resort the letters of ECTRIEBA into the same order as we did with DAOGRMIE to get IDEOGRAM, it produces BEATRICE.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ cooler than I expected, this must be the intended solution :0 $\endgroup$ – oAlt Apr 26 '20 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ This is indeed the correct solution. Great job! $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 26 '20 at 11:18

The first solution is wrong, but I am keeping it as a slight curiosity that the killer actually was escaping us till the third clue. The first 2 clues are fed to us so that we study them too deeply and hence find someone else as the killer. Ingenious!

Solution 1 :

Hint 1 is sufficient to point



Here are the corresponding Morse codes for everyone's name, and I will highlight in parenthesis parts which will be used in what follows : Adelaide .- -.. . (.-..) .- .. -.. . Beatrice -... . .- - (.-. .). -.-. . Emmanuel . -- -- .- -. ..- . (.-..) Kendrick -.- . -. -.. (.-. .). -.-. -.- Quinn --(.- ..)- .. -. -. Ryan .-. -.-- .- -. Sebastian ... . -... (.- ..). - .. .- -. Veronica ..(.- . .)-. --- -. .. -.-. .- Everyone's name has the string .-.. which is the concatenated form of .-. . which reads re. Thus Ryan is the only one without re in morse.

The second hint corroborates this fact:

The second hint corroborates this fact. Ryan chooses the people based on their names such that everyone has re in morse in their name. And about the contents of the bag, I can see Ryan plans to celebrate and escape, but I am twisting facts to support my conclusion, which I shouldn't be doing, so let me see what else is here.

Here's more (I think) :

The murderer wants us to add or as we have seen concatenate somethings to see what is going on. As others have found out, concatenating the morse codes of the objects found in the bags of the suspects (treating circular objects as a dot and the others as dashes) allows us to spell IDEOGRAM as an anagram of the formed letters. And again we are led to pictures and by the pictures of Ryan's objects, we can see he's definitely cheery and wants to go somewhere. Why? Because Ryan's guilty? Let's see what else we have.

Solution 2:

Phew! The new hint really is a slap to the face and tells us that not everything has deep meanings...

Hint 3 combined with everything else says :


The argument goes as follows:

Hint 1 tells us

to use Morse

Hint 2 tells us

the morse codes of the objects in the bags must be added to find out the murderer. Also that it might be an anagram is hinted at by the IDEOGRAM anagram.

Hint 3 finally concludes:

The murderer has dropped a note, and the hint stresses on the letters the names start with. So, take the first letter of everyone's names. Then take the English equivalent of the morse code in the content of everyone's bag, and add them up. This gives us (ABEKQRSV)+(DAOGRMIE)=(ECTRIEBA) which is clearly an anagram of BEATRICE.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also a great attempt, but this is not part of the intended solution. The hints are meant to guide toward the answer and they do not bring new information. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 26 '20 at 7:44
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    $\begingroup$ Great job! Your second solution is the correct one. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 26 '20 at 11:20

An attempt. I think


is to blame.

Based on hint 1,

It seems like we should treat round objects as dots and rectangular/stick-shaped objects as dashes.

If we do that, then from top to bottom, we will get DAOGRMIE, which anagrams nicely to IDEOGRAM (which I think is intended because emojis are an example of ideograms), which was noted by @shoover and yours truly.

But that's not all. Consider the second hint as well.

I think the word "addition" was chosen to stand out because it hints concatenation. But what can we concatenate?

Then I realized that

We can do that to the names! First, we translate the names to Morse code. After doing so, we join up the dots and dashes into a single string.

Adelaide -> .--....-...-..-...
Beatrice -> -.....--.-...-.-..
Emmanuel -> .----.--...-..-..
Kendrick -> -.-.-.-...-...-.-.-.-
Quinn -> --.-..-..-.-.
Ryan -> .-.-.--.--.
Sebastian -> ....-....-...-...--.
Veronica -> ...-..-.----...-.-..-

And upon further observation,

We can see that a trend is fulfilled in most of the names. In each dot-dash string that represents a name, the Morse code symbol for the letter corresponding to that name can be found in the string.

To demonstrate (putting occurences of the letter in parentheses, plus other enclosing symbols if occurrences share a symbol),

D: -..
Adelaide: .-(-..)..(-..).(-..)(-..).

A: .-
Beatrice: -....(.-)-(.-)..(.-)(.-)..

O: ---
Emmanuel: .(---)-.--...-..-..

G: --.
Kendrick: -.-.-.-...-...-.-.-.- (NONE!)

R: .-.
Quinn: --(.-.)(.-.)(.-[.)-.]

M: --
Ryan: .-.-.(--).(--).

I: ..
Sebastian: (.[.){.].}-(.[.){.].}-(.[.).]-(.[.).]--.

E: .
Veronica: (.)(.)(.)-(.)(.)-(.)----(.)(.)(.)-(.)-(.)(.)-

We can see that not one Morse code G can be located in the string that represents Kendrick's name, and that is why I think Kendrick is the murderer.

P.S. I tried making the dots and dashes bold, but it did not make them stand out that much, which is why I used enclosing symbols instead. Apologies if it looks messy :/

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Getting closer! The first part is right, although the remaining parts are not part of the intended solution. Great attempt, but Kendrick is innocent. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 26 '20 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @eyl327 Awww... well, at least that's good for Kendrick then. On a more serious note, is it well if I clarify what the "first part" you say is? $\endgroup$ – oAlt Apr 26 '20 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ The part that is correct is rot13(Gerngvat bowrpgf nf qbgf/qnfurf naq genafyngvat sebz zbefr pbqr gb trg yrggref juvpu ner na nantenz bs "vqrbtenz".) $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 26 '20 at 7:16
  • $\begingroup$ @eyl327 hmm, I think I got it now, but not confident enough to edit my answer yet. the most I can do is to ask again: in your intended answer, is there rot13(n frg bs ahzoref va qrpernfvat beqre, jvgu gur rkprcgvba bs bar ahzore)? $\endgroup$ – oAlt Apr 26 '20 at 8:44
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    $\begingroup$ There is not. I can say for a fact that when you figure out the solution, you will be 100% certain you have the answer. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 26 '20 at 9:57

Very partial answer:

The hint states: A letter arrived in the office this morning. The letter was written by someone claiming to be the murderer and he says he "has no re-morse." This could mean the murderer is male. The hint is also telling us to do something with morse code, but I am not sure what yet.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Could it be the two letters re in morse? $\endgroup$ – UnidentifiedX Apr 26 '20 at 3:02
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    $\begingroup$ I think, based on the hint, that rot13(ebhaq bowrpgf ner ercerfragngvir bs n qbg, naq erpgnatyr/fgvpx-yvxr bowrpgf ner ercerfragngvir bs qnfurf. V gevrq pbairegvat gur frgf bs bowrpgf vagb yrggref (tvivat "qnbtezvr"), ohg V qba'g xabj jurer gb cebprrq nsgre gung, be vs gung rira vf gur evtug cngu gb gnxr.) Sorry that was long, but I don't think I can put it in a partial answer :0 $\endgroup$ – oAlt Apr 26 '20 at 3:36
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    $\begingroup$ Information given about the gender was not intended and I have changed the hint to be gender neutral. It was just a typed letter referring to themselves as "I" after all. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 26 '20 at 4:31
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    $\begingroup$ @oAlt, rot13(qnbtezvr nantenzf gb vqrbtenz) $\endgroup$ – shoover Apr 26 '20 at 5:04
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    $\begingroup$ @shoover yup, took note of that as well :D $\endgroup$ – oAlt Apr 26 '20 at 5:44

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