The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [story]

A puzzle that is dressed up as a story or a longer description of a situation.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
32
votes
4answers
2k views

A Letter from the Past

It has been quite a while since your first assignment as a P.U.Z.Z.L.E. agent. Most of your tasks weren't even half that exciting and since your boss is currently on vacation, your most important task ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Mr. Montague's dream

So speaks Mr. Montague, missing no beat, reverberating stutters in tropical heat: "Each river mouth's built up, we've got naans to eat; then, lodgings we have; a café would be neat!" They'...
31
votes
4answers
2k views

Good Apple Hunting

The boys brought him in for questioning, but I didn't think he had anything to do with this. Not really. I just had to know if he knew anything pertinent about that strange passage in the old man's ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

A trip to the library

I try to go to the library at least once every month, so I've developed a pretty good relationship with the librarian, a nice old man who sometimes teases me about my broad set of interests. Yesterday,...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

The Time Machine works but my friend is gone!

So my friend Fred and I have been developing a time machine. I know it sounds impossible but we think we've hit a breakthrough! Fred has had a successful test run but he didn't tell me where he was ...
31
votes
1answer
1k views

The Writings of Impostradamus

The controversial 18th century figure, Impostradamus, is perhaps best known for his extensive research in the fields of astrology, palm reading, magic potions and management accountancy. However, less ...
31
votes
1answer
543 views

What Road and What Story?

Professor O'Brien is missing from his laboratory. So is the elaborate contraption he has been working on for months. Paranoid about security, Professor O'Brien has not confided the nature of his ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

Magician, assistant, nine dice, and two cups

A magician and her assistant are performing a magic show today, and you are the only audience member. Since it is a Thursday, the magician is saving her strength for the inevitable dragon attack and ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

They've Noticed Your Puzzling Prowess

They came to your home in the early hours and whisked you away. The four by four's windows were completely blacked out but the agents seemed amicable enough, albeit fairly taciturn. After a while you ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

A Cave in the Black Mountains

Across the Deadly River, among the Black Mountains, is a mystical cave. Anyone who enters the cave finds within it a single gold coin, which may be freely taken. Once you leave the cave, you can never ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

You think YOU have it bad?

Let me tell you about MY life: They took from me something near to my heart. I crossed the Atlantic, my short became long, but I was still essentially myself. I gave up heroin. I introduced ...
30
votes
1answer
1k views

My Uncle's present

It was Christmas at my Uncle's and I rushed downstairs waiting to see the present he had bought for me. But instead of a giant wrapped gift, I found a puzzle. My greetingc! I hope you are woll. ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

All the moderators have been kidnapped!

I'm a bit worried. I just got an email from mods@puzzling.stackexchange.com. It looked like this: Dear Puzzling Users: Hello - you don't know me, but I have been watching your site for months. ...
30
votes
6answers
1k views

A princess fell in love

Once upon a time there was a princess. She fell in love with a prince, wrote him a letter and sent it via Celeste, who was always willing to help. The prince was Laniff III and was in love ...
29
votes
8answers
5k views

A long, lonely drive

It's early in the wee hours of the morning when a lonely farmer loads up his truck with his goods to sell. He lives far from the city and if he wants to ensure a good spot at the bazaar, he will need ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

Bill the Conspiracy Theorist

When my friend Alice called me very early one morning, it meant one thing: Bill was at it again. Bill is Alice's husband and a devoted conspiracy theorist. He regularly spent hours looking for hidden ...
29
votes
5answers
3k views

“Murder!”, said the knight

It is the middle of a moonless night when the people of Birmingham are awakened by a scream coming from the streets. Someone has been murdered, they soon hear, but no body was found. Everyone gathers ...
29
votes
4answers
1k views

The Catacombs of Cryptos, The Final Path

Previously, in The Catacombs of Cryptos: 1. The Entrance to the Catacombs The end came long ago. The wars are long since over. Little remains and those who have survived struggle. One of the ...
29
votes
1answer
606 views

For a puzzler such as you, you shall solve with ease

Your pet cricket has disappeared, due to its undying loyalty and steadfastness you assume foul play must be afoot! After looking around for any signs of confrontation, you find none, but thankfully ...
28
votes
6answers
2k views

There's no place like Home Theater!

Dorothy, now 93 years old, was watching some of her favorite movies in her home theater when, as one would expect in tornadic climes such as Kansas, her house blew away to somewhere over the rainbow. "...
28
votes
11answers
3k views

My three little friends - a riddle with a story

Hi everyone, solve this riddle: I have three friends, they're all little... another world is where they live, wherein there can be no eclipse. My closest friend is the first one, always follows me ...
27
votes
21answers
4k views

All-Knowing Being is Lonely [closed]

A Story about a lonely All-Knowing Being All-Knowing Being kidnapped you and placed you inside its home. You are well fed and have everything you need. The thing is, you can't leave and you ...
27
votes
2answers
1k views

What's “gopher wood”?

Originally published by me on the internet ca. 2003. No trace left on Google, so you get a clean slate. Drenched with sweat from hard labor in the field, Noah loosened his girdle and complained, "...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

The SErial Killer (Part 2)

This puzzle is part of a series - part 1 is here. Any comments I make on the OP are canonical and out of character (OOC). Any comments I post on answers are for flavour only. Update: As it turns out, ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

Curiouser and Curiouser

CHAPTER ONE Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: when she was overcome with the strangest sense of deja vu, and saw a 7x3 grid of ...
26
votes
1answer
2k views

No Answer Should Answer

One day, the King ordered me to visit the city of NASA to find a rare herb to cure his daughter's illness. However, upon arriving at the city's gate, a guard stopped me. "Hello, why are you here?" ...
26
votes
4answers
6k views

Double whammy murder case! What happened?

It's Friday the 13th, and you and a group of 7 friends from the "Survivor" club belonging to University LeMao (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G) go camping. You're all pretty good friends, and talk quite a ...
26
votes
1answer
449 views

Gate To Enlightenment

Here we are. The hidden entrance to the headquarters of the forgotten Brotherhood of Maat. Won't budge. At least the door matches the old sketch from the manuscript. I'll bet these two seals I ...
25
votes
11answers
2k views

The Curse of the Ancients

The night has grown fearful. It has been a fortnight since the rising - when the dead have begun to shamble out of their graves, hunting and preying on sleeping men and women and children. The people ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

I want to know his secret. Badly

I am currently being held in prison under false accusation of murder, but do not worry about that, my lawyer will soon make things straight. If I write to you today is for another case: my cellmate ...
25
votes
7answers
10k views

Mysterious Murder Mystery 2

"Take her away!" commands the police officer, as two other officers handcuff the blonde woman. "Good work, Detective! I can see why you were named the number one detective. Keep up the great work!". ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Ernie and the Pirates of the Caribbean

A few weeks ago, I dropped in to see Ernie to ask if he was willing to look after the cat while I was on holiday in the Caribbean. “No problem.” he replied then showed me an old leather-covered book, ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

A mysterious letter and email

I received a letter recently. It wasn’t signed and I had no idea who it was from or why it was sent. I binned it thinking it was a joke from some idiot. Probably that weirdo a few doors down, he's ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

Prove your innocence

Inspired by A double-agent with a conundrum. Everything is hypothetical and while the choice of countries is important, they serve no political purpose. Tension between the US and China is rising. ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

We have an important mission for you

You are an agent working for your country's intelligence services. Recently you received a tip off about a meeting that will be held by a Secret Society who poses a threat. Sure enough, a few days ...
24
votes
5answers
8k views

The Riddle of Life, to Ease all Your Strife

-- Side Story: Please skip ahead if you want the riddle -- Intro: Everyone knows of The Oracle: After months of dodging dragons and trolls and sneaky gods and the wrath of the entire world, you are ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

The harsh password change

My roommate changed my password! The jerk got onto my machine, while I was in the restroom, and changed it. Sigh... As he left the room, he gave me a single slip of paper, that he claimed had a ...
24
votes
1answer
2k views

A Difficult Job

My plumber gave me a perilous job--his figurines had been stolen (3). I had to endure Ian's sobbing before he would tell me the problem under his feet (2). It turns out the girl he dated had taken his ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

A Space Station 13 tricky situation

You are the Captain of the Space Station 13, and everything went bad very quickly. Most of the crew died, and it took you not so long to figure out that some people are not who they're supposed to be (...
24
votes
2answers
853 views

Where will this killer strike next?

I'm going to try something new here... this puzzle is going to play out in real-time, so if it remains unsolved long enough the final objective will change. That'll be bad news for some fictional ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

My Friend James

I have a friend named James*. James is the victim of an unfortunate circumstance which prevents him from doing something that most of you can do. Which unfortunate lack of ability would explain the ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Charlie goes on vacation

ADAM: Hey Benny, check it out. It's a letter from Charlie. He's going on vacation! BENNY: Cool! Where is he going? ADAM: No idea. Maybe the letter will say. Let's see... Hey guys! So I ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Musical message from a long-lost uncle

Can you help my friend figure out how the message below from her long-lost uncle indicates anything? (I should mention here: The actual message was lost, and the text below is the best that could be ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

A weird website

So I recently stumbled upon a very strange website: There doesn't seem to be anything except a normal navigation-bar (which isn't working) and a cipher. Can you decrypt it? Maybe the plaintext will ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

A Chess Puzzle With a Twist

You enter a chess club and see pieces arranged on a board like this: Someone tells you that 2 players were playing a game (according to standard chess rules). At the end white announced a mate in 4, ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Word of advice: If someone beats you in a guess-the-song challenge, dominate them

Remember my friend, Jim, who, y'know, gave me that "retaliation" puzzle, which I pretended to be stumped at, just to make him happy? Well, anyone who's met me knows I don't keep people happy for long. ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

A Strange Correspondence

I voted to delete some questions on another SE site from two users due to them being garbled nonsense.* However when I got to the sixth I thought something looked suspicious, it looked to me like an ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

A man I met at a bathhouse that would have been totally quiet if not for the rain outside

DISCLAIMER: This is a mostly fictional story. It's been an incredibly busy start to the year, I've barely had time to rest or relax. So, when I had a free Saturday night a few weeks ago, I went to ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

I am an expression of a deer mint - Clue One

You wake up one morning, and immediately look over at the letter on your bedside table. It reads: Dear [redacted]: You have been chosen to assemble the most powerful thing in the world - the [...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Criminals and their strange slang

Quick, get in the boxpark! The guards are hot on our trail. The classfigure is getting intense. We need to get off this railblock as soon as possible. If they stop us and open the trunk we're ...