Cain’s Jawbone – A Novel Problem

By Edward Powys Mathers

Can you solve Torquemada’s murder mystery - the world's most difficult literary puzzle?

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Deadline for all Characters

The final date for submission of the solution to Cain's Jawbone is 19 September - this weekend!

Well done to all who have attempted to identify the murdered and the murderers.

Thank you to all who subscribed to this publication; thanks to Tom Gauld for the wonderful cover; thanks to Unbound for breathing life into this adventure.

Edward

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Comments

Morbus Iff
 Morbus Iff says:

Will there be further posts indicating winners or the accepted solution?

posted 15th September 2020

Edward Powys Mathers
 Edward Powys Mathers says:

Dear Morbus Iff,

Thanks for your question. Not sure yet - but will most certainly post when a decision is reached.

Edward

posted 15th September 2020

Tim Edwards
 Tim Edwards says:

If it turns out that no one has submitted an error-free solution, will you extend the contest or will you award the prize to the submission that is deemed closest to correct?

posted 18th September 2020

Edward Powys Mathers
 Edward Powys Mathers says:

Dear Tim Edwards

These thoughts are understandable - but nothing certain yet. Things should become clearer after the closing date and time

Edward

posted 18th September 2020

Robert Zara
 Robert Zara says:

Well, it's now two days since the closing date. Unless you had a sudden surge of late entries, I would have thought that by now you would be in a position to make some form of announcement.

posted 21st September 2020

Neil Wagner
 Neil Wagner says:

It's been five days now! When will you guys announce the results and/or the correct solution?

posted 24th September 2020

Edward Powys Mathers
 Edward Powys Mathers says:

Dear Solvers

It is a complicated puzzle and involves a number of people bringing all together. Please be patient and we will give further information as soon as we can

Edward

posted 25th September 2020

Tim Edwards
 Tim Edwards says:

If it has been solved, personally I’m hoping the solution won’t be revealed so I can continue to try and solve it. Sure, I can avoid looking at the solution, but it seems it would make the entire challenge and mystique of it all less interesting going forward. Just my humble preference.

posted 11th October 2020

Pat Sine
 Pat Sine says:

This has had me chasing my tail for the better part of a year. While it was a great COVID distraction, I'd love to see what I've gotten right and wrong. Hope you'll be publishing the solution in some form.

posted 20th October 2020

Edward Powys Mathers
 Edward Powys Mathers says:

Dear Tim Edwards and Pat Sine,
You express my thoughts concerning the solution entirely, Tim. The puzzle has been successfully solved, there has been a winner and that winner is (at the moment at least) happy to keep the solution hidden. Not revealing the solution has nothing to do with sales of the book, it was an Unbound venture which has paid for itself, but all to do with keeping a strange and unique project from the '30s alive to a new generation. I suppose the answer may emerge in time but my preference is to keep it under wraps so that others can enjoy the quest.

Edward

posted 20th October 2020

Neil Wagner
 Neil Wagner says:

Well, I can understand where Tim is coming from but I would personally prefer the solution to be revealed. Like Pat, I spent a lot of time trying to solve it and I would love to see how much I got right.

posted 24th October 2020

John Finnemore
 John Finnemore says:

Hello. I'm the lucky devil who got the correct solution.

I certainly don't want to go against the preferences of the Unbound team by making the solution public; but I also know that if I hadn't been so fortunate, I would, like Pat and Neil, be very sorry not to find out how close I got.

Can I suggest this as a compromise: since there were only twelve submissions, if any of the other eleven submitters would like to contact me privately, and send me their submission, then I could let them know how they did, on the understanding that they also agree to keep it to themselves. This seems to me to keep the solution to a very small group, and to allow solvers like Tim to keep working at it; whilst also giving some closure to solvers like Pat and Neil.

What do you think, Edward - are you happy for me to do this? If so, I'll work out a way for submitters to contact me. If not, or if you'd like to talk it over, then drop me an email.

John

John

posted 6th November 2020

Tim Edwards
 Tim Edwards says:

Big time kudos to you, John, for arriving at the solution! Having attempted it and still pursuing it, I can attest to the tremendous effort necessary. So, congratulations. And I think it is awesome of you to propose the resolution you do for our dilemma. It works for me, but certainly it depends upon how the others feel.

posted 7th November 2020

Edward Powys Mathers
 Edward Powys Mathers says:

Hello John
Your suggestion to act as Wise Mentor is kind and considerate. I hope the submitters will not badger you with too many questions and will keep the game going for as long as possible.
Edward
aka Patrick

posted 9th November 2020

John Finnemore
 John Finnemore says:

Thanks, Tim and Patrick!

Alright, then as we have Patrick's blessing, let's proceed as follows. If you submitted a solution to Unbound before the closing date of 19th September 2020, and would like some feedback on it; and if you agree to keep anything I tell you secret, then email me your submission, and I will let you know how you did - or, if you prefer, give you a hint as to how to proceed from where you are.

The easiest way to get my email address is to send me a message on twitter at @johnfinnemore. If we then follow one another, I will be able to give you my email in a private message. (I don't always see all my messages, so if I don't respond within a couple of days, please message me again.) Alternatively, I will keep an eye on this thread, so if you leave a message here for me with an email address I can reach you on (perhaps lightly disguised) I will get in touch before long.

All the best

John

posted 9th November 2020

Christopher Seidl
 Christopher Seidl says:

Will there be reprints?

posted 15th November 2020

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