Can you solve these riddles? Try them before checking the answers. Thanks to Don Buchan for providing these mysteries. Do you have any Mysteries that can be included here? Please send me your favorites and I'll include them here.

Table of Contents

The Case of the Bad Note

John, the police detective, arrived at the scene. What they saw was a great mess -- the house had been ransacked and had everything broken. They found Mr. Peabody, an older gentleman, dead and his head bloody, apparently having been hit on the head with his cane several times.

"I had been out for a half hour to buy a loaf of bread," she said. "Normally I get it delivered, but it's such a nice day now that that rainy spell is over. When I returned, Geoffrey was lying on the floor!"

Mrs. Peabody had said that her husband owned a large, very expensive diamond ring and was no doubt the motive for the theft because she couldn't find it, and the Jones' had been written up in the paper after they had paid a record price for it at a local auction.

Mrs. Peabody was perplexed by the thoroughness with which the thieves had wrecked the house -- they had even split open their large wine vat down in the basement they sometimes used to fill with wine when they had large parties.

Soon after, a police officer came up to the Chief and showed him a typed letter that he'd found hidden away in the desk that had apparently been written by Mr. Jones just after he'd been beaten, shown by a few typing errors.

"Deer Martha:

These thieved are quite violent. They've even split open the cat! I know they are lookung for the ring, but so far I;ve been able to hide it from them. They mist be arrested before they can do this kind of thing agaim. So that you can find it after they've left, look in the cane; that's where I;ve hidden it.

With my love,


The officer was rather confused. Mrs. Peabody said that they never had a cat, and the officer said that they'd made a thorough search and couldn't find a dead cat anywhere. They had also checked his cane, and finding that it opened, were elated until they couldn't find the ring. Apparently, the officer noticed, the thieves found the note and looked in the cane to find the ring.

John looked at the note and thought for a few minutes. He said, "I believe they may not have found the ring. I know where Mr. Peabody hid the ring."

Where did he hide it?

The Case of the Whitewashed Windows

A street of stores was having problems. Just about every morning, a store owner would walk up to his store and find that his window had been whitewashed. And everyday, the association would be more annoyed as members pitched in to wash the windows before the stores opened.

Finally, one store owner who had not yet been hit decided to stay in his store overnight in the hopes of catching the guilty party.

He set himself up and found himself falling asleep around two in the morning when a loud clap of thunder outside shook him awake. He looked outside and saw it begin to rain very heavily. The rain was pounding hard against his front window.

Satisfied that it was only the storm, he decided to sit down again, and he fell asleep again.

The thunder woke him up again at six in the morning. It was raining as hard as it had been earlier. He found that his window apparently still hadn't been painted. He went to the back room of his store for a few minutes and washed his face. When he came out, he saw his window had been whitewashed. "At least we won't have to wash a window today."

Annoyed, he looked out the door, and seeing the paperboy, he called out to him. "Boy! Did you see anyone around here who may have whitewashed my window? I want to catch that person!"

He answered that he had seen someone about twenty minutes earlier running away from the store with a large can and a brush, but was unable to catch him.

The storekeeper told him, "If you don't tell me the truth, I'll call the police and have them ask the questions!"

What did he mean by that?

The Case of the Stolen Painting

John, always the obliging police detective, walked down the street to visit Mrs. Peabody. She had called him to help her with a mystery she had. It seemed that her prized painting was missing.

John wondered about what he would say to Mrs. Peabody as he tried to keep his hat on, as a brisk wind was trying to blow it off his head.

He rang the doorbell. Mrs. Peabody came to the door and invited him in to her living room. It had lovely furnishings -- some old but well kept chairs, a sofa, a coffee table and a large television. One wall seemed empty compared to the others -- Mrs. Peabody explained that this was where the painting had been.

"I had been out for a half hour to buy a loaf of bread," she said. "Normally I get it delivered, but it's such a nice day now that the snow has all melted. When I returned, my painting was gone!"

"I'll try to find out what I can," John assured her when he left Mrs. Peabody's House.

First, he went to a neighbour's house. He'd said that he'd looked out the window and noticed someone running away and tossing a .22 calibre gun into a snow bank. Conversation continued and the neighbour asked John, "Can I look at your gun? I'm really fascinated by them, even though I don't know a thing about them." John refused as it was against the rules to show someone an officer's gun.

John started to get suspicious, but left and decided to speak with Mrs. Peabody's son, who apparently had been visiting earlier that day. He said that he'd been by because he'd seen the smoke rising straight up from the chimney, and figured his mother was in, so he went to visit.

Finally, he went to speak to Mrs. Peabody and told her who had stolen her painting. Who was it?

The Case of the Computerized Code

A man named Pochik had come from eastern Europe to work for our government. He was a brilliant mathematician and had been working on some obscure but important project for the government. It was so important that he used a special eight letter code on his computer that he thought no one would be able to figure out. He never told it to anyone, never wrote it down, and only used it when he was alone in a locked room that had no windows.

Another mathematician named Smith was also working on the same problem independently of Pochik, and he loved to bug Pochik a lot. He knew that Pochik was still learning English, and he made fun of his accent.

One day, Pochik got a bad phone call -- he'd been told that Smith had come up with the solution to the problem before he had. This destroyed Pochik. He stayed in his little room cooped up and wouldn't talk to many people -- if Smith or the problem was brought up, he would fling into a flying rage.

A good friend was asked to go see Pochik and talk him into continuing to work on other problems, because they still needed him and there were other problems to solve.

The friend went in and started talking to Pochik, and after a while, he brought up the problem. Pochik really got angry. He said that Smith wasn't smart enough to figure out the solution, and that Smith must have stolen it from him. He couldn't figure out how, though, because there was little chance that he could have figured out his computer code. The friend asked if he could have the code so that they could figure out how Smith could have stolen the solution, but this really enraged Pochik and said that telling him the code was impossible. He started to sulk again.

The friend decided to change topics. He asked Pochik how his English was coming. He'd heard that Pochik was using nursery rhymes to help him out with some of the different ways that English was used. Pochik calmed down and thought for a few minutes. He replied, in a heavy accent, "What is fleece?" The friend replied that it was the coat of wool on a lamb.

After a while, the friend left and started thinking. Later on in the day, he had come up with an eight letter series and called up Pochik to see if that was the code. Pochik went into a flying rage and yelled, "How you get code? Is secret!" The friend replied that he'd figured it out and explained how, and that Smith probably did the same way, then broke into his computer to steal Pochik's work. Smith was soon confronted with the evidence and confessed.

What was the code?

The Case of the Missing Bullet

Mrs. Peabody called the police again. It seemed that there had been a thief in the house earlier with a gun. She'd just come in from her trip to the store to buy a loaf of bread. "Normally I get it delivered, but it was such a nice day now that that heat wave is over," she said.

When they arrived, John looked around the kitchen and at the closed window Mrs. Peabody had shown them -- the one with the two bullet holes. A sergeant, noticing a tree in line with the window, had an officer go out and see if he could find any bullets embedded in it.

John looked around, and only noticed that a toaster and knife caddy knocked to the floor near the window. "I left everything as I found it," Mrs. Peabody claimed.

The officer came back into the house and said, "I could only find one bullet in the tree." The sergeant, looking at the window, said, "There were two shots -- look, two holes. And both aim straight at the tree. Look again, harder this time."

The officer looked again, but with no results. When he came back in, John said that he didn't need to look any longer.


The Case of the Burning Attic

This time, Mrs. Peabody's house was a bit of a wreck. She'd had a fire in the attic and although little damage was done to the rest of the house, the attic needed a lot of work. Fortunately, most of what was in the attic was saved.

Mrs. Peabody wasn't in, as usual, because she'd been out buying a loaf of bread. "It was such a nice day," she said. "I thought I would save the deliveryman the trouble."

After the firemen were finished, John looked around for some evidence. He found a few cobwebs and pool of melted candle wax nearby.

Her butler said he was assisting the cook with some crates of food they'd received for a party later in the week.

The maid said that it was her mistake that she'd dropped the candle. She'd been up in the attic to look for some jewelry Mrs. Peabody asked for to use at her party. Before she could do anything, the cobwebs all over caught and started to burn, and all she could do was run out of the attic and close its door.

John looked at her and said, "If you stop lying now, things will be easier for you."

Why did he say that?

The Case of the Funny Hamburger

A man had been shot in a store and died soon after. The coroner estimated that the exact time of death was about 5:30. The shopkeeper confirmed it by saying that he'd only been shot a few moments before.

To get as much information as possible, John went across the street to the McDonald's to ask questions. And to get a hot fudge sundae.

John got his sundae then asked for the manager. "I'm a police officer, and I'm looking into the death of this person." He showed him a picture of the dead man, found in the man's wallet. The manager said that he remembered the mancoming in at about 6:00 to order some food and that he had served him himself. John asked if he was sure about the time. The manager said he was because he'd just come in to work a few minutes before and started to help with a sudden rush.

John arrested the manager on suspicion of murder. Why?

The Case of the Missing Ten Dollar Bill

One week a few years ago when I was up here, it was a strange week with the weather. Some days it would be swelteringly hot, and on others it would be very cold and rainy.

A Cub came up to me on one of those cold, rainy days and said that he was missing $10 from his tent and was sure it had been stolen. He even figured who the person was, and he was from the next tent. After determining that the money was indeed missing by helping him check through each part of his bag and all his pockets, as well as under his bed and in his sleeping bag, I approached the leader from the tent next door to see if his boys knew anything about the money.

The leader asked around, and the boy who was thought to have taken it said that earlier in the day, when everyone was in the dining hall and he was late, he'd seen the money blow onto the floor because of the wind. He said he'd seen this because the sides were up as usual. When it blew out of the tent, he started to chase it so that it wouldn't blow away, but soon it started to blow down the hill and into the lake and it was too late.

The leader took the boy aside and told him that it would be a good idea to confess to the crime and give back the money, and that he wouldn't get into trouble if he did it right away.

How did the leader know the boy was lying?

The Case of the Stolen Statue

Lulu Lovely was in town, and everyone wanted to see her and get her autograph, because she was such a celebrity and big movie star. People were even lining up to get pictures of themselves with Lulu Lovely and her strange "pet" -- a lamb statue made of solid silver and covered with all sorts of big, expensive jewels. It was so big that if it weren't for the jewels, it would look like a real lamb.

John was one of these people. He liked her almost as much as he loved chocolate. But not quite. He was waiting in line and had been there for quite a while; Lulu had gone into her room for lunch and to refresh herself. Thinking about what he would say when it was his turn, and wondering in amazement at how young some of her fans were when he noticed a small, scrawny, anxious teenager in line behind him, he almost missed noticing her run out of the hotel screaming, "My lamb -- my precious lamb! It's gone!"

John ran up and showed his badge, and offered to help discover who may have taken the lamb.

First, he looked in her room, which was in the back of the hotel, and noticed a string of sheets attached to the bed, crossing the room and hanging out the window. It went almost to the ground.

Then he asked some of the bodyguards if they saw anything. One said he had been eating lunch; and another accused Lulu Lovely's burly manager, who happened to be seen acting suspiciously when Lulu discovered her lamb missing. He said that he'd seen him climbing out the window, holding onto the sheets with one hand and the lamb with the other.

John wasn't sure. He went out of the hotel, and noticing the teenager still hanging around, he asked him to climb the sheets around back when he gave him a signal from Lulu's room up above.

John was up in the room in a flash, and signalled down to the scrawny boy, who started to climb. Suddenly, the bed began to move toward the window and John noticed a pen fall from between the wall and the bed. Lulu called out, "My precious gold tipped pen! I just lost it this morning!

John immediately asked the second bodyguard where he'd hid the lamb.

How did he know the bodyguard was lying?

The Case of the Train Robber

Johhnnnnny, the famous train robber, was so good at robbing trains that he never carried more than one six shooter -- and no more than six bullets -- at a time. Everybody knew this because he would always shoot a few warning shots but never carried any extras because he got what he wanted before running out, and as such didn't need any more bullets. One day he heard of yet another train to rob. He had it all planned out how he would go about robbing the train. He thought it was foolproof. He hid on his horse near the tracks and waited for the train to pass by.

The train left the station and suddenly, the people on the train saw a train thief on his horse come out and start to chase the train. He got near the locomotive, shot his gun once toward the cabin in the hopes that the engineer would slow down. The engineer got a glimpse of the rider and was could tell it was Johhnnnnny. So he didn't slow down. The rider slowed down a touch and tried to get on the train, but it was going too fast. He shot his gun twice again, and then the train started to go into a tunnel through a long mountain range. When it emerged, they encountered the rider again, and the engineer looked again and still only getting a glimpse, and thought he saw Johhnnnnny. He was surprised because it was such a long distance around the mountains. The rider started shooting again, and let out two shots. Finally he was able to get on the train. To scare the people, he shot twice again.

Fortunately, the police were on the train to protect its delivery, knowing that Johhnnnnny would try to steal it, and figuring it would be a good way to trap him. But when they arrested the rider, they had someone else. They were absolutely sure that he was an accomplice, and Johhnnnnny was the mastermind behind the attempted robbery.

How did they know Johnnnnny was involved?

The Case of the Red Carpet

Mrs. Peabody called the police again. It seemed that her son had been missing for several days, and hadn't called her. She was really concerned because she had wanted him to clean her red carpet for a party she was holding in her house the next week.

"I had been out for a half hour to buy a loaf of bread," she said. "Normally I get it delivered, but it's such a nice day now that the leaves are all changing colour. I was expecting him to call today because of the party, but maybe he tried calling while I was out."

The police looked into the case, and found out that he'd been murdered. His body was found on the riverbank a few miles away. Apparently he'd been stabbed many times before his body had been thrown in the river. They even caught the murderers, and found out that they had actually killed him in his mother's house (again, while she was out buying a loaf of bread.) The case was solved, but the police wanted to know as much as possible before closing the case. They looked through Mrs. Peabody's house to see if they could find out where he'd been killed, but without any success. Finally they left and closed the case.

In all the confusion, she never did get around to cleaning her carpet.

On the evening Mrs. Peabody was entertaining her guests, someone was looking at the carpet and noticed a rather unusual design. She pointed it out to Mrs. Peabody, commenting on how unusual it was. Mrs. Peabody took on look at the spot and fell down in a faint.


The Case of the Spirited Camera

John's nephew had just bought a camera and was really delighted at how easy it was to use. He'd set out looking for good shots because his school had just started a photo contest, and he was sure that a shot from the old abandoned house down the road would win. He knew that the house was supposed to be haunted, as everyone in school knew, and was a little scared.

He looked through the house and saw the perfect shot: A big cobweb hanging in the open doorframe of the kitchen door in the back. He looked around some more and proceeded to leave the house. Soon after he'd just gotten to the front door, a ghost came out and scared him, and dropping his new camera, he ran. When he dared come back, his camera was gone.

He went to his uncle and asked him for help. John looked around the house and couldn't find the camera, but noticed a few footsteps in the dust on the floor, including leading up to the back kitchen door where his nephew stood to take his picture. He took a moment to admire the cobweb suspended in the door and decided to look somewhere else.

When he was finished looking around, he went outside and his nephew pointed out the town bully. Having run into him himself, John asked him what he knew about the old house. It just so happened that he said he'd seen, from a distance, the ghost scare his nephew and, being a good citizen, he'd run in after it to retrieve it, and of course return it to its rightful owner. Unfortunately, the ghost had apparently run off with the camera.

"Oh," said John, interested. "And just where did you lose the ghost?" John was sure he'd get a good story this time.

"I chased him into the house, up and down the stairs, but then lost him as he disappeared through the back kitchen door. I ran out just to see if I could follow him, but I had no such luck."

"So," said John, "Where did you hide the camera?"

John knew he was guilty. Why?

The Answers

The Case of the Bad Note
Old man is robbed & beaten for jewelry (dies) -- types a letter telling about what happened -- split open the "cat" (wine vat) and jewels hidden in the "cane" (weather vane) -- c and v are next to each other on typewriter & mixes them up in his dazed state.

The Case of the Whitewashed Windows
Store windows are whitewashed -- one storeowner stays in store overnight -- 2 am heavy rain -- 6 am wakes up, no whitewash on window, still raining hard -- takes 1/2 hr shower -- comes back and is whitewash -- asks paperboy that he saw it done 20 minutes earlier -- paperboy guilty as whitewash wouldn't last that long in the rain

The Case of the Stolen Painting
Mrs. Peabody's painting -- son and neighbour involed -- son because it was very windy but claimed to see smoke going straight up -- neighbour because claimed to see .22 calibre gun thrown in snowbank (snow had melted) yet says knows nothing about guns

The Case of the Computerized Code
Pochik -- learning English -- reading nursery rhymes -- what is fleece? -- Mary had a little lamb -- uses code for computer -- other guy steals from computer, but can't prove it -- MIAT(HTIT) -- first letters from the poem's lines -- 208,827,064,600 (456,976 if only the four) possibilities

The Case of the Missing Bullet
Two holes in the window, check for two bullets -- can only find one in the tree -- only one bullet as the window was open at the time the gun was fired

Maid goes into cobweb infested attic -- drops candle -- claims that the cobwebs caught fire -- guilty of arson as cobwebs don't burn

The Case of the Burning Attic
Maid goes into cobweb infested attic -- drops candle -- claims that the cobwebs caught fire -- guilty of arson as cobwebs don't burn

The Case of the Funny Hamburger
Murder and waitress at McDonald's -- time of death determined at 7:30 -- claims saw at 7:35

The Case of the Missing Ten Dollar Bill
Tent sides up (not on a rainy day), saw $10.00 blowing in the wind from off the tent floor

The Case of the Stolen Statue
Pen caught between bed of Lulu Lovely (climb out window by sheets)

The Case of the Train Robber
Gun with six shots and train robbery going through the tunnel

The Case of the Red Carpet
Blood on red carpet (couldn't find the place of death)

The Case of the Spirited Camera
Picture of cobweb in back door -- ghost steals camera -- bully claims to have chased the ghost

Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2024 - MacScouter | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

The MacScouter Scouting Rersources Online website is provided by R. Gary Hendra, Tindeuchen Chapter adviser OA and ASM Troop 92, Milipitas, CA; President, U.S. Scouting Service Project. E-mail the MacScouter

Made on a Mac

Materials found at The MacScouter website may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at or make a donation by clicking the button below.

(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)

(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)