A week ago we closed the mysteries page; yesterday Alexis unveiled the solutions. The responses we received were varied, intelligent and endlessly inventive, ranging from scholarly to comic, pedantic to poetic, droll to deranged. Some players spoke of forbidden things with politic discretion; one monomaniac worked rats into every answer (and, somehow, got five right); another inundated us with cat poems. Here are just a few… okay, quite a few, of the many excellent answers we received. And finally, for the very curious, I’ve included some numbers.
In which continent was the Third City?
- Central America. Though that mustache on the granite things, didn’t that used to be popular in Germany?
- One with boss mustaches, obv.
In which continent was the Second City?
- Africa, close to the Middle East. I’ll say no more. No wish to anger them.
- Africa – it was in E… well, that country we do not speak of.
- Europe. Minos? Are the Masters angry because of the Phaistos Disk?
- Atlantis. I persist in preferring this is true; Egypt is very dull.
In which continent was the First City?
- Asia? It was the Garden of Eden.
Who brought the tiger to the labyrinth?
- There’s a tiger in the labyrinth? I wanna go there!
- I think the question you meant to ask was “Who let the dogs out, WHO?! WHO?! WHO?! WHO?! WHO?!”
Why are there no foxes in the city?
- An unfortunate confluence of popular styles in haberdashery and gastronomy.
- They reside in Japan, where they may dress and act like ladies and gentlemen of stature, rather than be chased about by madmen in red with dogs afoot.
- Their faces were harvested for ‘Persuasive’ icons.
- The poor chaps couldn’t afford the congestion charge.
- The Starveling Fox! The Starveling Fox! Betrayed by the cats and sent to the stocks!
- The Starveling Cat, The Starveling Cat, scared the foxes, they won’t come back!
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Killed all the foxes, now he’s after the bats!
- Sadly, the inedible got caught by the unspeakable.
Where is Mr Eaten?
- Consensus says: in the well. In the ne’er-do-well who ate him.
- They threw him in the well. Then three incredibly rude individuals ate him.
- Look, I was hungry. Stop asking, okay?
- Out near Henley, isn’t he?
- Your shadow at morning striding behind you, Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
- Drowned, devoured, and drowned again. In the stomach of the god-eaters, and in the hunger of the choir. Down every well, and in the depths of the zee. In the flickering light of candles.
- I don’t want to know.
Why do the Masters of the Bazaar value echoes so?
- Well, one has heard, and let us make this clear, merely heard, that they may possess certain… Flying Rodent-like qualities. If you catch my drift. Not that one would go as far as to implicate that they were in fact bats! Good heavens no!
- Because in the illusory shadows of the depths, echoes are the closest thing to truth to be found. Or perhaps the Masters are giant bats. Best to stock up on crickets, just in case.
- Money. Money never changes.
- They are Ducks.
- They are giant toads.
- they are elder vampires.
- they are bunnymen.
- ‘Cos social media is free advertising, eh?
- They’re saving for an Overgoat.
- TO COVER THE CRIES OF THE CHLDREN.
Why are prisoners masked?
- Prisoners do not have the beautifully refined features of the gentry.
- Have you seen what a diet of rats and tubers combined with abstinence from sunlight can do to one’s complexion? I’m surprised more people don’t wear masks down here.
- It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and this is no more true than in the Neath. What stygian yet dimly seductive vistas would one see, peering into the naked eyes of the condemned? It’s best not to know.
- To give prisoners something to sell when they *inevitably* escape.
- They’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the near future.
What price was paid for London?
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Conspired to take the town with a bat!
- A logo design for the Olympics.
- Twenty-one billion bitcoins.
- Thirty silver coins.
- What is stolen is not paid for.
- What price but freedom?
Where do you go when the nightmares get too much?
- When the dreams and the terrors are too fulsome, / To the bed, to the bottle, to the bosom.
How many people did Mister Sacks take at Christmas?
- How many people could Mister Sacks sack, if Misters Sacks sacked people?
- Goldman Sacks? The whole economy, thanks.
- Not enough: the neighbour with the bagpipe is still here. MOST disappointing.
Who makes the Clay Men?
- After Gepetto lost his beloved son in a fire…
- Behind every clay man, there is a good clay woman.
- When a Clay Man and Clay Woman love each other very much…
- The clergy. Golems are empowered by the word of god don’t you know.
- Failbetter Games. Strangely enough, this corporation makes no appearance in any of the records of Fallen London, The Masters, or the works of Edmond Hoyle.
- Sentence fragment?
- Is more of a prepositional phrase than a question.
- Twinkle twinkle little bat, How I wonder what you’re at. Up above the world you fly, like a teatray in the sky. (The Dormouse, who is very wise.)
And finally, some numbers. Correct answers by player
- At least one: 40244.
- 14: 30.
- 15: 10.
- 16: one.
- Average: 3.5.
Correct answers by question
- Ladybones Road: 29268.
- Watchmaker’s Hill: 25615.
- Spite: 22336.
- Veilgarden: 20504.
- The Fourth City: 20976.
- The Third City: 18661.
- The Second City: 18339.
- The First City: 2131.
- The tiger in the Labyrinth: 217.
- The absence of foxes from the City: zero.
- Mr Eaten’s location: .
- The Masters’ regard for Echoes: 157.
- Prisoners’ masks: 428.
- The price of London: 11321.
- Where nightmares take you: 13415.
- The depredations of Mr Sacks: 20.
- Origins of the Clay Men: 965.
- The number of Masters: 1186.
- Between Stars: only one.
- References to the Starveling Cat: 238.
- Players who submitted Starveling Cat poems: 28.
- References to rats (including ‘rat’, ‘rodent’ and ‘rattus’ but not neologisms like ‘ratcolocation’): 194.
- Players who reasoned that Mr Eaten must be in the sewers: 7.