The Churchill LetterTrivia brain teasers have some element of trivia in them, but they are not just pure trivia questions.
Mrs. Bryant went to visit Thomas P. Stanwick, logician and amateur sleuth as she was having trouble making a decision. "I'm sorry to bother you, but you have been so helpful in the past, I was hoping you could help again." "Of course, what's the problem?", replied Stanwick. "A few days ago," she said, "I was visited by Stephen Faybush, the nephew of a couple I know in my neighborhood. He specializes in unusual investments."
"Have you been looking for investment advice?", Stanwick asked.
"Well, I have a small nest egg that's not earning much in the bank and I may have mentioned this to my neighbors."
"And what sort of investment does this Faybush promote?"
"Historical artifacts. Famous signatures and such. He says they consistently beat inflation as they rise in value over time."
"That's true, if they are genuine. Do you happen to have such an item in the folder that you brought with you?"
"Yes." Mrs. Bryant opened an manila folder she had been carrying and took out a letter. "It's a Churchill," she said as she handed it to Stanwick.
"A letter from Churchill's private secretary to a John McMasters. Not someone I recognize. Possibly a constituent. 'Sir Winston very much appreciates the book you sent him.' and so on. Dated in the year 1950. Cream-colored paper. Letterhead refers to Chartwell, Churchill's country home. The valuable bit would be the handwritten inscription 'With warmest good wishes, Winston S. Churchill' along the bottom after the secretary's signature. Only about a year and a half later, he returned to power as Prime Minister."
"Stephen is urging me to buy it," said Mrs. Bryant. "He is letting me keep it and look it over this week."
Stanwick smiled. "My advice," he said, "is to have nothing more to do with Mr. Faybush. In fact, I think I'll call to the local constabulary about him. This letter is a fraud. May I suggest that you find a good mutual fund for your money?"
How does Stanwick know the letter is a fraud?
AnswerThe letter was dated in 1950 and refers to "Sir Winston", but Churchill was not knighted (thereby earning the use of the title "Sir") until 1953.
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