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More ways to get Braingle...

And Still DuChamp-een

Mystery teasers are little stories where you need to figure out what happened based on the given clues.

 

Puzzle ID:#26951
Fun:*** (2.54)
Difficulty:*** (2.67)
Category:Mystery
Submitted By:norcekrius****

 

 

 



"8:00 A.M. Friday? I'll be there, with bells on." Nora Shekrie said as she hit 'end' on her cell phone, pleased with the call. After more than a month of casual contacts and interactions, Wilby Habenpfun, the handsome bank manager, had asked her personally to attend a function with him. The invitation was based on her one course in art history in a year to which she didn't readily admit, but it was still a day at his side. That was the good news.
The bad news was that the function was the estate sale for his father's "surplus collection", a sale mandated by the IRS before Wilby could inherit the remaining small percentage of his father's apparent wealth. Still, there were several unusual items in the auction, including minor works by Marcel DuChamp, Picasso, and Grant Wood. Wilby stood to keep the family's stock in the bank intact, with enough funds left over for a life of relative comfort.
Wilby spotted her immediately when she entered the grounds at 7:43. "Nora, I'm so glad you could come!" He looked her up and down, as if seeing her in a different light -- such as a moonlit front porch. He took her arm and introduced her to several local dignitaries as his "art expert". Privately, Nora thought that the minor items alone should cover the amount that Wilby said his father owed Uncle Sam.
She was on her fourth mocha when Wilby took her to a chair in the front row and suggested she take a break.
"But I'm having so much fun!"
"I noticed. You just spent nearly five minutes straight talking to Ida Bindair about that ugly little Picasso thing." Wilby replied.
"Well, it's one of the things I know." said Nora, a bit defensively.
"She was being polite. She knows more than you do. Enough that she paid top dollar for it." Nora was silent for the first time in nearly half an hour.
"It's okay. Some people chatter. I just thought that someone might be noticing by now, and thought you'd like a little time off."
"Thanks."
Just then, the auctioneer brought up the final piece before their lunch break. He read from his note cards.
"Lot number 114, an oil painting by Marcel DuChamp, titled 'The Bridesmaid'. DuChamp is most noted for his 1912 painting, 'Nude Descending a Staircase #2', which helped define the cubist movement. This smaller piece, roughly thirty by twenty-four inches, is his last known work. It's signed by the artist and dated '66, two years before his death."
"Wilby!" Nora whispered, "Stop the auction!"
"Are you sure you haven't had too much caffeine? This is supposed to be the third biggest price tag of the day!"
Mrs. Bindair spoke up from behind him. "Wilberforce, she may be a chatterbox, but she knows her art. What happens if he sells the piece, dear?"
"It will be the third biggest check he gets, but he'll have to give it all back after he loses the fraud suit!"
"Mr. auctioneer, the estate has decided to retain that piece. Please strike the lot, and we'll negotiate your commission after a fair appraisal." The auctioneer took it in stride; he'd seen stranger things.
"Now, Nora, perhaps you can calm down enough to tell me why I just gave up two years of retirement?" a confused Wilby inquired.

How did she know something was wrong?





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Comments

peppamintp*us*
Nov 15, 2005

Too Long!
peppamintp*us*
Nov 15, 2005

It was good, kind of difficult for me but I did like it
cassiemarkAus*
Nov 15, 2005

Well written but I was clueless! You're way smarter than I am
SunroseAus*
Nov 15, 2005

Very well written, enjoyed it Keep up the good work, and good job.
Sarelro
Nov 15, 2005

I think this teaser really belonged in the trivia category, because I don't remember reading anywhere in the teaser about DuChamp retiring early or being a sculptor. It was a really nice trivia teaser though, made me want to go research painters. Thanx!
pInapples**
Nov 15, 2005

too long! and how are you supposed to know that? but, it was still a good teaser
bowwows1**
Nov 15, 2005

who is supposed to know that kind of stuff??? i didnt even know that there was a painter named marcel duchamp
norcekrius*
Nov 15, 2005

What didn't you get after you followed the hint?
wizkid**
Nov 15, 2005

The hint helped a bunch. thanx.
scm14Aus*
Nov 16, 2005

I agree with the person above who thought this should be in trivia. I even followed the hint and looked up DuChamp and didn't see anything in detail about his sculptures. Maybe I was looking in the wrong place, however...I still think it should be in trivia. Well, written, though!!!
rkaalandAus*
Nov 16, 2005

I liked and thought the story line added alot- I made a guess- but should have looked it up even though I guessed right!
bunnielynn
Nov 18, 2005

I agree with peppamintp!
IMCUL4E*us*
Nov 24, 2005

i looked at the hint and the only think i could think was "WHY??" this is in the wrong category in my opinion.
willymapo*cr*
Nov 24, 2005

Hey! Good teaser, great writting, very bad positioning!!!

Add my vote, this should be a Trivia one.
Vicelike
Nov 28, 2005

Not a mystery. Not even trivia. Maybe he did paint again and did not bother to tell any one. Unless he was dead in '66, this is stupid.
wolfmanh**
Nov 28, 2005

Great one norcekri a lot of reading but it was worth it! Keep these coming
OldChinaHand**
Jan 29, 2006

Cool one.
thimblenogginus*
Mar 01, 2006


A mystery is supposed to be self-contained, not a research project. It obviously had to do with the date but I assumed that he was dead by then.
gnosys
Apr 28, 2006

I believe DuChamp DID spend much of his later life working on one huge work, a really cool installation, now in the Philadelphia Museum (the one featured in "Rocky"), consisting of a three-dimensional space (including part of a woman's leg) viewed through a little hole in the museum wall. I couldn't say when he finished it -- whether 66 or much earlier, but I would have bet it was not as early as the date mentioned in this story. Of course, it's not really a painting. Also, I might be totally misremembering.

Of course, regardless of the facts, it's kinda ridiculous that the person who's taken one art class would spot a major discrepancy missed by a roomful of experts and collectors.

I agree that this isn't satisfying -- regardless of whether the facts are right. I wouldn't mind having to look something up IF that were just part of the puzzle -- if the solution were based to some extent on mystery-solving skills.

Actually, I think a weakness in many of the mystery puzzles here is that they depend on noticing a single discrepancy, rather than putting together a couple or three clues.
Also, it tends to be unsatisfying if the reader is told exactly where in the story the clue appears -- if the detective speaks up the instant the villain slips up.

I enjoy the humor and characterizations in this person's puzzles, though.
dididaAus**
Jul 05, 2006

Hey u know what! It was a great teaser and I got it after I researched. Maybe it was a bit iffy when it came to what category it should of been in but oh well! It was a great teaser all the same!
auntiesisAus*
Oct 21, 2006

I got it but I jumped to the wrong conclusion. I just figured he would be dead or too old to paint in '66. I'm usually pretty good at mysteries, but this time I got it right for the wrong reason..
scallioAus*
Feb 22, 2007

Appreciated your analysis, gnosys.

This was written very coherently (some aren't!), but I don't know enough about art to solve something like this.

By the way, I don't read the hints-- feels like cheating.
preppygirl*
Jul 17, 2007

vicelike was just rude
it was a good idea just maybe the wrong catorgory
luckypuppy*us*
Aug 27, 2007

Fun and informative.
Calehay*
Dec 21, 2008

I agree that this seems like it would be better suited as more of a triva teaser. It's written quite well, however.
precious1026Aus*
May 24, 2010

Good writing, but could have been shorter. Too much information, just showing off her writing ability. It's kool, when you have something to show, as this Teaser creator.
Long, but easy reading, so it was well worth the read.
precious1026Aus*
May 24, 2010

I am noticing many readers have feel that the category is wrong. I not sure if the Teaser creator is the blame for this. The administration or Editors decide which category is most appropriate. Another thing, Teasers are design for Readers enjoyment, some criticism is good provided it's constructive, but some criticism is too negative. We don't want to scare our Teaser creators away, especially if we can't do any better, or create Teasers ourselves.
Love Is Always In the Message...
norcekrius*
May 25, 2010

Thanks, precious. Yes, some people don't like the long stories; others love the deeper development. I decided that we had enough teasers where the critical clue was easy to spot, because there was so little in the story. The people who like teasers short & sweet are welcome to ignore mine and go elsewhere.

The writer submits under a particular category; the editors change it if they feel that it's obviously inappropriate. They let my choice of "mystery" stand in this case, so I'm primarily responsible.

The negative comments aren't what drove me off; there were plenty of constructive ones to keep me going, as well as straight thumbs-up messages. Thanks for the careful and gracious feedback.



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