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The Blue Tattoo

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


Puzzle ID:#31194
Fun:*** (2.67)
Difficulty:* (0.95)
Submitted By:dogboy*us****
Corrected By:DaleGriffin




One day, a man, John, was shopping in Stuff-Mart looking for a curling iron for his wife Jules. As he looked around he decided to begin reading the signs above the aisles to see if he could find any clue as to where the curling irons might be located. When he looked up at one of the signs he noticed something quite strange in one of the mirrors mounted in the corner of the ceiling - a man with a large blue tattoo was placing a hairdryer inside his trench coat. Noting this as a suspicious action, the man went to Stuff-Mart Security and reported the incident. After hearing his testimony the local Police Department was phoned and asked to send out a detective. This is what took place when Detective Rodgers arrived:

"Hello, Mr. ..." said Detective Rodgers.

"Smith, John Smith", supplied John.

"Mr. Smith," Rodgers confirmed. "My name is Detective Rodgers. Why don't you tell me exactly what you saw."

"Well, Detective Rodgers, sir, I was looking for a curling iron for my wife Jules when I looked up at the aisle signs and noticed a man in the mirror placing an expensive-looking hairdryer in his coat."

"Was there anything noticeable about this man other than the fact that he was hiding a hair-dryer in his coat?" inquired Rodgers.

"Well sir, I did see in the mirror that he had a large blue tattoo of what appeared to be a Chinese dragon on his left arm." responded John.

"Thank you, sir. If you'll be so kind as to excuse me for a moment while I phone this into the station so they can be on lookout for anyone with a blue Chinese Dragon tattoo."

---Moments Later---

"Sir," Says Detective Rodgers. "Please come with me down to the station, we have picked up several suspects and we would like you to identify the man that you saw."

"Of course, Detective," replies Smith.

At the station, Detective Rodgers takes John into a room where he can look in on the suspects and ID the culprit. When he looks through the glass he sees five men all with blue Chinese dragons tattooed on an arm. After looking at the five men John points out the only one who had a blue tattoo on his left arm as the culprit. Detective Rodgers considered this for a moment and then asks John to retell the story of how he came to witness the theft. John, of course, eager to help, complies immediately. The Detective thinks over the tale careful before he comes to a conclusion.

"Mr. Smith," Says Rodgers in a thoughtful tone. "I regret to inform you that this cannot be the man you saw with the tattoo on his left arm in the mirror."

How did Detective Rodgers know that John Smith was mistaken in his identification of the culprit?


Detective Rodgers knew Smith was mistaken because John had said that he saw in the mirror that the blue Chinese dragon tattoo was on the man's left arm. Rodgers took into consideration one thing that John did not: In the mirror it would have seemed that the tattoo was on the thief's left arm, but in reality it would have been on the thief's right arm.

What Next?


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Jun 18, 2006

Good job! I like it!
Jun 18, 2006

it was good,

but the hint gave it away
Jun 18, 2006

Yes, the old mirror thing. Nicely done, Mr. Dogboy!
Jun 19, 2006

sooooooooooooo.......easy !!!!!

But fun.......definitely !
Jun 19, 2006

Maybe he took the mirror into consideration when he said left arm.
Jun 19, 2006

Maybe he figured that if the guy was wearing a trench coat it would be impossible to see a tattoo on his arm, thus John was trying to steal it himself and blame it on someone else....
Jun 19, 2006

easy but I like asy...very fun!
Jun 19, 2006

not to be a nag, but SO easy and obvious and it could have been shortened. Good try/job though
Jun 19, 2006

to see the man in the mirror, john would have to be facing it, just like the man himself. the problem with this riddle is that mirrors reflect exactly, and don't flip images. that means the left arm in the mirror would be the man's left arm in reality. look into a mirror and try it.
Jun 20, 2006

Well be all that as it may, I think it was very well written and I like it!! Good job Doggy
Jun 21, 2006

Did this trench coat NOT have sleeves??
Jun 22, 2006

well maybe smith knew the difference in looking in the mirror and not. i know i do! it was ok i guess. i honestly thought it was actually him looking at himself in the mirror and taking the hair dryer without he's a skitzo or would've been a more interesting ending
Jun 22, 2006

Agreed... somehow I felt he was looking at himself taking a hair dryer.
Jun 23, 2006

it was okay i got it after awhile although my intial thoughts were the same i was thinking that he was looking in the mirror at himself lol. nice one
Jun 25, 2006

Yeah, I thought the same thing as cancerianmoon. That's why I didn't get it right. Grr.
Jul 03, 2006

A tad too easy. The last line gave it away.
Jul 05, 2006

It was a well written puzzler. Too bad the premise behind the answer was wrong. Should have been picked up on when edited.
Jul 05, 2006

I got that he would be wrong from the moment he said the man with a tatoo on his left arm was the culprit. It was really fun anyways.
Jul 05, 2006

that was kind of easy...but still fun to figure out
Jul 06, 2006

long..but good
(user deleted)
Jul 06, 2006

yeah Annie was right, did the trench coat NOT have sleeves??? That should be taken out. But the rest was good.
Jul 10, 2006

Nice one, thanks!!
Jul 11, 2006

i didn't realize it but cancerianmoon was right....i even tried before i read the coments i thought it was a good one...easy but good..but u may have the wrong answer if cancerianmoon was right!
Jul 16, 2006

If you were to look at someone in a mirror you would still be able to easily tell their right from left arms. I'm not buying this answer...

(And good catch to those of you that noticed the trenchcoat didn't cover the arm and/or tattoo)
Jul 26, 2006

I Loved it I thought it had great emotion!
Aug 01, 2006

Fun! and a good story line
Aug 16, 2006

Duh! So EASY
(user deleted)
Aug 17, 2006

It says the man had a trench coat on. How could John see the tattoo through the coat?
Aug 18, 2006

....silly people....think about it....the man opens his trench coat and john can see it (at least part of it) on the inside of the man's arm.
Aug 23, 2006

Very badly written! The matter itself revealed it ALL!
Sep 05, 2006

I think that if you don't have something nice to say, that you should keep your rude comments to yourself!
Oct 03, 2006

Pretty fun. A little too easy though. Good job!
Oct 12, 2006

Easy but still cool!
Oct 15, 2006

Easy premise. Needs to be edited to make sense of it (like removing that jacket, and changing a little the crime so it can be commited without the jacket )

After all, good teaser.

Nov 28, 2006

Yep... I agree that the part about the trenchcoat is an error.... but otherwise nice job Dogboy!
Dec 06, 2006

i dunno even know why i thought up a trenchcoat....i live on the Tex/Mex border.....we call 70 degrees F a cold day.....seldom even need a light jacket much less a

Im happy i gave some of you another useless thing to gripe about though...oh wait... I lie...whoops.
Dec 09, 2006

he was wearing a trenchcoat and yet john could still see a tattoo on the mans arm...
Dec 09, 2006

it was probably one of the best ive seen in a while thank dogboy
Dec 10, 2006

it wa the kooliest
Dec 29, 2006

Miss ya youngin! I mean dog. good teser anyways. I am picturing you in a trenchcoat and a cowboy hat
Jan 08, 2007

If its a coat wouldnt it have sleeves so you couldnt see the tatoo??
Jan 29, 2007

Story= Great! Loved it!
Puzzle/Answer= eh, not so much. As previously mentioned, not correct.
Mar 04, 2007

tooo easssyyyy
Apr 21, 2007

that was easy but fun
Apr 23, 2007

I loved it! =). It was kind of easy though. And i gree with the people who are wondering how John could've seen the tatoo if the man was wearing a trench coat.. did he X-ray vision of something? c(=,
May 09, 2007

very easy but nice story to go along with it!
May 11, 2007

Easy...I liked it
May 13, 2007

I'm not that smart, i could'nt figure it out!
May 30, 2007

That was easy hahahahahahaha!!!
Jun 10, 2007

Figured it out. Good teaser, it wasn't very tricky though.
Jun 21, 2007

nice one, but one of the easiest in this category. Fun anyways!
Jun 30, 2007

I've seen this one before
Aug 02, 2007

that was too easy, and, last time i checked, trench coats have sleeves. but other than that, it was a pretty good one!
Aug 09, 2007

good job, but wat if he saw the tattoo on his right arm and knowing it was a mirror told the police it was on his left arm????????
Sep 05, 2007

i got it right, but you didn't fully explain that the man could have seen the tatoo on his right arm and logically said it was on his left arm.
Sep 16, 2007

yey i got it!!! great teaser!!!!!!!
Sep 22, 2007

Nice quiz!
Nov 07, 2007

that one was soo easy
Nov 18, 2007

cancerianmoon is wrong, the answer is fine. Mirrors flip images. If you look at a mirror and raise you're right hand, it will be the mirror you's left hand. You can't think "oh, it's on my right, just like my arm." You have to mentally flip yourself and realize that the mirror flipped the image.
Dec 16, 2007

Real easy, nice try though.
Feb 24, 2008

Sorry. I'm being critical today.

But if he was wearing a trench coat, how could John have seen a tattoo on his arm? I'm quite certain the coat sleeve would have covered it...
Apr 14, 2008

Ditto to the trenchcoat
Oct 06, 2008

friesaregood is right and cancerianmoon is wrong. the answer as it stands is correct (even if the puzzle itself is too easy). If you look at yourself in the mirror and raise your right hand, the hand being raised is on YOUR right, but if your reflection was another person it would be it's left.
Did I explain that clearly? ...think about it.
Nov 29, 2008

good one. believe u r a fan of agatha christie
Dec 12, 2008

friesaregood is correct, but what if the witness realized this and switched the arms accordingly?
Nov 22, 2009

Wouldn't the coat cover the tatoo?
Apr 15, 2010

Why get involved? He could have been killed watching a thief in progress of a crime. Besides, he should have known that the tatoo was on the right arm.
Moreover, isn't his wife waiting to tidy up her hair. He's lucky they didn't arrest him for ???
Jun 27, 2010

you had me waving my arms in front of my mirror like a lunatic..and I have come to the conclusion that this teaser isn't any good as a teaser. Sorry, but it is perfectly obvious in a mirror which arm is which. Even if it weren't, we can't just assume John is a simpleton. Still, it was nicely worded.
Aug 25, 2013

Well thought, but super easy

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