The Sexist Detective?

P.S. For anyone who may have difficulty reading upside down, here is the “solution” text flipped up:

Am I missing something, or did he just rule out suspect #1 because women aren’t strong enough to murder? Not sure if this is a CIDU (because I’ve overlooked something) or just a gripe.

I don’t think I’m missing something when I complain that the Inspector rules out suspect #3, just because suspect #3 isn’t eating chicken at the very moment he’s being questioned. How does that make sense? Suspect #2 isn’t eating chicken when he’s questioned either.


  1. Wow, and the other one Pete posted is equally stupid: I guess drills in the Inspector’s world come with a single, predetermined bit, which cannot be changed? A more plausible story would have been that a single hole doesn’t take long enough to drill for someone to be strangled (arguable, but at least plausible).

  2. Do you remember the one (physics riddle, not Encyclopedia Brown) about the passenger in an automobile with some helium balloons tethered to his hand but floating in the car interior space? The puzzle is the behavior of the balloons when the car makes a hard stop or quick start, or goes around a sharp curve at speed.

    (Just noticed I sing the spelling to myself when writing Encyclopedia)

  3. I’ve been reading Encyclopedia Brown with my kids over the last year, and we’ve been enjoying them. But each book has some mysteries that work well, and some that don’t make a lot of sense. I just tell my kids that the author wrote something like 250 mysteries, so they’re not all going to be winners.

  4. I’m not sure suspect #1 was ruled out on the basis of gender, notwithstanding the inverted solution; the detective clearly judged that she could not have triumphed in a “fierce and bloody fight” (and attributes it, at least in part, to her diet).

    Why would suspect #3 have stolen the chicken (an hour ago, but presumably a bit longer given that he was the third one visited) but then eaten a steak? Well, maybe to implicate someone else (what if the seafood guy had been eating a red herring?) and maybe he ate both. Those seem far too subtle for this comic strip.

  5. I suspect that this “Inspector Danger” strip had to be pieced together by Werner Wejp-Olsen’s editors holding a seance after he died in 2018.

    Madame Olga: “The spirits say … suspect #1 was a woman and suspect #3 didn’t have chicken bones on his plate!”
    Editor: “But, Madame Olga, can you ask Werner why the killer couldn’t have been a woman? And how do we know the killer didn’t save the chicken to eat later?”
    Madame Olga: “The spirits say … I must go now … back to the spirit world … just trust me on this solution!”

  6. If I remember correctly, in the Encyclopedia Brown books, if someone was trying to cheat children out of their money, usually it was another child or a teenager.

  7. I don’t normally read this comic so I don’t know if the characters are known. Everyone seems to assume that she is his housekeeper (in the modern, American sense of he owns the house and she works for him taking care of it). She could be his landlady and he rents a room or apartment from her.

    Brian in STL solution that she did it. How does she know it has be to one of his heirs if she did not see anyone – is he that rich that would kill him for his money or she is trying a bit of misdirection from herself? How do we know that she was actually cooking a chicken? My mind would go to her also.

    Robert recently watched some movie mystery on TV. I forget the name and think it was about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (or it was a similar British writer of mysteries about a detective). He is in Africa and goes on an extended train trip there. After a bit of story he gets on the train and the camera carefully shows each group of people in the car. After same was finished I told husband that one of two people was the murder and I leaned towards the woman. The murder had not been committed yet. I was right – it was her.

    When we saw the movie “Knives Out” I set a new record for myself – I figured out who did it – before it was done.

    No, I don’t tell him and ruin the movies. And of course given a real mystery not a fictional one which is easier to figure out as clues and misdirection are given, I would probably not do well.

  8. Brian in STL, the thread has gotten quite long, and lost in the earliest comments someone else pointed this out. I replied that it could be the influence of the cartoonist’s native language, apparently Danish, where the word for murderer is “Morder” , almost just “murder”.

  9. Ah, it’s so long that there are “Older Comments”. I had done a quick search to see if it had been mentioned.

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