Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Me and My Criminal Mind

Riddle: Correct this equation with a single stroke of a pen:
5 + 5 + 5 = 550

Yesterday evening we went to Luther Auctions’ showroom to attend their annual Americanna auction.  Nearly five hundred lots (a lot is a set of items, sometimes not related, sold together) went in a few hours, at a rate of about two a minute.  Sometimes a “lot” was a single item, such as an antique secretary or work of art.  Lots were sometimes sold as a unit but sometimes – with a warning from the auctioneer – you were bidding “each.”  You’d bid twenty-five dollars on six items in a lot, and had to pay twenty-five dollars each.  Plus, the auction house took an additional fifteen percent as a fee, plus sales tax.  There were some terrific bargains, a lot of six Hitchcock chairs in super condition went for fifteen dollars apiece.  On the other hand a very small painting by an unknown nineteenth-century Dutch artist, of a little flock of chickens and ducks, painted on a board, went for sixteen hundred dollars!  It was a lovely thing, however.  It was exciting, but at the same time, my bottom got a little achey towards the end from sitting so long.  I did learn more about how these things are set up and run – and even got two ideas of how to steal something despite the sharp eyes and cameras around the rooms of the place.  (I was told some years ago by a police detective that I have a criminal’s mind.  Very useful for a mystery writer.)

Answer: Connect the left end of the first plus sign with the top of the first plus sign:  5 4 5 + 5 = 550


Betty Hechtman said...

The auction sounds fascinating as does your criminal mind.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Isn't figuring out crimes and committing them vicariously fun???!

Anonymous said...

This is connected to your last post, not this one, but I was wondering, is the pattern for your upcoming book NEEDLE CASE going to be an actual needlecase?

Anonymous said...

This is connected to your last post, not this one, so please bear with me. Will your needlework pattern for NEEDLE CASE be an actual needlecase?

Monica Ferris said...

I thought about it - but the needle case in the book is not fabric, but a carved ivory cylinder from Japan. The pattern is going to be crochet lace edging for a handkerchief. Trust me, it relates to the plot.