Saturday, August 1, 2009

by Rolf-Peter Wille

I had placed all threes. The last one went into H9 when, suddenly, my doorbell rang. With puzzle in hand and anger in heart I opened the door. Woody Allen stood blinking at me. Anyway - that’s how he looked.

“Forensic examination,” Woody Allen mumbled and stuck a calling card into my Sudokian hand. “Shall I take my shoes off?”


“Shall I take my shoes off?”

“No. It’s all dirty anyway.” My living room was a mess. Bundles of rumpled newspapers sulked in a corner, rolled up was the carpet and my staircase a dustbin.

“Excellent!” muttered Allen. “We shall find beautiful prints here! Is that your Steinway, Professor?”

“I guess so.”

Out of his kit the expert conjured an illuminated magnifier and proceeded to analyze the dust on the ivory keys. A coroner with his favorite cadaver - that's how he acted.

“Ah…, Moonlight Sonata! Wonderful legato! You take fourth finger on the g sharp?”

Woody Allen seemed to enjoy his work. I took my complete edition of Beethoven sonatas from the stand - a bit too heavy but, finally, a solid writing pad for my Sudoku.

“How did the guy break in?”

“The burglar? Through the window. Second floor.”

“…and you were not at home?”

“I was right here.”

“What were you doing?”

“I was solving a Sudoku puzzle.”

Woody Allen had no reply to this. Silently we ascended the staircase and the expert resumed his forensic investigation in my computer room.

“Gloves…,” he muttered. “Look - no fingerprints.” He carefully examined the shattered window glass. The thief, obviously, had climbed my balcony.

“Did he go up to the third floor?” asked the forensic expert.

“I guess so.” My mood was disintegrating rapidly. I do not like to be disturbed when solving a Sudoku puzzle.
Unfazed by this the scientist drew a small forensic light out of his vest-pocket, illuminated a dusty footprint and measured its size with a delicate ruler from his kit.

“May I see the sole of your shoe, Professor? Aha…, Mephisto…, size 49…, very interesting!” Slowly and methodically he worked his way up the staircase, measured each print in the dust, carefully took notes. I smelled a faint odor of decaying carrion.

“Is this your bedroom, Professor?”

“I guess so.” I had discovered that the four in the second box had to be allocated to E2. The second row was completed.

“He had a slight limp on his left leg. Look yourself, Professor.”

In the third column the four had to go into C5.

“He fell here. Look, Professor!”

Just a single square left in the fourth block!

“Right in front of the wardrobe!” Allen took a deep sniff through his nose. “Please open the wardrobe!”

His skull gave a peculiar squeak when my complete edition hit it. Luckily the wardrobe is rather large. I do not like to be disturbed when solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Deutsche Version

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