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Can You Solve This Two-Minute Mini Mystery? ‘Guessing Games’

Grab your magnifying glass and channel your inner Sherlock Holmes to crack the case!

Woman’s World readers are entertained each week with a two-minute mystery story in every issue (and have special Mini Mysteries magazines devoted to cracking even more cases!) — from whodunits to who-stole-its to who’s up to no good — and we’re sharing those stories here each week to bring more laugh-out-loud fun to our readers.

Read on for the newest installment!

Guessing Games by John M. Floyd

Sheriff Charles “Chunky” Jones sat watching as his former teacher Angela Potts scribbled words on the old-fashioned blackboard on his office wall.

“I feel like I’m in the fifth grade again,” he moaned.

“Good,” she said. “Try to learn something this time around then.”

But there wasn’t much to learn. At least not from the facts they knew about the case so far.

All they knew was three hours earlier, a boutique owner named Betsy Vargas had been mugged and robbed in her store at the local shopping center. Surveillance cameras confirmed that only three other people were in the building at that time.

Man stealing woman's bag
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesJuanmonino/Getty

They’d been identified as Billy Preston (tall, young, blond), Joe Alford (middle-aged, dark-haired, balding), and Jacob McCarthy (young, short, redheaded). Angela was writing the names of the suspects and descriptions on the chalkboard — but none of the three had yet been located.

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Ms. Vargas, currently hospitalized and unavailable for questioning, had mumbled only that the mugger’s appearance had reminded her of a TV game-show host from the 1960s. She couldn’t recall which host, but remembered that he had a one-syllable first name and two-syllable last name and that the show featured a blackboard.

“A blackboard?” the sheriff grumbled. “Why didn’t she just describe her attacker instead of turning it into a riddle? We’re looking for somebody who looks like somebody who hosted a sixties TV show? Nobody even remembers those — I wasn’t even born yet.”

“I do,” Angela said, putting down her chalk. “I still watch ’em every now and then on YouTube.”

“Well, what were the game shows back then?”

“There were a bunch. Password, To Tell the Truth, The Dating Game, What’s My Line?, Concentration, Let’s Make a Deal, etc., etc.”

“How about this syllables thing?” he asked. “One for the first name, two for the last?”

“Well, that eliminates a few hosts: Hugh Downs, Jack Narz, Monty Hall, Gary Moore, Allen Ludden — ”

“Maybe she was reminded of Bob Barker. I know he did The Price Is Right.”

“But that wasn’t until the seventies,” Angela explained. “Bill Cullen was its host in the sixties. Barker hosted Truth or Consequences then, but neither he nor Cullen looked like any of our possible suspects.”

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“How about Gene Rayburn? I’ve seen reruns of Match Game. He was older and dark-haired, right?”

“But not balding. Same thing with Bob Eubanks from The Newlywed Game, and Art Fleming — he hosted Jeopardy before Trebek came around. But even they don’t fit any of the descriptions — except the syllables.”

“Pat Sajak? Wheel of Fortune? He was young and blondish, back then.”

Wheel of Fortune game show
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesAstrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

“But not tall. Besides, that show didn’t start till the eighties.”

The sheriff sighed. “This is impossible. We need more information.” He pointed and said, “All we got’s three names on a blackboard.”

Angela paused, thinking. “Oh yeah…the blackboard… that’s it! I know who did it!”

“What?” Chunky asked still confused by her sudden realization.

Angela smiled slowly. “Our mugger,” she said, “is Joe Alford.”

“How do you figure that?”


Because Joe Alford’s description matches the late John Daly, the middle-aged, dark-haired, balding host of What’s My Line?, Daly’s name fits the cute that was given about the number of syllables in the name. The famous show, which aired on TV until the mid-1960s, also required contestants to “sign in” with their names on a blackboard before facing a panel that questioned them to try to guess their unusual occupations, which also fit that clue about the culprit.

For more puzzles, games and fun, keep reading…

This Seemingly Simple Riddle Has Everyone on the Internet Scratching Their Heads

6 Jigsaw Puzzles to Challenge Even the Most Avid Puzzle Fan

9 Surprisingly Tricky Word Problems That Will Recharge Your Brain

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