Cain’s Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers

Cain's Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers

Six homicides. One hundred pages. Countless possible arrangements… but only one is accurate. Are you up for the challenge of unraveling Torquemada’s murder enigma? Back in 1934, Edward Powys Mathers, famously known as Torquemada, the cryptic crossword compiler for the Observer, crafted a novel that doubled as an immensely perplexing literary puzzle. The pages were printed in a completely random sequence, yet it is conceivable to arrange them meticulously, employing rationale and astute comprehension skills, thus revealing the six victims and their respective killers. Out of the vast multitude, merely three individuals have managed to fathom the intricacies of Cain’s Jawbone mystery. Do you possess the necessary acumen to join their esteemed ranks?

Please be advised: This puzzle poses a formidable challenge and is not intended for the easily discouraged.

Cracking the Code: Solving the Kane’s Jawbone Murder Mystery

Listen, I know what you’re thinking, Jack. Don’t you have better things to be doing than solving fictional murders? The answer is no, no I do not. Mind your own business. So, I came across this book on TikTok, actually. It was first published in 1934 and it’s called Kane’s Jawbone. It’s a murder mystery book with a twist. The catch is that all the pages are in the wrong order and you have to rearrange them to reveal the six murder victims and their respective murderers. Now, the book warns that this puzzle is extremely difficult and not for the faint-hearted. Until recently, only three people had managed to solve it. So, it’s quite bold of me to assume I’ll be the fourth, but hey, I’ll give it a shot. I even got a detective hat to add to the experience. Anyway, back in 1934, there was a prize of 15 pounds for the first reader who could reorder the pages and coincide them with the paperback re-release. Now, Unbound is reviving the competition and offering a prize of 250 pounds or 350 dollars to anyone who can provide the names of the murdered and their murderers along with the correct order of the pages and an explanation of how they solved it. The competition closes on December 31st, 2022, so time is ticking.

For today’s “video,” I’ll be attempting this literary puzzle. Let’s see what I can come up with. Honestly, if I even get one clue, I’ll be ecstatic. So, my first step is to cut out all the pages and stick them on the wall. It’ll be like a crime scene investigation board. Now, I have to figure out how to approach this. Maybe I should start by looking at how each page ends and how the other ones start, see if I can match them up. Well, turns out every page except a few ends with a full stop, so that won’t help. Okay, plan B: I’ll read through each page and make a note of my first impressions. This is overwhelming, intense. It’s like trying to solve a complicated puzzle or a difficult riddle. It’s a lot to take in. This is definitely not my daily Wordle. I’m quickly realizing how hard this actually is, but hey, I did find some pages that don’t end with a full stop, so that’s a start.

Now, let’s see what else I can figure out. Oh, there are some lines of poetry scattered throughout the book. I’ll write them down and see if they belong together or if they’re part of different poems. Ah, here’s a line that seems to go with another one. That’s progress. It’s like unlocking a secret code. I’m getting a rush every time I make a connection. Ah, another line of poetry that matches with a page. This is fantastic. I’m really getting into the flow of this. Sherlock Holmes would be proud of my detective skills. But let’s not forget the smell of cucumber coming from my detective hat. That’s still a mystery to solve.

Time has passed, and I’ve made some progress with the wall of mystery. I added orange tabs to each page that mentions death, murder, or anything related. It helps to have them marked out. But I’ve been thinking about what the original author intended for us to do. The ultimate goal is to put the pages in the correct chronological order. So, I started looking for dates hidden within the text. It’s like searching for hidden gems. And guess what? I found a few dates, like the murder that took place on June 28th and the birthday of John and Cornelius on June 15th. These clues are like breadcrumbs leading me closer to the solution.

Every day on this journey feels like a mental workout. I’m diving deeper into the book, uncovering more references and connections. Multiple narrators, characters with the same name, literary allusions, French poetry. It’s a maze of words. But I’m determined to keep going, to crack the code and solve the puzzle. The search history on my computer might be suspicious with all the murder-related searches, but I don’t care. I’m in this for the challenge and the satisfaction of solving a difficult mystery. So, I’ll continue my quest in part two, where I hope to uncover even more clues and bring the story of Kane’s Jawbone to light.

Until then, I’ll leave you with this thought: we’re all detectives in our own lives, searching for answers, making connections, and solving the mysteries that come our way. And when we’re faced with a seemingly impossible puzzle, let’s remember the thrill of the chase, the joy of uncovering hidden truths. It’s in these moments that we truly come alive.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. Stay curious, stay open to the unknown, and never stop seeking. Catch you in the next article. Bye!

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