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Lie Another Day

by Gerry 

Posted: 30 November 2011
Word Count: 584
Summary: For Fi's puzzle challenge. Will Boole escape this time?

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Boole looked across the floor of the cave towards the two exits, each with its grim-looking guard, each of them gripping a Kalashnikov.

How was he going to get out of this?

Bloomfield’s gloating face was back in his head now, saying, ‘A pity, Mr Boole, that we may never meet again. Such an audacious adversary. Bold, daring and so terribly charming, especially without your Walther PPK. But, despite the threat you pose to my plans to reduce Tehran to rubble, for which the British and the Americans will get the blame, I’ve decided to give you a chance.’

‘How very sporting of you,’ Boole had said, feeling his senses slipping away again and seeing, fleetingly, the beguiling face of Tiffany Shagwell as she passed him the glass of Krug that he might have guessed contained more than just bubbles. He had to hold on. It was not usually Bloomfield’s way to throw a chap a lifeline, but if that was what the bastard was doing, good note had best be taken.

Bloomfield’s scar across his cheek had twitched and danced in sheer delight at the conundrum as he pointed to the other side of the cave. ‘Look, Mr Boole, two exits, two guards. One exit leads back to me that we may fight again, that you may thwart my scheme. The other leads to perdition. Certain death. Observe the guards now. Identical twins in all respects save one. They both know which exit you need, but one of them only tells lies, the other only the truth. But which is which, Mr Boole? You have one question, one question only, and you may ask it of only one guard. Break these rules and you will be gunned down like the dog that you are. What, Mr Boole, will that question be?’

And the face had fuzzed over then, faded to black, as Boole passed back into unconsciousness.

But Boole was awake now, wide awake, trying to calculate just how long he’d been lying here on this filthy floor, and how much time before Bloomfield tricked the Israelis into launching their strike and the conflagration that would surely follow. Bloomfield’s final throw of the dice. It seemed that this time he wanted destruction, pure and simple. The end of everything. And why should Bloomfield die and not take the whole world down with him?

Boole got to his feet, brushed himself down. Walking now towards the two exits, he saw there was a line drawn in the sandy soil. He guessed that this was where he should stop, ask the question; they would not want the risk of his getting too close. Sure enough, the guard on the right raised his gun and said, ‘No further, Mr Boole. What is your question and do you wish to ask me or my brother?’

Boole hesitated. Was this literally the end of the line? To be gunned down in this foul place, which would remind him of hell if it wasn’t so cold, or escape by solving the puzzle? One question. One guard. One exit. But what question and which guard should he ask? How could he determine who lied and who told the truth and at the same time be told which was the right way to go? But, he thought now, a tinsel-winged sliver of hope glimmering at the back of his mind, did he really need to know who the liar was ...?

Answers on a post card please to the usual address.

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Comments by other Members

euclid at 10:35 on 30 November 2011  Report this post
I just wasted half an hour trying to answer that conundrum.

I think Bland's name should have been Boole.


Gerry at 10:40 on 30 November 2011  Report this post

That's a great idea, JJ. I think I'll change it.

Gerry at 10:52 on 30 November 2011  Report this post

It' done, JJ. Now the name's Boole, George Boole. What about a suitably mathematical name for the enemy? How about Gaspard Monge?

euclid at 11:22 on 30 November 2011  Report this post
Never heard of him.

The original was Blofeld. Blowhole would be nice (though not mathematical).


Gerry at 11:29 on 30 November 2011  Report this post

Indeed. I'll have a think.

Bunbry at 12:37 on 30 November 2011  Report this post
Great tale Gerry - brilliant skit on the Bond films - why oh why did the villains give him a tour of the facility rather than just shooting him dead!

I know the answer to the puzzle, (but I'm not claiming to have solved it myself!)


Gerry at 15:12 on 30 November 2011  Report this post

Thanks very much, Nick. Yes, a great mystery, the behaviour of Bond villains. And why wherever Bond goes does everyone seem to know who he is? What's the point of a famous spy? Weird.

Thanks again,


tusker at 15:47 on 01 December 2011  Report this post
Funny and clever, Gerry.

Laughed out loud at the name 'Shagwell.'

Never enjoyed those Bond films but this was good.

Sorry, I've run out of postcards.


Gerry at 07:17 on 02 December 2011  Report this post

Thanks, Jennifer. Glad you enjoyed it. I started reading the Bond books a few years back, starting with the first, 'Casino Royale', and didn't like them so much, mainly because I found the character of Bond so horrible. Then again, why should anybody's paid killer, even Her Majesty's, be a nice guy? For me, Ian Fleming's greatest contribution to literature and entertainment has to be 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'.

Thanks again,


dharker at 16:28 on 02 December 2011  Report this post
Tiffany Shagwell??? I've just had to spend five minutes clearing the spluttered coffee from my desk Gerry!

Hmmm... and what would the other twin say was the right route I wonder??? An excellent skit on the Bond theme - love the title too! Well done!


Gerry at 06:33 on 03 December 2011  Report this post

Sorry about your desk, Dave. Many thanks for the comments. Really glad you liked it. The first time I was presented with this conundrum, I hadn't the slightest idea what the question should be even when I was given about a hundred clues and hints ...


Prospero at 15:20 on 03 December 2011  Report this post
Hi Gerry

If it was me the world would be doomed and Tiffany Shagwell would remain unmolested. My brain went into meltdown trying to sort this one out.

Enjoyed the jokes though.


Bewildered of Bournemouth

Gerry at 20:39 on 04 December 2011  Report this post

Thanks, John. Dave gives the answer in the forum.


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