On December 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

Last week, six smart people won a Darko Dawson Box Set for correctly answering one of two questions in my Cerebral Detective post. These were the questions:

#1. Livor mortis,  a term in forensic pathology, is

A. A distinct cherry red color seen in the liver of a murder victim several hours after death.

B. Rigidity of the body after death.

C. Unlikely to occur in outer space.

D. The blanching of the skin in a murder victim found lying in the prone position.

E. Most pronounced in dark-skinned individuals.

(Correct answer is C: Livor mortis, a settling of the blood in the lower (dependent) portion of the body, depends on gravitational pull, which is erased [for the most part] in outer space)

#2. Or if that makes you a little queasy and you’d like to try your hand at something a little less graphic,  solve the following puzzle:

Two Los Angeles cops, Eddie and Joe, are taking a break at a Dunkin’ Donuts while watching traffic and pedestrians go by. They spot a young woman on the other side of the street waiting to cross. She’s wearing a hat, a sleeveless coral chiffon blouse, a black skirt, and scarlet stiletto heels. Her hair is black and flows past her shoulders. Her fine gold necklace glints in the sunlight as she hurries across the street. Because she did this between two adjacent intersections that both have traffic lights, she has committed “jaywalking,” a violation of the California Vehicle Code.

“If you weren’t so busy munching on that strawberry-filled donut,” Joe says to Eddie, “would  you go out and give her a ticket?”

“Well, maybe I’d give her a break if she was from out of state,” Eddie replies.

“I can tell you right now that she’s not only from out of state,” Joe declares, “she’s from another country.”

“Why do you say that?” Eddie asks. “Do you know the lady?”

“Never seen her before in my life,” Joe says, “but I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s recently arrived from Australia or the UK.”

What did Joe notice that makes him so sure?

In Australia, the UK, Republic of South Africa and some other countries, cars drive on the left-hand side, while in the USA and most of the rest of the world, driving is on the right. As a result, there’s a tendency to look the wrong way when, as in this example, a person from a left-side driving country arrives in a right-side one, and vice versa. On many streets in the UK, there’s a reminder to tourists to look right first.

Darko Dawson Box Set containing novels 1-4

And now, to win a lovely Darko Dawson Box Set just in time for the gift-giving season, I have a new contest for you to try your hand at. Aspiring to be like the great puzzle master Will Shortz, whose puzzles I listen to every Sunday (Weekend Edition Sunday hosted by the effervescent Rachel Martin), I decided to do a geographical word puzzle this time (and Will and Rachel are welcome to give it a go as well, *smile*.)

The first three correct responses in my inbox before Thursday December 10, 2015 will win the box set. Time is limited in order that the set can arrive by Christmastime (at least in the US. It won’t make it for overseas countries.)

The set includes a galley copy of the April 2016 novel GOLD OF OUR FATHERS, that is, a version of the novel that still needs editing before the final release version. Some readers like galleys as collectors’ items and/or possible future valued pieces. Very few readers get their hands on a galley copy, which is often reserved only for book reviewers.

Now on to the challenge:

Take the name of one of the fifty American states, drop the first and last two letters to obtain the name of one of the regional capitals in Ghana. Which state is it?