Maxed Out 

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

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Ah, the game's afoot, Watson. This is what we know.

Fact: The dreaded asphalt plant, run by the arch villain Morveri has been ordered to cease and desist its operations near the peaceful and bucolic neighbourhood of Cheakamusshire.

Fact: After exhaustive undercover work by a crack team of forensic investigators from The Hall, led by the keen eye and razor-sharp mind of Inspector Lestone, said operations have been deemed to be operating contrary to the area's zoning. How exhaustive, you ask? It took 14 years to ferret out the true facts of this diabolical case, such is the cleverness of Morveri, an adversary like no other.

Fact: Morveri has been given until May 13 to give himself up to... no, to cease and desist his mad production of plutonium-enriched asphalt.

Fact: Morveri, clever devil that he is, has replied, "Catch me if you can, Lestone. I've been doing this with the full acquiescence and/or total disinterest of The Boys at The Hall all along." The apple appears to be mushy to the core, Watson.

Fact: Though totally irrelevant to the case, it nonetheless bears mentioning the once highly-coveted market garden homes in Cheakamusshire have failed to draw the interest of potential buyers, thus leaving The Hall - and all the innocent bystanders who rely on its crackerjack expertise in such affairs - in an uncomfortable financial position. Is this too the work of the dastardly Morveri and his noxious fumes? It is, perhaps too early in the investigation to draw conclusions with any certainty. However....

What we don't know, the details eluding discovery, are what real journalists call the who and why, two of the five Ws forming, not unlike a pentangle, the foundation of their ancient, mysterious craft.

Who changed his mind? When last this investigation stalled, three of the Wise Men running Whistlershire favoured smoking the villainous Morveri out of his fortified lair. Since this whole affair seems to be taking place behind a veil of secrecy, let's just call them Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. But who of the four remaining Wise Men changed their mind? Hah, it is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. Was it not the Zeidlerzee who joined Wynken, Blynken and Nod in their flanking manoeuvre to block The Hall's annual contract to Morveri to cover the lands of Whistlershire in smooth, plutonium-enriched asphalt? Yes, I think it was. And what can we deduce from this fact, Watson. Hah, correct. Nothing.

But nonetheless, interesting it remains. Cloaked in secrecy spun by the inner sanctum, even though it seems not to fall under any of the generally accepted reasons for secrecy, save for the very delightful game of Stump the Chump, all lips are sealed. Does it touch on the award of a monetary contract? Negative. A matter of personnel? No! So why the impenetrable darkness? I'm stumped; quick, Watson, the needle.

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