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Reply To: The story


As always, it is great to see the story unfolding in this year’s Cipher Challenge. For anyone new to the Cipher Challenge, cracking the ciphers is obviously fun, but often there is as much fun to be had mining the story for secrets or clues.

The librarian, Maisie Styles:

Presumably a nod to Agatha Christie’s first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

There is a crime fiction writer called Jacqueline Winspear who wrote a series of books based around the character ‘Maisie Dobbs’. The series won Winspear several awards, including the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Agatha Award for Best First Novel … Both Edgar Allen Poe and Agatha Christie are referred to in Challenge A this week.
Or maybe her name comes from a story by Edgar Allen Poe called ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ (see Part A this week), which was apparently inspired by looking at a statue of a Lieutenant Robert ‘Massie’.
Or perhaps there is no significance to the name ‘Maisie’ at all!

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