A CRYPTIC POSTCARD
A Black Spy Story
"Dear Uncle, We have much fun here at the scouts' summer camp. Last week we had a competition. We were all given a different task. We started Monday, and the first two finished on Wednesday, two on Thursday, one Friday, one Saturday, and the last one Sunday. My Russian friend and I finished the same day. Please send some money. See you soon. James."
"Both you and James play at that game Diplomacy, so maybe you can see if there is a meaning to this, or if he simply is in his second childhood."
"Do you know how many days he travelled?" I asked. M mumbled something about a well used expense account and told me what I needed to know. And before we had finished our drinks I told M what he wanted to know.
So one rainy afternoon, take a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred) and read the postcard from James, and you will also know who spied on who that summer in 1899.
If you can untangle the spy web, send your solution to The Pouch!
Hint: It's easier to keep track of the possible solutions, if you use the grid below (simply click on a particular cell to change its contents!)
If something is impossible, put a dash ('-') in the cell. For example, James did not end his travel on Sunday, so the cell where England crosses Sunday gets a '-'. Use a '+' where you have found a connection. If any row or a column has six dashes, then the seventh cell must have a '+'. (In the case of the Wednesday and Thursday columns, only five dashes are needed, since there will be two pluses).
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