Mystery of the Lost Barrister©
December, 2001

Opening Clues - As the barrister's headlights caught the reflection of the cat's eyes, she realized that she was terribly lost.

The Mystery Question - How did the barrister know that she was lost?

Below are the questions and answers. Questions are in the order asked, preceded by the asker's initials. Answers are in parentheses.

Does it matter what kind of road she is on? Yes, indeed it does.
Does it matter that she is a barrister? Not in the least.
Does it have to do with being really far north? Nope!
Was she lost before she saw the cat's eyes? Yes, but only a few seconds earlier.
Is the cat an animal? - Oooooooh! Good guess. No, it isn't an animal.
Is it a road for normal cars? (Yes.)
Does the shape of the road matter? (AKA is it windy, straight) (Doesn't matter in the least.)
Is she driving a car? (Yep.)
Is there someone else in the car? (This isn't important.)
The cat...it's not an animal - is it electrical? (It is not powered by electricity.)
Is the cat a toy? (Nope.)
Does the barrister's road have cat's eyes? (Yes, it does. But I wonder if the rest of the detectives know what that ?)
Was the Barrister driving along a road with which she was unfamiliar and thus was lost. (Yes, it was an unfamiliar road to her. And, yes, she was lost. But - How did she know she was lost? That is the key to this Mystery.)
Were the cat's eyes a different colour or shape than the cat's eyes on her own road? (Nope. They were the normal size, shape
and color.)
Is the cat's eye on a bicycle. (Now that is creative. Wrong, but creative!)
Are the cat eyes the glass reflectors used to mark lanes on major roads? (They are indeed.)
LM - If so the Barrister new she was lost because the road she should have been on was not a major road and did not have cat eyes. (The road she should have been on was a major road. But, it wasn't the "majorness" of the road that we are concerned with. There is something else. However, you are VERY close.)
CM - Are the Cats Eyes reflectors? (Yes.)
CM - Are the reflectors set into the pavement of the road? (Yes.)
CM- Did the Barrister know she was lost because the road she thought she was on did not have cats eyes reflectors? (Yes. She did not expect to see reflectors. But, why not? That is the key.)
PF - Was she driving a tram car? (No. She was in a regular automobile.)
PF - Was she driving a trolley car? (Ditto!)
PF - Was the car a railway car? (Ditto! Ditto!)
PF - Was she, in fact, off the rails? (Mentally or physically? J No in either case.)
PF - Did she see the reflection of the cat's eyes in her rear view mirror? (No. They we out in front.)
LM - Is the road she is driving on in a country where you drive on the left side of the road? (She is in Ireland, but once you know the meaning of "cat's eyes," it doesn't really matter.)
LM - Are the cats eyes she sees on the left side of the car? (Nope, right side.)
LM - Are the cats eyes on the right side of the car? (To be sure. To be sure.)
LM - Is she driving on the wrong side of the road? (Nope.)
CM - Was the Barrister going in the wrong direction on the road? (She is going the correct way, but ….???)
EN - Did the cat's eye illuminate a sign with location name (an unfamiliar village, town, etc.)? (No.)

Clue #1 - You need to find out something about the type of road the barrister was on and also something about the her expectations at the moment she turned on that road.

LM - Did the barrister turn onto the road not knowing where she was (Yes. She thought she knew, but …) and when she saw the cats eyes knew she was on an "express" type of road (Nope. Not an express road. But, what other kind?) that she would be unable to get off of for some time (No, she could get off easily.) leaving her "terribly lost?" (Definitely!)
CM - Was the Barrister on a bridge? (Doesn't really matter.)
CM - Was she in (or going into) a tunnel? (Also doesn't matter.)
CM - Was she on an elevated roadway? (I'm not sure what that is, but I don't think it matters.)
CM - Was she on a monorail track? (This one, is a definite No.)
CM - Were the reflectors an unexpected color? (The color was normal.)
CM - Were the reflectors blue? (Nope, just normal white/clear.)
CM - Was the Barrister on an airport runway instead of a road? (Afraid not.)
LM - Was the road she was on a country road (A road in the country, but a main road.), a gravel road, dirt road (No. No.), blacktop road (Yep.)
LM - Was she expecting to be on a country road, a dirt road, a blacktop road or a gravel road? (She wasn't expecting any particular road surface.)
LM - Was she expecting to be on some type of road not mentioned yet? (If you mean the type of surface, the answer is no. But, she was expecting a certain type of road.)
LM - On the road she expected to be on she did not anticipate there would be cats eyes. (That is correct.) Therefore at that point she new she was terribly lost. (Also correct. - You are getting very close. All that remains is to figure out - Why did she expect NOT to see cat's eye reflectors.)
LM - Was the barrister headed to a place she had been to before? (No.)
LM - If so, she knew there were no cats eyes on that private road or driveway. (She'd never been, but she was sure there should not have been cat's eyes.)
CM - Had the Barrister turned onto a dead-end road? (It could have been, but it doesn't really matter.)
PF - Does lost mean "geographically misplaced"? (Lost means that our barrister thought she in one place while in fact she was in yet another.)
PF - Does "lost" have a metaphorical meaning? (In some people's lives, but for our barrister - No.)
PF - Has the barrister seen the reflection of a real cat's eyes and fallen hopelessly in love with a kitten or cat? (i.e. is she now hopelessly lost?) (Ah, that's cute. Wrong, but cute.)
PF - Is she looking for a particular place? (Yes, but the destination won't help you.)
PF - Is there a mythic element to the story? (None whatsoever.)
PF - Is the barrister a leprechaun? (Irish, but not a leprechaun, but don't bother with the Ireland thing.)
PF - A leprechaun in disguise? (Nope.)
PF - Are the cat's eyes down the center of the road? (Absolutely!)
PF - Is the car in motion? (Yep!)
PF - Is "bigfoot" a major clue? (Not even a minor clue.)
PF - A minor one? (Wow. Déjà vu!)
PF - Was the barrister playing some kind of board game? (Nope. Just driving the car.)
PF - In other words, was she in a real-life situation? (This is real life.)
PF - Were the cat's eyes reflected from the road? (Yes.)
PF - Was she driving a vehicle other than a car? (No. Just a regular car.)
PF - Was she driving a racing car? (Regular car.)
PF - Was she in a motor rally? (No, she was working.)
PF - Was it a desert motor rally? (No, back roads of Ireland)
PF - Is the country important? (Not really)
PF - Has she crossed a border from one country to another? (No.)
PF - Is she driving somewhere on planet earth? (No. Are you?)
PF - She is driving a car, right? (Yes.)
PF - Is she taxiing an aero plane? (Nope.)
CM - Is it true that the barrister was a crazy lady - downright bonkers in fact - and had a long record of traffic infractions, and shouldn't have been allowed on the road in the first place? (NO! Are we getting bored and tired?)

Clue #2 - Direction!

LM - Was the Barrister at a fork in the road? (No. Straight road ahead.)
LM - Was she on a traffic circle? (Nope)
LM - Did the Barrister turn left? Right? (Not important.)
LM - Was she headed East? West? North? South? (Not important.)
LM - Was she headed uphill? Downhill? (Not important.)
LM - Did she choose the wrong direction? (She turned the correct direction, but onto the wrong road.)
The barrister is really from Ukraine or Romania, where they don't use cat's eyes or any other kind of helpful road paraphernalia. Since she didn't expect any cat's eyes on her native roads, should we be surprised she thought she got lost (actually, she felt she died and went to heaven!)? (No comment J)
Did she turn onto a road that was a "detour road" (No.)
Did she turn onto a road that was a "toll road? (Nope.)
Did she see a sign after her headlights revealed the cat's eyes? (Negative.)
Were the cat's eyes on some place other than the road? (Nope. Dead center.)
Were the cat's eyes on a sign she saw? (No. On the pavement.)
Was the barrister confused because she usually drove on the "other" side of the road and thus turned the "wrong way," thinking she was turning the "right" way? (No. She veteran driver on these types of roads, in this country)

Major Clue - There is only ONE WAY to solve this mystery.

Was she on a one-way road? (NO! She was NOT on a one-way road. This is the key clue you want to pursue. You need to figure out how she knew she was NOT on a one-way road. Then you need to figure out how her NOT being on a one-way road told her she was lost?)
On a one-way road going the wrong way? (No.)
Was she on a single(one) lane road (No.) where cars could go both ways? (Yes.) This then is a narrow road? (No.)
Was she on a "one-way road"? (No!)
Should she have been on a one way road? (A KEY question, to which the answer is - Yes, she should have been.)

The next question solved the Mystery of the Lost Barrister!!

To Solution

©The Mystery of the Lost Barrister, Don Fitzmahan, 2002 / Minute Mystery is trademarked by Don Fitzmahan.