The game, being played by officers at Shanklin police station on the Isle of Wight, had started innocently enough with Superintendent Gary Cross launching proceedings with a simple ‘movie, one word, first word, (mimes munching)’ clue that fellow officers quickly identified as ‘Jaws’.
However, just after 6pm, constable Gerry Hickey started to act out a movie title that continues to leave colleagues and consulting detective Dixon, utterly baffled. Dixon says, ‘Hickey has clearly chosen a purposely tricky movie, like ‘Fitzcarraldo’ – although we’ve ruled out that particular line of enquiry.’
Assistant Commissioner Deirdre Fox admits that this is one of the trickiest cases her team have handled: ‘We have very little to go on. Hickey’s broken down and given us a few syllables, and even offered to tell us what it is, but it’s become a ‘thing’ now and we’re determined not to give up until we crack it. It’s been two weeks solid with officers working around the clock, and a couple more working around the hat-stand, but as yet we’ve still got very little to go on. It’s ‘Shrek’ all over again.’
Fox is referring to the 2001 animated movie, whose title confounded police in Dumfries for over three days throughout Christmas 2007. After a joint operation involving officers from three forces, a Special Constable correctly guessed ‘ogre’ as a clue and blurted out ‘is it Shrek?’ The exhausted officer doing the mime then put his hand to his nose and pointed in the young policeman’s direction before collapsing.
Meanwhile, Dixon has so far ruled out the machinations of his nemesis, Professor Moribund, who has delighted in setting a series of puzzles and traps for the renowned detective in the past. ‘No, this is something altogether different,’ Dixon explains, ‘Moribund would plump for something like ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, because what people forget is that as well as being a criminal genius he is also a pretentious git.’
‘No, I’m convinced that what is bewildering us in this case is an answer to a riddle so obvious it will lead to mass forehead-slapping all round. I must confess, however, that in all my years of sleuthing I’ve never before come across miming so diabolical.’
9th January 2010