Hello there! If you’re reading this, that means you’ve been working hard to solve Alice Jones: The Haunted Wall. Have you figured out what wasn’t adding up? Read on to see how Alice cracked the case, and find out the real culprit behind those spooky scratching sounds…
(If you haven’t been working on the case, and found this page on your own, then you must be a super sleuth! Before you read the solution, though, check out the first half of the story and see if you can spot the same clues as Alice.)
Alice Jones: The Haunted Wall, the solution:
‘Hey, what are you doing?’ Sammy said as I pulled out my notebook to check my maths.
The length of Sammy’s bedroom was fifteen steps from the door to the wall – the same as the guest room.
15 +15 = 30
When I was pacing the length of the hall outside the two rooms, it should have measured thirty steps — the length of the two rooms added together — but it didn’t. From door to door, the hall was thirty-six steps long.
I did another quick calculation:
36 – 30 = 6.
The hall was six steps too long.
‘There must be a secret room,’ I said. It was the only way to explain the six extra steps.
Sammy looked confused, so I drew him a picture.
Sammy’s eyes widened. ‘I get it.’
‘Come on,’ I said, rushing into his room, ‘let’s look for the door.’
Sammy and I searched the wall, tearing down the ancient wallpaper in long, crumbling strips. As I pulled off the layer behind Sammy’s bed, a deep vertical crack appeared. It was larger and straighter than the rest of the cracks in the wall.
‘I found it!’
Together we moved the bed and leant against the wall. A great creaking sound filled the room and the crack started to open. The wall suddenly swung inwards, and Sammy and I tumbled through the secret door into a dark room filled with cobwebs and dust. Sammy sneezed.
‘Looks like it was a squirrel after all,’ I said as we watched a bushy tail disappear through a hole in the ceiling.
Sammy shook his head. ‘I was so sure it was a ghost.’ He almost sounded disappointed.
‘You did your best,’ I said, patting him on the shoulder. ‘But you’ve got to do all the math to solve a mystery.’
So? How did you do? Did you notice the missing steps, or did you come up with a different solution? And what other maths mysteries can you think of? I’d love to hear from you!