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Solve the Mystery!


Von_Kaiser

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Ok gents, with the abundance of silly threads that we normally kick around 'outside' I'm going to try and get you guys to take a moment and use those excellent brains of yours. I'll lay out the mystery for you, leave you enough clues to make a reasonable deduction, and will divulge the culprit within the next day. I hope you guys give it a shot.

 

Gina had expected her great-great uncle's house to be like mansions in the movies, with marble columns and rose gardens, not peeling paint and a weed- filled lawn. But Dad explained that Scott hated spending money, except on his collections.

Gina's parents thought the kids were playing outside. Instead, they snuck into the candlelit parlor.

"Your Mom will freak out if she catches us," Gina's cousin Sam muttered.

"I know. But Uncle Scott traveled a lot and I never got to meet him while he was alive. I just want to see what he looks like."

"At least turn on some lights," Sam grumbled. "This is creepy."

"Didn't you hear the lawyer talking to Mom and Dad? Uncle Scott called the parlor his 'candle room.' He never had it wired for electricity." She crept over to the coffin and peered inside.

Scott wore a tuxedo with a ruffled shirt and red cummerbund. His white hair was neatly combed, his nails manicured, and his diamond stickpin and silver cufflinks glittered in the candlelight.

"He looks nice," Gina whispered.

Sam took one glance inside, then pulled Gina away from the coffin. "Weird," he said. "I didn't think people wore tuxedos when they were buried."

"He liked it. Dad said Uncle Scott even had his portrait painted wearing this exact same outfit. He put it in his will that he wanted to be dressed for his funeral exactly the way he is in that portrait."

Sam shivered. "I wonder who had to dress him?"

"Harvey, Scott's assistant."

"Like a butler?"

"Sort of."

"So he really was rich. Hey, your Dad was kidding about inheriting twenty cents, right?"

Gina led her cousin back down the hall. "Well, Scott did leave Dad two dimes. But Mercury is facing the wrong way or something, and that makes them worth a lot of money. Mom said it was enough to pay my way through college someday."

"Cool."

"Uncle Scott's daughter, Fiona, inherited the house and all this stuff." They entered the study where Gina's parents were talking to the lawyer, Mr. Baxter. Sam gawked at Scott's "collections." Display cases everywhere were filled with jewel-encrusted objects.

Harvey, Scott's assistant, handed glasses of lemonade to the kids, then left. Gina thought he looked as sour as the drink tasted.

"Fiona arrived earlier, but you probably won't see her until the funeral tomorrow," the lawyer was saying. "Scott requested burial near his gazebo. Harvey will dig the grave himself."

"Poor Harvey," Dad murmured.

Baxter nodded. "At least Scott set up a trust that will continue to pay Harvey's salary, small as it is. Now, would you like to see the dimes?"

In the master bedroom upstairs, the lawyer twirled the combination lock on a wall safe while Gina studied the painting of Scott that hung above the fireplace. Decked out in his tux, ruffled shirt, jade cufflinks and diamond stickpin, he seemed to wink down at her.

Baxter removed a box from the safe and opened it.

Everyone gasped. The box was empty.

"Impossible!" the older man exclaimed. "They were here an hour ago."

"The safe isn't damaged," Mom remarked. "How many people know the combination?".

He frowned. "Just myself, Fiona and Harvey. I'd better call the police."

"Go ahead," Dad said. "But no matter who stole the dimes, they're small enough to be hidden anywhere. Even if the police tear the house apart, I'll bet they never find them." Gina stood up, staring at the portrait. "I think I know who took the dimes," she whispered to Sam. "And if I'm right, I know where they are."

 

Ok gents and gals, state who you think is the thief with some supporting evidence.

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I love these big fan of sherlock homes so this is right up my alley. Great thread.

 

 

Agree with Ex and DR except I'll go one further.

 

Im gonna say Uncle scott still had them and Harvey knew cause he dressed him. Uncle Scott wanted to be buried with his prized collection the dimes.

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Harvey took em.......they said the cufflinks were silver in the coffin' date=' but in the painting, they were jade.

 

Edit - and Harvey dressed him, so I imagine it had to be him.[/quote']

 

Based on the last few sentences in the story, I would have to agree with you. However, what relationship do the cufflinks have with the 2 dimes? How does the cufflinks being replaced imply that he also took the dimes? Also, did you notice that in the coffin he was wearing a red cummerbund, but in the portrait he was not?

 

It would make most sense that Harvey took the dimes, based on his small salary and "sour" personality and image. They implied that the money he would receive from inheritence would not be much, so this supports Harvey being the culprit. He also was the person who dressed him. Harvey could have easily taken the dimes and placed them on Uncle Scotts body knowing that he could retrieve them later while he digs Scotts grave. However, he seems like too obvious of a culprit to me.

 

Have you taken into consideration that Fiona, the daughter, had been at the house earlier in the day (possibly before the dimes were last seen). She had inherited the house, along with his collection of "jewel incrusted items". The jade cufflinks are a jewel encrusted item or at least it is jewel related. Maybe she had removed the jade cufflinks and replaced them with the silver ones since she felt it should have been part of his collection. But, this leaves me wondering why the diamond stick pin had not been replaced also if this were the case. Once again though, I do not see the correlation between the links and dimes. But, The mansion Fiona inherited was run-down and not in great shape. She could have stolen the dimes with the intent to use the money to repair the house. In the story, it does not mention that Fiona actually receives a cash inheritance. So, she may have needed the money. I can also say that this could be untrue also. She could have sold the collection for the money to do this. But, It also seems fishy to me that she left, then the dimes went missing, and she wouldn't be seen until the next day.

 

For some reason, I feel Fiona is the culprit. Harvey seems like too easy of a guess to me. But, maybe this mystery isn't meant to be extremely hard? I will edit as I investigate further :P

 

P.S. I'm probably over-analyzing everything.

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I love these big fan of sherlock homes so this is right up my alley. Great thread.

 

 

Agree with Ex and DR except I'll go one further.

 

Im gonna say Uncle scott still had them and Harvey knew cause he dressed him. Uncle Scott wanted to be buried with his prized collection the dimes.

 

this.

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Yeah, I was thinking Harvey put them on the dead dude to be retrieved when he buried him.

 

But that's boring.

 

It would be better if Gina was setting up Sam.

 

She noticed the dimes not quite tucked enough under the pillow when she first looked in the casket... and palmed them.

 

Then she planted one dime on Sam and hid the other one for herself in the darkened room.

 

Her scheme was to turn in Sam, because she knew if he was caught with one no one would believe he didn't take both. And she was amused by the idea they would probably think he swallowed it so they would be doing all sorts of nasty stuff to him in order to retrieve it to no avail, and just figure they failed to get it out of his system before it got flushed into the sewer.

 

Then sneaky Gina could go back to the mansion any time and retrieve the one she hid for herself. And the reason is she never did want to go to college, she wanted a modeling career but her parents said no she had to go to college. They were always telling her what to do and she couldn't stand it. Her plan was to hock the dime and use the cash to go to Paris to be a model. Yeah, good luck with that, but that was her motive. And she never did like Sam much anyway.

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Harvey did dress him so that would make him the main culprit. I reckon the fact the cuff-links are now silver as opposed to jade would lead me to think that the dimes were now the cuff-links which someone had swapped hoping to steal them off again before burying him?

 

Thats my guess if it makes any sense. Harvey is the culprit but the cuff-links are the dimes.

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Some of you guys nailed it straightaway.

 

Harvey is the culprit. He had motive since he wasn't paid much by Uncle Scott. Harvey felt as if he wasn't receiving as much as the others and thought he was getting far less than he deserved. He had opportunity to change out the cufflinks and take them off Uncle Scott's dead body before he put him in the ground. The giveaway was the cuff links and the portrait/body so great job to everybody who spotted it.

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Here's the next one...

 

Gina was eating cold pizza for lunch at Sam's house one hot July day. Mrs. Decker came in looking warm and weary.

"I'm so disgusted," she said. "Remember that old house over on Norton Drive that I listed? I put a FOR SALE sign up in the yard early this morning. Just drove by now and it's gone. This is the third one this month that has disappeared."

"Why would anyone steal a realtor's signs?" Gina asked. "What would anybody do with them?"

"Who knows?" Mrs. Decker poured herself a glass of lemonade. "Probably some kids with nothing better to do. I suppose they could use the signs to build something. They were the wooden ones."

Sam nudged Gina. "Want to bike over and see what we can find out?"

"Not much there to see," his mother told him. "Only two houses on that whole street. An old lady-Mrs. Stearns-lives in the house next to the empty one."

"Maybe she saw something," Gina said. "Let's go ask."

Half an hour later the two were biking toward the end of Norton Drive. A pick-up truck was parked in front of the empty house. A man was standing on the sidewalk looking in all directions.

"You kids know anything about this place?" he asked. "I'm from out of town, and my nephew has been checking houses for me this past month. He thought I might like the one at the end of Norton Drive, so he let me borrow his truck to drive over here. But I don't know if this is the house he meant. There aren't any signs."

"This house is for sale," Sam told him. "My mom is the real estate agent."

"Great! Then can you tell me her name and company? I'd like to ask about this property. Paul tells me that houses in this part of town sell fast. He says this one has been on the market for quite some time. Glad I got here before it was sold! Just couldn't get over here any sooner."

As soon as Sam gave him the information, the man drove off. Gina stared after the truck. "Know what? His nephew, Paul, might have taken the signs. Maybe he didn't want people to see that the house was for sale until his uncle had a chance to look at it. You can put lots of things in the back of a truck."

Sam nodded. "Let's ask this Mrs. Stearns if she saw anything this morning."

Mrs. Stearns came to the screen as soon as the two knocked. She was gray-haired, but she stood straight and tall. "Oh, I think I know who might have taken those signs," she told them. "Freddie Swanson. He lives a block away, but he's always up to mischief."

She held the door open as she talked, so Gina peeked inside. She liked the cozy living room. The sofa and chairs were velvet-covered antiques. Lace doilies covered the end tables. A large painting hung over the intricately- carved fireplace mantel, and a cheerful fire crackled below.

"I know Freddie," Sam said. "And I know where he lives. Let's go see him."

Freddie was putting a lawn mower in the garage when they reached his house. He mopped his brow, as he talked to them. "Why would I take a dumb old sign?" he asked. "Besides, I've been out here doing yard work all morning." Gina stared past him at the garage. Her parents could hardly get their car in her garage at home because of all the stuff in it, but this one was practically bare. Then she noticed a crudely built tree house in the yard. The boards were gray and weather-beaten.

She and Sam talked as they biked back to his house. Mrs. Decker was washing the lunch dishes when they banged into the house.

"We think we know who took the signs," Gina told her.

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Some of you guys nailed it straightaway.

 

Harvey is the culprit. He had motive since he wasn't paid much by Uncle Scott. Harvey felt as if he wasn't receiving as much as the others and thought he was getting far less than he deserved. He had opportunity to change out the cufflinks and take them off Uncle Scott's dead body before he put him in the ground. The giveaway was the cuff links and the portrait/body so great job to everybody who spotted it.

 

What does that have to do with the 2 dimes?

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Some of you guys nailed it straightaway.

 

Harvey is the culprit. He had motive since he wasn't paid much by Uncle Scott. Harvey felt as if he wasn't receiving as much as the others and thought he was getting far less than he deserved. He had opportunity to change out the cufflinks and take them off Uncle Scott's dead body before he put him in the ground. The giveaway was the cuff links and the portrait/body so great job to everybody who spotted it.

And I was just about to give my response. How did I miss this mystery? I would have been wrong anyway. I was going to say Uncle Scott is not dead and plotted this to see who would be the most deserving of his assets.

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Freddie seems like the obvious choice for me. He is young, mischeivous, and needed the wooden signs to build his tree house. The girls even noticed that he had a crudely built tree house in the yard.

 

 

It is possible Mrs. Stearns took the signs also. Although it seems less likely to me. She may have enjoyed being the only person living on the block. She could have removed the signs and placed them in the burning fireplace inside of her home.

 

 

I'm not going to over-analyze this one. Freddie is my guess. :P

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Freddie seems like the obvious choice for me. He is young' date=' mischeivous, and needed the wooden signs to build his tree house. His garage was full of junk, so he could have hidden the signs in there until he was ready to continue building the tree house.

 

 

It is possible Mrs. Stearns took the signs also. Although it seems less likely to me. She may have enjoyed being the only person living on the block. She could have removed the signs and placed them in the burning fireplace inside of her home.

 

 

I'm not going to over-analyze this one. Freddie is my guess. :P[/quote']

 

Freddie's garage was actually empty, read it over.

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This is also quite a viable solution.

 

I nailed that the first post after the story.

 

Key clues:

 

Gina was eating cold pizza for lunch at Sam's house one hot July day. Mrs. Decker came in looking warm and weary.

 

 

so Gina peeked inside. She liked the cozy living room. The sofa and chairs were velvet-covered antiques. Lace doilies covered the end tables. A large painting hung over the intricately- carved fireplace mantel' date=' [b']and a cheerful fire crackled below.[/b]

 

"I'm so disgusted," she said. "Remember that old house over on Norton Drive that I listed? I put a FOR SALE sign up in the yard early this morning. Just drove by now and it's gone. This is the third one this month that has disappeared."

 

 

Then she noticed a crudely built tree house in the yard. The boards were gray and weather-beaten.

 

 

Hot day in July with a fire? What realtor uses gray weather beaten wood for a For Sale sign? The signs had only disappeared in the current month.

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I nailed that the first post after the story.

 

Key clues:

 

Gina was eating cold pizza for lunch at Sam's house one hot July day. Mrs. Decker came in looking warm and weary.

 

 

so Gina peeked inside. She liked the cozy living room. The sofa and chairs were velvet-covered antiques. Lace doilies covered the end tables. A large painting hung over the intricately- carved fireplace mantel' date=' [b']and a cheerful fire crackled below.[/b]

 

"I'm so disgusted," she said. "Remember that old house over on Norton Drive that I listed? I put a FOR SALE sign up in the yard early this morning. Just drove by now and it's gone. This is the third one this month that has disappeared."

 

 

Then she noticed a crudely built tree house in the yard. The boards were gray and weather-beaten.

 

 

Hot day in July with a fire? What realtor uses gray weather beaten wood for a For Sale sign? The signs had only disappeared in the current month.

 

This also led me to the conclusion that it was not Freddie stealing the boards. The fire in hot July does implicate the old lady and most likely your solution is the accurate one. I just found that the guy in the van seemed a bit suspicious and seemed to have a reason to hide the signs and a means of disposal. Props to you though, as your suggestion is most likely the correct one.

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This also led me to the conclusion that it was not Freddie stealing the boards. The fire in hot July does implicate the old lady and most likely your solution is the accurate one. I just found that the guy in the van seemed a bit suspicious and seemed to have a reason to hide the signs and a means of disposal. Props to you though' date=' as your suggestion is most likely the correct one.[/quote']

 

I thought about the guy with the van too, but have concluded it was nothing more than a red herring as there was no other back up info or clues.

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Mrs. Stearns took them. Who has a cheery fire going on a hot july day unless they are buring evidience of missing wooden signs.

 

Wow, that was very quick uaquin. It is true, there was no evidence that Paul used his truck to transport any signs. Freddie's tree house was made of much older, weather-beaten wood and he had an empty garage. Mrs. Sterns was the guilty party, she was burning the evidence in her fireplace on a warm day in July. Very good job guys, stay tuned, the next one will be up shortly.

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The sky was dark and cloudy as Sam and Gina left Carol Decker's car. They ran past the small artificial pond in Harborville Junior High's courtyard. Gina's science class had carefully arranged various colored rocks beneath the water, but nobody sat admiring the design today.

 

"What a gloomy afternoon!" Gina said as they ran up the steps.

 

Just as Sam flung open the front door, the rain poured down. "Lucky thing we didn't get caught in that," Gina said. "My hair looks like a scouring pad when it's wet."

 

Sam laughed. "You mean you don't have wash and wear hair?"

 

Before Gina could answer, loud voices echoed from the school media center, the only other room leading from the corridor. The two cousins hurried over and peered in.

Ms. Purdy, the school librarian, was glaring at three students.

 

"I know one of you took Charley," she said.

 

She glanced over and beckoned Gina and Sam inside. "Maybe you two can help. I left our school mascot on my desk when I went to the cafeteria to get coffee a few minutes ago. As I was walking back here, I saw these three students in the corridor outside my door. Charley Cheetah is gone."

 

"Well, I sure didn't take him," Jack Weins said. "And I had a good reason for being in the corridor." He pointed to the cast on his left arm. "My mom is taking me to the doctor today. I stepped outside, didn't see her car, but saw it was going to rain any minute. Ellen was on the steps, so we walked inside together. She'll tell you that. I don't have any reason for taking Charley Cheetah."

 

"Ha!" Bill Bateson blurted. "Maybe you're mad that you broke your arm and couldn't be on the team. Isn't that a good enough reason? And Ellen didn't make the cheerleading squad this year. Maybe she wanted to cause trouble because of that. But me-- I just came here to get a book. When I saw that Ms. Purdy wasn't in the room, I went out to the corridor to wait for her. I sure don't have any reason to-"

 

"Hey, you'd do just about anything to get a good story for the school paper," Ellen interrupted. "I was only in that corridor because I was coming back from lunch. And Jack saw me, just like he said. Bill might have taken Charley just so he could have a great headline: Charley Cheetah, School Mascot, Stolen from Media Center."

 

"And I'd like to know where he is," Ms. Purdy said.

 

"Sounds like nobody had much time alone," Gina said, gesturing to the three suspects. "Maybe someone here still has Charley Cheetah right now. After all, he's just an eight inch iron figurine."

 

"You think it's in my purse?" Ellen angrily demanded. "Take a look."

 

She dumped the contents on the desk. Only the usual things tumbled out. Gina reached for her hand to calm her and felt the soaking wet cuff of her sleeve.

 

"Well, it sure isn't in my book bag!" Bill declared, turning his canvas bag upside down. Gina noticed he had a school yearbook and two candy bars.

 

"And where would I hide it?" Jack asked.

Sam stepped closer and Gina noticed Jack cringe. "Just how loose is that cast?" Sam asked. "Charley Cheetah isn't very big. Could you have-"

 

Jack laughed. "You can bet my cast isn't that loose! He moved his arm closer, and Gina saw that the plaster was peeling away from the edges.

 

Sam glanced at Gina. "Could someone else have been in here and----"

 

"No." Gina shook her head. "One of these three took Charley. And I think I know who it was. And I think I know where Charley is right now."

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Yeah' date=' I was thinking Harvey put them on the dead dude to be retrieved when he buried him.

 

But that's boring.

 

It would be better if Gina was setting up Sam.

 

She noticed the dimes not quite tucked enough under the pillow when she first looked in the casket... and palmed them.

 

Then she planted one dime on Sam and hid the other one for herself in the darkened room.

 

Her scheme was to turn in Sam, because she knew if he was caught with one no one would believe he didn't take both. And she was amused by the idea they would probably think he swallowed it so they would be doing all sorts of nasty stuff to him in order to retrieve it to no avail, and just figure they failed to get it out of his system before it got flushed into the sewer.

 

Then sneaky Gina could go back to the mansion any time and retrieve the one she hid for herself. And the reason is she never did want to go to college, she wanted a modeling career but her parents said no she had to go to college. They were always telling her what to do and she couldn't stand it. Her plan was to hock the dime and use the cash to go to Paris to be a model. Yeah, good luck with that, but that was her motive. And she never did like Sam much anyway.[/quote']

 

awesome! great post.

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I believe this time that it is Ellen. Her sleeve cuffs are wet. To me, it sounds like she took the figurine and placed it in the pond. It was a cloudy and gloomy day, so there would have been no sun to reflect a glare off the iron figurine. She could have hidden it under the colored rocks. No one had been out there all day so nobody would be there to find it.

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I believe this time that it is Ellen. Her sleeve cuffs are wet. To me' date=' it sounds like she took the figurine and placed it in the pond. It was a cloudy and gloomy day, so there would have been no sun to reflect a glare off the iron figurine. She could have hidden it under the colored rocks. No one had been out there all day so nobody would be there to find it.[/quote']

 

Correct, and for those reasons. Nice job.

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It was summer, and Jake decided to install a large in-ground swimming pool in his back yard. He'd been living next door to a giant recreation center for years, that had an olympic-sized pool, as well as a year-round skating rink and bowling alley, but he was tired of paying $10 every time he wanted to go swimming. He wanted his own pool!

 

Jake ordered a huge outdoor pool, and hired hired a neighbour with a backhoe to help, and after a few days, there was a gigantic rectangular hole ten feet deep in his yard. All that was needed was the pool.

 

The pool, a huge one-piece tank constructed of reinforced fibreglass and steel, arrived the next day on the back of a flatbed truck. The backhoe operator attached some chains, and lifted the pool off the truck and onto the ground. He said he'd be back the next day to help lower it into the hole ... a tricky operation requiring some skill, since the pool had to be lowered slowly straight down, or it would get hung up on the sides of the hole. It was going to be a tight fit.

 

Unfortunately, when the next day arrived, the backhoe operator called to say that his machine was having engine problems, and would be out of service for a week. He offered to show up with a small bulldozer instead, to help install the pool.

 

But when he arrived, Jake immediately knew there would be a problem. The bulldozer had a flat blade that could push the pool, but couldn't lift it. Jake realized that just pushing the pool over the hole would cause it to fall forward, rather than straight down, and it would hang up. The neighbour agreed.

 

After a few phonecalls, it was determined that there was no suitable piece of machinery anywhere in town that could lift the pool. Jake was stuck.

 

But then he had a brilliant idea. It cost him some money, but within a day or two, his pool had been gently lowered into the hole, and was ready to fill with water!

 

How did he do it? Other than his own pickup truck and the bulldozer, he used no special equipment. Can you figure out how Jake solved his problem?

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This doesnt make too much sense, and I doubt its even close, but here I go.

 

Some how he tied the pool off to the truck on one end, and the bulldoser on the other.

 

The truck pulled the pool until it was half over the hole. Then, the person in the bulldoser started to pull the other way, with the truck going just a bit harder, so as the pool went over the hole, it was suspended in the air. Think about holding one ends of a necklace, the charm falls off the other end. If you hold both ends, the charm stays in the middle, suspended.

 

Then they both slowly back up, and the pool lowers into the hole.

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i'm a go with this. jake fills the hole with water all the way to the top. he then uses the bulldozer to push the pool on to the water. the pool being made of fiberglass will float. after a few days the water will soak away and the pool will be set in place.

 

that's how i would've done it.

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i'm a go with this. jake fills the hole with water all the way to the top. he then uses the bulldozer to push the pool on to the water. the pool being made of fiberglass will float. after a few days the water will soak away and the pool will be set in place.

 

that's how i would've done it.

 

Your guess is very, very close.

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uhh......he use the pickup to pull and the bulldozer to push. other than that i have no idea.

 

You were closer based upon your original guess. Let's see if someone else can get it. There is a definite clue in the story given about an additional material used in the solution.

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