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Wikipedia Reveals Secret of 'The Mousetrap' 244

Posted by timothy
from the take-that-wikileaks dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "CIOL reports that Wikipedia has revealed the secret of Agatha Christie's famous murder mystery 'The Mousetrap' by identifying the killer in the world's longest running play, now at over 24,000 performances ever since its maiden performance in 1952, despite protests from the author's family and petitions from fans who think the revelation is a spoiler. Angry at the revelation, Matthew Prichard, Christie's grandson, who describes the decision of Wikipedia as 'unfortunate,' says he will raise the matter with the play's producer, Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen. 'My grandmother always got upset if the plots of her books or plays were revealed in reviews — and I don't think this is any different. It's a pity if a publication, if I can call it that, potentially spoils enjoyment for people who go to see the play.' Unrepentant, Wikipedia justifies the decision to reveal the ending of the play. 'Our purpose is to collect and report notable knowledge. It's exceedingly easy to avoid knowing the identity of the murderer: just don't read it.'"
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Wikipedia Reveals Secret of 'The Mousetrap'

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  • Ha ha! (Score:4, Funny)

    by wjousts (1529427) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:23AM (#33434128)
    Now the mystery is solved. It was Agatha Christie that accused Julian Assange of rape!
  • Spoiler Alert (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:24AM (#33434142)

    Why don't they just edit it with "spoiler alert"

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:36AM (#33434232) Journal

      Why don't they just edit it with "spoiler alert"

      Originally it had this classification but it was edited out by David Gerard [wikipedia.org]. And I believe has not been added back since. If you don't know who David Gerard is, he has been very active in Wikipedia since early 2004 [wikipedia.org] and blogs frequently about it [davidgerard.co.uk].

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @08:05AM (#33434452)

        Yep. You're talking about the second most corrupt asshole in the whole Wikipedia hierarchy, second only to Jimbo himself.

        Then again, "corrupt" and "wikipedia admin" ought to be a combined entry in the thesaurus anyways.

        Revert David Gerard, and you're going to have yourself an instant life ban. Revert one of the people he protects, likewise. It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, have good reason, or even have the weight of "community consensus" behind you - he'll simply ban enough people, lie and claim "oh they were all sockpuppets", and there you go, poof, no more "consensus." He keeps a sitting list of people to accuse as sockpuppets that will get someone a "no questions asked" ban - look at the number of times his shitheaded tool followers accused people, with no evidence or reasons, of being "Enviroknot", or "Pigsonthewing", or any of a dozen other names.

        Take a good look at "Dreamguy", one of his followers with extreme ownership issues over anything "fantasy fiction." This asshat got into a tiff with someone and accused them of being "Enviroknot" a few years ago. Response from corrupt ass DG? "instant ban, no questions."

        He pioneered most of the tactics described in detail by former wikipedia admins [livejournal.com], he was the one who set up most of the Wikipedia "organize in private" setups (like the Durova List [theregister.co.uk]) that makes people think "cabal"... because, yes, if you didn't know, corrupt assholes like him actually DO organize behind the scenes, hold secret trials, and determine who to harass and attack.

        He's one of the worst abusers of the "don't bite the newbies", and according to many users, deliberately teaches many of the current worst wikipedia admins - the ones who "patrol", or Troll, the "request for unblock" template and attack, insult, and harangue any user they can find so they can claim "yay I banned someone." You know, people who do stuff like this [wikipedia.org], who post worthless "replies", leave insults, and generally know that because they are admins or have admin backing, they don't have to care at all about the rules.

        David Gerard isn't just a symptom of what's wrong with wikipedia. He's a walking example of the disease.

      • by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @08:22AM (#33434616)

        Regardless of the person who removed the spoiler template, this seems to be a fairly straightforward edit. His edit comment referred to the guideline on spoilers: "Wikipedia has previously included such warnings in some articles on works of fiction. Since it is generally expected that the subjects of our articles will be covered in detail, such warnings are considered unnecessary. Therefore, Wikipedia no longer carries spoiler warnings, except for the content disclaimer and section headings (such as "Plot" or "Ending") which imply the presence of spoilers."

        This is just a guideline, so it's not like it's totally set in stone, and I have no idea if the guideline is representative of the general opinion; however it seems fairly reasonable to me: you really would expect an encyclopedia article to contain spoilers in the plot summary, particularly since pretty much anything can be considered a spoiler (personally, I'm very picky about it). That said, I think the article summary, that is the introductory paragraph before the table of contents, should be free of significant spoilers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by penguinchris (1020961)

          If one casually reads Wikipedia and isn't familiar with it, they might assume they're not going to give away the ending. I know I was a bit surprised the first time I suddenly ruined the ending of a movie I was reading about on Wikipedia that I had planned to watch before realizing what I was reading.

          You're right that if there's a section titled "Ending" then it's clear you shouldn't read that if you don't want spoilers. However, in most cases there is not such a section. Plot summaries can be very short, a

          • by psm321 (450181)

            I don't care either way about spoiler tags, but I like seeing complete plots, including twists/endings. That's why I go to the Wikipedia article first instead of IMDB, because it is more likely to have the entire plot.

            • by fractoid (1076465)

              I don't care either way about spoiler tags, but I like seeing complete plots, including twists/endings. That's why I go to the Wikipedia article first instead of IMDB, because it is more likely to have the entire plot.

              Yeah, then I don't even need to watch the movie at all!

              I mean, each to their own and all, and if you like a detailed rundown so you know exactly what you're getting, I can understand that... but when I ask a friend about a movie (or look it up) I want the general gist of the movie (setting, genre, maybe some main plot elements) but I don't want them to tell me that he was a ghost all along, Snape kills Dumbledore, and the whole thing was a dream.

    • Re:Spoiler Alert (Score:4, Informative)

      by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:45AM (#33434314)
      The spoiler template was deleted, despite the discussion seeming to indicate that most people wanted to keep it [wikipedia.org]. Anyone who has used wikipedia for a while know its not a democracy.
      • Re:Spoiler Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:57AM (#33434402)

        Wikipedia is a MMO, with deletions being the #1 game objective.

      • The spoiler template was deleted, despite the discussion seeming to indicate that most people wanted to keep it [wikipedia.org]. Anyone who has used wikipedia for a while know its not a democracy.

        Articles, templates, whatever are kept or deleted based more on the strength of the argument rather than witless bean-counting. So no, it isn't a democracy, and that is a good thing.

        • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... minus physicist> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @08:41AM (#33434804) Homepage Journal

          Which usually means that the person with the largest cajoles is the one who prevails, or the one most well connected with the ArbCom so you don't have fear from wheel warring when mere edit wars aren't sufficient.

          While Wikipedia may not be a democracy, there still is the concept of consensus building. What is really bizarre about this particular AfD discussion (technicaly template deletion discussion.... but that is irrelevant) is that the admin/person responsible noted the extreme consensus to keep and even formally declared that the prevailing consensus was overwhelmingly to keep the template, yet it was still deleted anyway. This isn't even a strength of the argument issue, but simply somebody wielding authority arbitrarily and ignoring consensus and Wikipedia policies and traditions entirely. It also appears to be a forum shopping experience where the discussion was consistently raised over and over again until it was finally deleted.

          There is definitely somebody with an axe to grind with these discussion.

      • Re:Spoiler Alert (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Deag (250823) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @08:17AM (#33434568)

        I agree, I do think that the spoiler issue in Wikipedia betrays the group think that goes on there sometimes placing ideology over pragmatism. It wouldn't hurt them to include spoiler warnings and it certainly lessens for me the utility of it. I simply do not read articles in Wikipedia on any works of fiction that I may want to read in the future for this reason. You can't even read the introduction.

      • There were apparently a number of deletion discussions on that template. The one you linked to was completely in favour of keeping it and actually resulted in a speedy keep. Much of the discussion apparently happened in several other places. This appears to be the TfD that deleted the template: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2007_November_8#Template:Spoiler [wikipedia.org]

        • by nelsonal (549144)
          Looks like a case of tyranny of the majority to me. It appears from the discussion that there were a few people who placed very high value on not having spoilers easily accessable in wikipedia while most didn't like how they looked (or more importantly didn't like that they were a reminder that wikipedia is most useful on subjects of media rather than a trusted encyclopedia).
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mysidia (191772)

      It looks like there were several attempts to put up a spoiler alert, and collapse text revealing the identity of the murderer, or there was one originally, but the spoiler alert was repeatedly removed by other editors.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Why don't they just edit it with "spoiler alert"

      Do they really have to? If you look up "The Mousetrap" at Wikipedia, do you really not expect to see a synopsis of the story?

      Next up: Lawsuits against Cliff's Notes for revealing how books turn out..

      Anyway, any mystery fan should be able to see the big "secret ending" of The Mousetrap coming from about a mile away (it was Colonel Mustard, in the family room, with the morningstar)

      • it was Colonel Mustard, in the family room, with the morningstar

        The jig is up. We never said anything about a morningstar. Only the true killer would have known that!
    • wikipedia's articles also tend to get searched - not everyone just reads them top to bottom. If I would want to know, about a specific person in the book, I might just search on the page. If the character in question is the culprit, then the search might take me straight past the 'SPOILER ALERT' note without me seeing it.

      What I would suggest in such cases, is to have one page: "The Mousetrap", and on that page, in a section "spoilers" (or whatever you might want to call it) link a second page "The Mousetrap

  • Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bjoast (1310293) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:25AM (#33434152)
    People should know by now that if you don't want to have the ending spoiled for you, don't read the plot section. It's not a review. It's an encyclopedic article.
    • Re:Simple (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:45AM (#33434312)

      People should know by now that if you don't want to have the ending spoiled for you, don't read the plot section. It's not a review. It's an encyclopedic article.

      Except that if you ever went to the Mousetrap, you would know that it's an incredibly well written, tight play. Without the spoiler, I would venture to guess that despite being given all the clues, around 80% of the audience would fall to one of the many misdirections and identify the wrong actor as the killer. Considering that there are multiple murders performed, meaning multiple times to revise you best guess, you would think that you could narrow things down more efficiently.

      Agatha Christie herself would ask the audience to talk freely about the play but not reveal the killer, that future audiences could enjoy it equally as they did. While some tool on Wikipedia is thumping his chest about cataloguing information, it is in incredibly poor taste. A tradition has evolved around both not revealing the murderer and informing the audience of Agatha's wishes to keep the murderer secret. This tradition has stood the test of time for more than half a century, and humanity hasn't suffered. Knowing "who did it" in a "who done it" really does ruin the experience, just look at the namesake "The Mousetrap" movie. Despite being a better than average film, it did poorly in the box office in part to a movie critic revealing the killer.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AvitarX (172628)

        And since the spoilers can easily be hidden, only to be revealed by a user interaction (such as a click) there is no reason to not do such. Wikipedia has advantages over a printed publication, and should take advantage of that. Just as the crowd sourcing is taken advantage of.

        With proper tagging of the spoiler, it could be up to a printer how it would be peinted, and they could require extra effort for web readers as they wanted. I think that's kind of the point of separating display from content.

        Shame on t

        • And since the spoilers can easily be hidden, only to be revealed by a user interaction (such as a click) there is no reason to not do such. Wikipedia has advantages over a printed publication, and should take advantage of that. Just as the crowd sourcing is taken advantage of.

          So should we put the ending of WWII into a "spoilers" section also? I would say that if you're not interested in knowing the ending, don't read a Wikipedia entry about that topic. I don't see why Wikipedia has to play along with AC'
        • by kestasjk (933987) *
          There is the difficulty of keeping the spoilers out of search engines, using JavaScript to reveal the spoilers in a way that is universally compatible with all media Wikipedia is read on (including Kindles and OLPCs), and not requiring large changes to Wikipedia's caching engines (which a search-engine safe spoiler-protector may well require, without some sort of decryption etc).

          I can see valid arguments both ways really; sometimes I want to find out about a work of fiction and just want to know what it
          • by digitig (1056110)

            There is the difficulty of keeping the spoilers out of search engines, using JavaScript to reveal the spoilers in a way that is universally compatible with all media

            I thought javascript always broke accessibility for visually impaired users. Is that fixed now, or by "all media" did you mean all media that you use?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mike2R (721965)

        While some tool on Wikipedia is thumping his chest about cataloguing information, it is in incredibly poor taste. A tradition has evolved around both not revealing the murderer and informing the audience of Agatha's wishes to keep the murderer secret.

        Wikipedia is at least consistent with its approach to fiction: they do this with everything. I don't know that this is necessarily a bad thing, it isn't a review, it is a plot summary in an encyclopedia. As long as you know they do this, you know not to read

      • Perhaps, but given that I've had 50 years to see it if I wanted to do so without spoilers, I think the statute of limitations on this one has run out. See also: the identity of Rosebud. I haven't seen Moustrap, but Citizen Kane is a fine movie even knowing the ending. If Agatha Christie can't write that well, maybe it's not as big a deal as people are making it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Myopic (18616)

        Without taking a stand on whether it is right or wrong to reveal the ending, I want to make the point that Agatha Christie's wishes are completely irrelevant to the discussion. Authors do not have the prerogative to control the conversations about their works. Whether it is rude or not to reveal the ending is unrelated to the author's feelings on the matter.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      No kidding! Who do these people think they are, anyway? Thay act like they own the play, when they own nothing; just a "limited" time monopoly on its publication. And there's no way to keep anyone from writing about it. To Christie's heirs, I give a big FUCK YOU ASSHOLES.

      That's why when I reviewed Gran Torino [slashdot.org] when it first came out, I warned everybody not to read the wikipedia article (as if there's anybody here who wouldn't know better anyway).

    • People should know by now that if you don't want to have the ending spoiled for you, don't read the plot section. It's not a review. It's an encyclopedic article.

      The real question is: What stupid people start reading a summary of a story, continue to read it after they must have realized that it contains the storyline, read the ending, and then complain about it???

      Wikipedia and encyclopedias in general often (if not always) give away the ending... so... what are we discussing again, and why? Might as well complain that the sky is blue.
      If anything, the Agatha Christie community should just be offended that the website about this "famous" story was only completed in 2

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:26AM (#33434154) Journal

    Unrepetant (sic), Wikipedia justifies the decision to reveal the ending of the play. 'Our purpose is to collect and report notable knowledge. It's exceedingly easy to avoid knowing the identity of the murderer: just don't read it.'

    Wikipedia then coughed and got into its Bentley and instructed the driver to take it to the nearest pub where it drank profusely. Then it went home and beat its wife.

    Sound absurd? Because Wikipedia is such a diverse collection of individuals it's possible that all of the above is true.

    If you're interested in who made that original statement quoted in the article and summary, it appears to have been [wikipedia.org] a reader named CyclOpia [wikipedia.org] according to The Signpost [wikipedia.org]. And the full quote is cited as:

    "Our purpose is to collect and report notable knowledge. It's exceedingly easy to avoid knowing the identity of the murderer: just don't read it. Asking Wikipedia not to reveal the identity of the murderer is like asking a library to remove copies of The Mousetrap book from shelves because someone could just go and read the end."

    Whether or not you agree with that analogy, it's difficult to find who wrote it and when officially. And even then you're dealing with a pseudonym. Does anyone know what current administrators think? If not, the best you can do is read the policy on spoilers [wikipedia.org]. If you're quoting users, the Signpost offers a totally different view from "Wikipedia":

    I would argue that, however trivial it may appear, the revelation of the ending breaches an oral contract between the actors and the audience. Such is the fame of the secrecy that an audience member cannot reasonably attend without knowing their role to play in guarding it, and thus an oral contract, implied in fact, has taken place. Given the importance of Wikipedia on the internet, I believe that they have a duty to protect this contract, as its breach is completely disrespectful of an old and well-kept tradition.

  • by Stumbles (602007) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:27AM (#33434168)
    Gesh so now we can't even talk about stuff cause we "might spoil" it for another. Get over it. Grandma and you have made your money so hush.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by causality (777677)

      Gesh so now we can't even talk about stuff cause we "might spoil" it for another. Get over it. Grandma and you have made your money so hush.

      A lot of people really hate free choice because then somebody else might use something in a way they don't approve of. The fact that it doesn't deprive anyone else of making the same choice isn't good enough for them. This is a microcosm. The macrocosm is all of the bad laws we have attempting to regulate what consenting adults may or may not do. It's busybody Puritanism at its finest.

      • by abigsmurf (919188)
        The problem with spoilers is that you don't often get a choice.

        If you search for a movie to see if it's any good and the top result has Snape is Keyser Söze's ghost in the description, you've no chance of avoiding it.

        You can't choose to avoid a spoiler because you don't know what's a spoiler until your mind processes it and it's incredibly hard to stop yourself automatically reading words presented to you. Case in point, I doubt the first sentence in this post was where your eyes were drawn to fi
      • by kestasjk (933987) *
        Taking it to the other extreme if you stood outside the entrance to a theatre as viewers were walking in, holding a big sign with the details of the killer written on it, that would worsen the effects of the production against the will of the people about to view it.

        There is a gray area (as there always is), it's not black and white. (And I'm making no comment about my views on spoilers in Wikipedia, just that to say you can't dismiss it without considering the specific case.)
        • by digitig (1056110)

          Taking it to the other extreme if you stood outside the entrance to a theatre as viewers were walking in, holding a big sign with the details of the killer written on it, that would worsen the effects of the production against the will of the people about to view it.

          "The killer"? What, somebody gets killed in the play? Aww, you've spoiled the surprise for me now.

  • ...and Wikipedia can't come up with 'spoiler tags'. We really haven't gotten anywhere.

    • by Tar-Alcarin (1325441) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:35AM (#33434226)

      Not only is Wikipedia aware of the concept, but they have an article devoted to why they're no longer using them [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think they used to have spoiler tags. See WP:SPOILER [wikipedia.org]. It appears that the group consensus among Wikipedia editors was that if they were to use spoiler tags then they wouldn't be such huge fuckheads so of course they decided against using spoiler tags.

    • ...and Wikipedia can't come up with 'spoiler tags'. We really haven't gotten anywhere.

      Wikipedia had spoiler tags, but decided to deprecate them -- as has been amply pointed out by other editors. Seriously, is it too much to ask for people to realize that an article section titled 'plot' will actually discuss the plot?

      Clearly they're doing it just because they're dicks, as everyone knows that all other encyclopedias, serious literary reference works, and scholarly publications are very careful to wrap any discussion of plot details in spoiler tags.

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:36AM (#33434240)

    ... goes as follows:

    You turn the crank that turns the gears, it turns the lever that swings the boot, it kicks the bucket and drops the ball, it rolls down the stairs and down the slide, it hits the pole and pushes the hand and knocks the marble down the chute, into the bathtub and down the hole, onto the seesaw launching the man, THE TRAP IS SET HERE COMES THE NET!

  • Why is it news that one particular play has a key fact about the plot published?

    Maybe it was cruel of WP editors to remove the spoiler warning/spoiler box, and expand that into the article. But that's just the sort of stuff that happens on WP, you can't rely on having a warning.

    If you are thinking of watching a play or reading a book, you should watch the play or read the book before you read a plot summary about it.

    People research works of literature without reading them or watching the play, imagine

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by David Gerard (12369)

      Because the Independent had space to fill, and it's August. Hence claiming that anonymous IPs on a talk page are "approved Wikipedia committee members," something that doesn't exist, and calling up Matthew Prichard to try to pump up the story. Another 500 words down.

  • The Mousetrap was story that introduced me to Agatha Christie...she really was an immensely talented writer and storyteller. My grandmother collected her books for years, and happened to come upon a hardback set that included every book she ever released. It's modeled after the older-style hardbacks, and is absolutely gorgeous.

    • she really was an immensely talented writer and storyteller.

      You got that right. Although "The Big Four" is a little unfortunate.

  • Waldo?

  • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:43AM (#33434304)
    Snape kills Dumbledore.
  • Unrepetant, Wikipedia justifies the decision to reveal the ending of the play.

    It's bad enough when a corporation tries to pretend it is one person with one consistent opinion, but can the Wikipedia even be said to have a single, consistent opinion? Yes, the edit wars usually end when one party gets tired and they find a way to convey both sides of the matter, but that's not what's going on here. The information is either revealed or its not. There's no compromise and compromise is an integral part of con

  • I think the solution has been on Wikipedia for some time - it's presumably why the article is semi-protected from edits, and there's a lot of fierce talk on both sides on the discussion page.

    What is somewhat interesting is that after 60 years, the performance rights of 'Mousetrap' have only just been made available in Australia. Sydney's Genesian Theatre [genesiantheatre.com.au] will produce the Australian premiere of the play in 2011. The rights holders really have been very strict about keeping the secret for many years, so i
    • by digitig (1056110)

      The rights holders really have been very strict about keeping the secret for many years, so it's hardly surprising they're upset at finding out it's on Wikipedia.

      Really? I've seen a stand-up comic on British TV give away the ending with no warning. It's not that well-kept a secret. It's not as if it's the formula for cola [wikipedia.org].

  • Unfortunate (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:52AM (#33434372) Homepage

    It's sad that Wiki thinks it makes any difference to tell people the plot but it's not really that big a deal. In a month's time everyone will have forgotten anyway, and it only really affects you if you've been DYING to see that particular play.

    I love The Mousetrap. I try to take all my friends to it at least once. It's in the tiniest little theatre, hidden among dozens of huge monstrosities. The first time I tried to get there on my own, I spent an hour walking around asking in shops where the place was, despite having been there before - I eventually found out it was OPPOSITE the shop where I'd asked a store-owner and he'd said he'd never heard of it and didn't know where the theatre was. Considering it's the only play in that theatre, and the only theatre it's been in for the last few decades, and it does several showings every day, that was pretty impressive. It's very "old-fashioned" because it is the world's longest running play, mostly in that same theatre for the majority of that time: St. Martin's Theatre. It's a simple, fun thing to watch. It's a good, old-fashioned play. Not a spectacular, not a circus, not some pantomime or musical made famous because some actor from TV is in it, just a good, old-fashioned play in a theatre.

    The play actually includes a part at the end where the actors come together on stage, and ask you to "keep the secret of The Mousetrap in your hearts" now that you know it. In all the time I've spoken to people about it, nobody has ever told me the ending even when they knew I'd seen it myself.

    This *will* ruin things for some people - they'll go on Wiki to look up the play before they go to see it and, bam, the whole plot of the play is ruined. For them. It's inevitable that such people will want to spoil it for others but you can't avoid that. More fool them.

    And, although I always thought that the "murderer" was obvious from the outset, apparently that's not a majority view. I now use the play as a sort of test. I take friends to it, let them get to the interval and ask them if they know "whodunnit". Nobody that I've taken has yet managed to do that correctly - including scientists, a barrister, and research students. As far as I can tell, from all the friends I know that have seen the play, I'm the only one to have worked it out before the interval - and I didn't just guess.

    The Mousetrap is great. Cheap, basic, entertainment if you're ever in London. Just be sure to ask for directions, don't be looking for HUGE signposts showing the way, and don't expect some modern special-effects extravaganza.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stumbles (602007)
      Oh grow up.When people fret because the ending of a play was "made public" they need to stop fiddling with the lint in their belly button.And besides since when did Wikipedia become "authoritative"... may be they *got it wrong*.
  • So, till now, nobody except those who did watch the play/read the book had a way to discover who was the killer? Really?

  • Someone who hasn't seen it yet might find out who Luke's father is!

  • I've never seen the play nor plan to. So, I just read the Wikipedia article. The Wikipedia has a brief Synopsis of Act I & II and then a section titled 'Identity of the murderer'. My guess was correct after reading the breif synopsis. Really after the twist endings of The Usual Suspects, Palahnuik, and dare I say M. Night Shamwow, this is not a big shocker, and really it's very predicable.
    • by meloneg (101248)

      However, it seems that all of those instances are quite a bit newer than the subject.

      Criticize what you will, but put into historical context, Christie was a brilliant writer. And this isn't her only instance of a "surprise" twist at the end of a mystery plot. However, she's probably one of the earlier instances.

    • by Zironic (1112127)

      So after watching a lot of twists that are inspired by the Mousetrap you find the Mousetrap predictable? That's like the people that think LotR is generic because high fantasy is so common nowadays.

  • Many years ago, I was going to see the play "Wait Until Dark" (Marisa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino were in the play the time, neither of them very good, but that's besides the point).

    I mentioned to my Mom that I was going and she said "Oh, is that the one where he uses the light in the refrigerator at the end?"

    "Gee, thanks. I don't know. I've never seen it before."

    I spent the play looking at that damn refrigerator waiting for the spoiler.

    Anyway, someone going to see a murder mystery has no business researc

    • by dwye (1127395)

      > "Gee, thanks. I don't know. I've never seen it before."

      How did you pull that trick? The movie version (with Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, and Richard Crenna) used to be a staple of Saturday and Sunday afternoon TV filler movies. I probably saw it as often as I saw Where Eagles Dare, or Beastmaster, when *they* were beaten to death by TV, in their turns.

  • Our purpose is to collect and report notable knowledge

    Because no "true encyclopedia" would have articles on things that aren't notable, it stands to reason that anything that Wikipedia defines as notable must be so, because Wikipedia is a true encyclopedia.

  • So what?

    This is a typical Occidental biased article _and_ complaints. In classical Chinese police litterature, the suspect is revealed in the first pages, have they ever complained about that?

    Gee.

  • There's a really funny little essay by Umberto Eco on "How to Recognize a Porn Movie" in which he concludes that [spoiler alert!] if all you care about is the ending, not how the plot gets from the beginning to the end, then its pornographic. So if all Agatha Christie's fans care about is the money shot, well...

    Eco's essay is on Google Books (Google "Umberto Eco porn"; mercifully the book is so far the first hit). The essay's all there, except for the naughty bit at the end.

  • It is unreasonable to expect that any secret that is published will be kept a secret for any length of time. It is true that people had been remarkably good-natured about keeping the plot-twist of the Mousetrap to themselves. But had they gone the other way, Agatha Christie would have no grounds to complain. That is the nature of the beast: a secret that is told, is no longer a secret. I don't see why this would impact the arts. After all, people still read Shakespear even after knowing that Macbeth turns e

  • How many times have you been in this situation: many of your co-workers and friends have gone to see a movie and everyone seems to be chattering about it. You find yourself left out of lunch discussion or not getting jokes because your missed it. The problem is, the movie just doesn't sound interesting to you, or you don't have time, or you're waiting for the DVD release. Now replace "movie" with "video game" or "book" or maybe even "technical paper outside your area of expertise."

    Spoilers in Wikipedia

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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