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Wikipedia Reveals Secret of 'The Mousetrap'

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the take-that-wikileaks dept.

The Media 244

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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244 comments

Ha ha! (4, Funny)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434128)

Now the mystery is solved. It was Agatha Christie that accused Julian Assange of rape!

Re:Ha ha! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434158)

Now that Julian has revealed his secret weapon nobody will go up against wikileaks.

Apart from pretty girls of course.

YO !! DUMFUK !! ITS 'PEDIA NOT 'LEAKS!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434222)

Wanker !!

Spoiler Alert (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434142)

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

Because David Gerard Removed It (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434232)

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] .

And He's On Slashdot Too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434288)

Addendum: He appears to have an account on Slashdot [slashdot.org] if he wishes to defend this edit.

Re:And He's On Slashdot Too (1, Offtopic)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434522)

Be careful.

He might accuse you of being "Enviroknot."

Delusional corrupt dickwad that he is...

Re:Because David Gerard Removed It (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Because David Gerard Removed It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434576)

No mention of David Gerard is complete without the ED page about him:

http://encyclopediadramatica.com/David_Gerard

Damn, that guy should have played Dracula.

Re:Because David Gerard Removed It (4, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Spoiler Alert (3, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Deletion discussions are not votes (1)

axl917 (1542205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434438)

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.

Re:Spoiler Alert (4, Insightful)

Deag (250823) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Spoiler Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434762)

And that's exactly how it should be. If the article didn't include the important relevant details it wouldn't be a comprehensive article on the subject, and would be less useful as a reference source. One should assume that all fiction articles contain spoilers and not read the article if one hasn't read or seen the fiction or performance and doesn't want it to be spoiled. Since all fiction articles should contain spoilers, there should be no spoiler warnings. Now lots of articles on fiction go way too far and include way too many useless details, but that's a whole other issue.

Re:Spoiler Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434718)

The flaw with democracy is that it relies on everyone being equal, informed, and incapable of being controlled by the media. If Wikipedia were run as a democracy, it would probably resemble Conservapedia. Attempts to neutrally rewrite the Britney Spears page would result in 30,000 opposing comments by the "BFF BRITNEY COALITION."

I tried that once and lost (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434330)

The Wikipedia article on Cristie herself includes a big spoiler as to the ultimate fate of one of her major characters. A long time ago I tried to give that spoiler protection, considering that someone looking at that article wouldn't necessarily think that it would contain plot spoilers for Christie's works. I was overruled by edit war (well, I didn't really fight that hard, so you can't really call it an edit war).

Ironically, now I tend to use Wikipedia to read up on current media, including spoilers. It's a way to prevent wasting my time and money on commercial entertainment while still trying to maintain some connection with current popular culture.

Re:I tried that once and lost (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434350)

It's a way to prevent wasting my time and money on commercial entertainment while still trying to maintain some connection with current popular culture.

Obviously not that good or you wouldn't be on slashdot!

Re:Spoiler Alert (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434358)

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:Spoiler Alert (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434548)

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)

Re:Spoiler Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434656)

(it was Colonel Mustard, in the family room, with the morningstar)

Dang, and I thought it was with a thermal detonator.

Re:Spoiler Alert (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434722)

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!

Re:Spoiler Alert (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434764)

Mod that spoiling asshole down. To oblivion.

(Unless he's lying)

Wouldn't use Spoiler Alert on wikipedia (1)

beh (4759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434650)

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 (spoilers)". A tad more effort to edit the page to make sure the first one doesn't contain spoilers, but it DOES allow for people to search through the page as they see fit without accidentally hitting on any spoilers. And if someone WANTS the spoilers, just click on the link and all is revealed.

Seriously, only use a separation with "SPOILER ALERT" if you are absolutely sure, the page is read sequentially with no jumping around.

Simple (5, Insightful)

bjoast (1310293) | more than 3 years ago | (#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 *spoiler alert* (-1, Flamebait)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434192)

Sure, but you know some moron will go stand outside the theater with a "Sergeant Trotter did it" T-shirt.

Re:Simple *spoiler alert* (1)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434236)

Perfect case in point there, cheers for spoiling it for everyone else. Either that was some damn impressive meta-commentary about the incredible difficulty of avoiding spoilers, especially when someone takes a special joy in ruining a surprise, or....well we all know what the alternative is.

Psssst... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434272)

(The Fifth Element is Love, Snape kills Dumbledore, and Bruce Willis was dead the whole time.)

Re:Psssst... (3, Funny)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434470)

Bullshit! If he was dead the whole time, how did he defeat Professor Snape Gruber and henchman Karl Godunov at the end, before the big finale when the entire top of the building exploded?

          -dZ.

Re:Psssst... (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434498)

You forget that the space travelers' names were Adam and Eve, Darth Vader was Luke's father, Sephiroth kills Aries, Soylent Green is people, the guy had already caught the killer and just forgotten about it, and Snape was a good guy the whole time. God, I hope I didn't spoil Memento for anyone.

Re:Psssst... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434712)

That chick in The Crying Game is a dude.

Re:Simple *spoiler alert* (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434670)

No, perfect case in point. If you go read something that is CLEARLY marked with *spoiler alert* and then go complain that it spoilt something.

Just like the GP said, if you don't want to know the plot ahead of time, don't read the plot section on Wikipedia! And don't read things marked as spoiler.

Re:Simple (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Simple (2, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434540)

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 them.

Re:Simple (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434450)

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).

Re:Simple (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434490)

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 2010.

Spoiler alert: here's the entire story of A Tale of Two Cities in 3 short chapters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities [wikipedia.org]
Spoiler alert: here's the entire story of the Lord of the Rings in 10 short paragraphs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings#Synopsis [wikipedia.org]
Etc., etc.

Re:Simple (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434748)

Well, if you want to keep tension, then just remember that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time, and information found there can always be inaccurate. Maybe just before you looked, someone modified the ending because he saw the play, was on the wrong track up until the end, and wanted at least to have been right according to Wikipedia.

(Not so) simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434596)

Right. That's why the article on Christie herself contains spoilers connected with the ultimate fates of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.

I still haven't managed to twist my mind around the logic of not having/using a spoiler prevention mechanism in Wikipedia (e.g., the German edition) because such mechanisms don't exist in dead-tree encyclopedias.

On Anthropomorphizing a Diverse Website (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434154)

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.

Re:On Anthropomorphizing a Diverse Website (0, Offtopic)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434456)

Go any buy the book, or borrow it from a library ...it's been in print for 56 years now

The play supposedly hinges on the twist ending which reveals the murderer and it probably is a surprise to most people who do not know the ending, but how many people who want to go and see it would read the complete Wikipedia entry first and then would be surprised that the most important plot point was revealed?

Btw Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker, Dr. Malcolm Crowe is a ghost, Kane's Rosebud was his sled, Godot never shows up

Quit yer damn whinning (4, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Quit yer damn whinning (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434188)

Aerith dies!

Re:Quit yer damn whinning (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434696)

You're too late --- ironically, this is disclosed in the header of the Wikipedia article on the character.

Re:Quit yer damn whinning (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434228)

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.

Re:Quit yer damn whinning (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434390)

The famous oral contract at the end of "The Mousetrap" encourages you to talk about the play, but asks that you don't reveal the killer. Assuming you have enough skill to talk about the play, you probably can avoid outing the killer.

Re:Quit yer damn whinning (1)

altinos.com (919185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434410)

So if I've never seen the play, and I go to the library and read the end of the book, then go tell people, I am not bound to that oral contract.

Re:Quit yer damn whinning (0, Offtopic)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434760)

Darth Vader is Luke's father.

Frodo throws the ring in the volcano.

The guys in Brokeback Mountain are gay.

Jake's mind is transfered to a Na'vi's body.

Neo is "The One".

William Wallace dies.

Norman Bates is his mother.

Rambo kills everyone within 4 city blocks.

Princess Fiona turns into an ogre.

That should do it.

Boundless technology... (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434180)

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

Re:Boundless technology... (5, Informative)

Tar-Alcarin (1325441) | more than 3 years ago | (#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]

Er, that isn't an article, genius (0, Troll)

axl917 (1542205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434458)

Anything prefaced by "Wikipedia:" like that is an internal policy or guideline, not an encyclopedia article.

Re:Er, that isn't an article, genius (1)

Tar-Alcarin (1325441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434632)

Pardon me for choosing the wrong word to describe that webpage, but what is the practical difference in regard to my original point?

Re:Boundless technology... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434256)

They had spoiler tags. Then a bunch of powertripping admins rammed through a proposal to remove them and deleted all of them from the site.

Re:Boundless technology... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434264)

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.

Let's get this out of the way (1)

gridzilla (778890) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434198)

Re:Let's get this out of the way (0, Troll)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434224)

Yep, and in case Wikipedia removes it:

In a twist ending, it is revealed that the murderer is Sergeant Trotter, who is not a policeman at all but an insane killer seeking to avenge his brother's death;[9][10] that Miss Casewell is actually his sister who came looking for him; that Mollie Ralston taught the children as students when she was a teacher; and that Major Metcalf is, in fact, an undercover police detective, looking for the murderer.

:-D

Re:Let's get this out of the way (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434326)

And Ms. Potter, the local school marm, was in fact a bowl of jello pudding.

Re:Let's get this out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434586)

Yeah, I figured it out five minutes in. Next.

Re:Let's get this out of the way (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434480)

I don't have to read that, I know it already. Even if I don't know a clue about what the story is like, I've worked it out.

"The mousetrap" is the one story - the one story in the whole history of detective mysteries - where the butler actually did it. That's it. That's the big secret. That's why "the butler did it" became the classic meme that it is.

Clearly, my explanation is perfect, so don't come along spoiling it with actual facts from the story like whether there is a butler in it.

Re:Let's get this out of the way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434624)

"In a twist ending, it is revealed that the murderer is Sergeant Trotter, who is not a policeman at all but an insane killer seeking to avenge his brother's death;[9][10] that Miss Casewell is actually his sister who came looking for him; that Mollie Ralston taught the children as students when she was a teacher; and that Major Metcalf is, in fact, an undercover police detective, looking for the murderer.[8]"

Sheesh, and I thought Hollywood film plots were far fetched, and that insane killers disguised as policemen seeking to avenge their brother's death were limited to films with people like Bruce Willis in them.

Really, and the people who watch these kinds of plays often criticise modern action films for having bad plots?

Sergeant Trotter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434238)

So sue me.

The secret of "The Mousetrap" (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#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!

Re:The secret of "The Mousetrap" (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434270)

Did you seriously remember the commercial jingle for that game, or did you have to look it up? Either way, well played, sir.

Wikipedia publishes spoilers all the time (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434250)

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 that. 100 years from now, when the play is no longer running, the public and researchers will still want to know all about the plot of the story, even if they never actually can go to a play or read the book.

Simple difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434262)

The difference as usual is in the details. The wikipedia entery should be expected to reveal all of the possible details. However, the wikipedia entry should also make it clear that it is doing so beforehand.

Bring back ROT13, problem solved.

Wikipedia has many secrets to reveal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434268)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeris_dies

Hell yeah, Agatha Christie! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434294)

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.

Re:Hell yeah, Agatha Christie! (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434426)

she really was an immensely talented writer and storyteller.

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

So does this killer get added to the Meme? (3, Funny)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434304)

Snape kills Dumbledore.

Re:So does this killer get added to the Meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434618)

Damn you! I haven't seen the final part of LOTR!
Oh, wait...

Re:So does this killer get added to the Meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434642)

http://newstechnica.com/2010/08/30/wikileaks-reveals-that-snape-killed-dumbledore/

Can the Wikipedia really be unrepentant? (1)

peterwayner (266189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434316)

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 converging on a particular choice of words.

'Mousetrap' rights just released in AU (1)

samoht (101985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434364)

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 it's hardly surprising they're upset at finding out it's on Wikipedia.

But I guess Australians will no longer have to travel to London or Wikipedia to find out the ending...

Unfortunate (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434372)

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:Unfortunate (2, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434444)

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*.

Secret? (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434428)

So, till now, nobody except those who did watch the play/read the book had a way to discover who was the killer? Really?

Doesn't matter anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434442)

because the ending is probably utterly stupid. After reading many crime novels, I've come to the conclusion
that:
--writers first write the novel without knowing who is the criminal.
--then they take a dice and use it to decide who is the criminal.
--make up a convoluted explanation to justify their choice
--backtrack to add two or three clue sentences in the book so they can say:
"it wasn't completely random since it was foreshadowed".
--laugh at the readers who think: "oh what a smart writer"

i hate spoilers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434464)

Snape kills Dumbledorf

Quick, edit the Empire Strikes Back article! (1)

axl917 (1542205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434474)

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

Re:Quick, edit the Empire Strikes Back article! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434646)

Vader: "... and the empire will be defeated by EWOKS!"

Luke: "That's... very unlikely!"

Predicable Outcome *No Spoilers* (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33434528)

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.

I don't see what the big deal is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434716)

Sergeant Trotter did it.

Tradition be damned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33434734)

By tradition, at the end of each performance, audiences are asked not to reveal the identity of the killer to anyone outside the theatre, to ensure that the end of the play is not spoiled for future audiences. The murderer's identity is revealed towards the end of the play, when Sergeant Trotter assembles everyone in the dining room with the plan to set a trap for one of the suspects. In a twist ending, it is revealed that the murderer is Sergeant Trotter, who is not a policeman at all but an insane killer seeking to avenge his brother's death;[9][10] that Miss Casewell is actually his sister who came looking for him; that Mollie Ralston taught the children as students when she was a teacher; and that Major Metcalf is, in fact, an undercover police detective, looking for the murderer.

Also, Bruce Willis is a ghost, and Kevin Spacey is Kaiser Soze.

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