Humphrey Dudley

The Conundrum Variations

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The Conundrum Variations

The latest work by that famed American composer Mary Thorne had its world premiere at Carnegie Hall last night, and music critics have fallen all over themselves praising it. The work, called "The Conundrum Variations," is a set of variations (numbered 1 to 14) on a musical theme. Each variation is actually a clever musical portrait of one of Mrs. Thorne's celebrity friends (whose names are Alice, Bartholomew, Carlo, Dwayne, Evelyn, Fortescue, Gabriel, Hortense, Irv, Jacques, Kitty, Lewis, Monty, and Norina). Ms. Thorne knows well the publicity value of a good mystery, and so instead of flatly telling who is the subject of each variation, she has cryptically named each variation after an animal that she feels best embodies that person. The variations, then, are named "Antelope," "Basset," "Crab," "Duck," "Eagle," "Fawn," "Gazelle," " Horse," "Ibex," "Jaguar," "Koala," "Lemming," "Mockingbird," and "Nightingale." And indeed, Ms. Thorne's ruse has succeeded, for the critics have been so happily involved in guessing who is who that they have not even scolded her for stealing the whole idea from a rather more famous musical work by Elgar. Can you match each of the 14 variations with its animal title and the name of its true subject?

  1. Dwayne's and Irv's variations do not appear consecutively, in either order, in the work.
  2. The playful "Koala" variation in D major occurs sometime after the "Gazelle" variation.
  3. The sum of the three numbers of Carlo's poignant variation in B-flat minor, Evelyn's variation, and the "Crab" variation is 26.
  4. Lewis's variation occurs sometime after the "Horse," but sometime before Norin's variation.
  5. The "Antelope" immediately precedes the "Ibex."
  6. The "Mockingbird" is the second variation after the "Basset,' but the second variation before the "Fawn."
  7. The sum of the two numbers of Hortense's variation and the "Duck" is eight.
  8. The "Nightingale," the "Eagle," Gabriel's variation, and Irv's variation are four consecutive variations - but not in that order.
  9. The three numbers of the variation immediately after the "Jaguar," the variation immediately before Alice's, and the "Crab" variation are all divisible by four.
  10. Kitty's variation immediately follows the "Lemming"
  11. The sum of the two numbers of the frolicsome "Horse" variation in C major and Fortescue's variation is 24.
  12. Of the two numbers of Fortescue's and Jacques's variations, one is an exact multiple of the other.
  13. Bartholomew's variation is one of the next three variations after Monty's.
  14. The "Duck" variation is the second one after Jacques's variation.