# Calling Agatha Christie Puzzler

I don’t know anything about cricket, but baseball players are trained to catch with their non-dominant hand so they can throw with the dominant hand. That’s the solution.

The idea that you can determine handedness based on what side the stab wound was on is, however, bogus.

I don’t recall the show, but you can determine the dominate hand by looking at an object first with one eye and then the other.

You can also determine handedness by quickly clasping your hands, interlocking the fingers. Whichever thumb is underneath the other is the dominant side.

“I don’t recall the show, but you can determine the dominate hand by looking at an object first with one eye and then the other.”

It was last week’s show. Hope you were somewhere having fun while it was on!

Sounds like you’re trying to describe the standard test for the dominant eye.

“You can also determine handedness by quickly clasping your hands, interlocking the fingers. Whichever thumb is underneath the other is the dominant side.”

That’s apparently true (having only tested it on myself) but only if the person being tested doesn’t know about the test. Most people already know if they are left-handed or right-handed. A better test would be to ask for a signature.

That’s not true. I’ve read the results of several studies that show no significant correlation between handedness and hand clasping. No one’s really come up with a good explantion of why we prefer one thumb over the other.

This puzzler reminded me of an episode of the TV series “Get Smart” for those of you that are old enough to remember it.

The episode was part of season 1, and is called “School Days.” Maxwell Smart (played by Don Adams) goes under cover in their spy school to see if he can catch a KAOS infiltrator. Someone throws knives at him, then quickly runs. Judging by the angle the knives hit the wall (they missed him because he moved right when the knives were thrown), it was determined the knives were thrown by someone who was left handed. They narrowed it down to three suspects, later to all be proven innocent by school records and identifying marks / characteristics.

Smart says he’s entitled to one free guess, and guesses it’s Gainsboro, who’s visiting from Control’s London office. He states that a time bomb was set for an appropriate time when he was supposed to be in a meeting. Gainsboro asks if he’s accusing him on that flimsy evidence, and Max says he has more. He throws something at him, which he catches with his left hand. Max notices this, and states the first attempt on his life was by a left handed knife thrower, and also states he (Gainsboro) was the only one that knew his true identity. After Max reveals this, Gainsboro confesses.