1.75. A rope breaks. A bell rings. A man dies.

1.75 answer: A blind man enjoys walking near a cliff, and uses the sound
of a buoy to gauge his distance from the edge. One day the buoy’s anchor
rope breaks, allowing the buoy to drift away from the shore, and the man
walks over the edge of the cliff.

1.75a. Variant: A bell rings. A man dies. A bell rings.

1.75a answer: A blind swimmer sets an alarm clock to tell him when and
what direction to go to shore. The first bell is a buoy, which he
mistakenly swims to, getting tired and drowning. Then the alarm clock goes
off. In other variations, the first bell is a ship’s bell, and/or the
second bell is a hand-bell rung by a friend on shore at a pre-arranged

1.75a variant answer: The man falls off a belltower, pulling the
bell-cord (perhaps he was climbing a steeple while hanging onto the rope),
and dies. The second bell is one rung at his funeral. Could also be a
variant on #1.75 (as suggested by Mike Neergaard): the bell-cord breaks when
he falls (and there’s no second bell involved).

1.75a variant answer: The man is a boxer. The first bell signals the
start of a round; the second is either the end of the round or a funeral
bell after he dies during the match. Could also be a variant on #1.75 (as
suggested by Mike Neergaard): a boxing match in which the top rope breaks,
tumbling a boxer to the floor (and he dies of a concussion).

1.75b. Variant: The wind stopped blowing and the man died.

1.75b answer: The sole survivor of a shipwreck reached a desert isle.
Unfortunately, he was blind. Luckily, there was a freshwater spring on the
island, and he rigged the ship’s bell (which had drifted to the island also)
at the spring’s location. The bell rang in the wind, directing him to
water. When he was becalmed for a week, he could not find water again, and
so he died of thirst. (from Peter R. Olpe)

1.75c. Variant: The music stopped and the man died.

1.75c answer: Same as #1.75a, but the blind swimmer kept a portable
transistor radio on the beach instead of a bell. When the batteries gave
out, he got lost and drowned. (from Joe Kincaid) (See also #1.31a, #1.59,
and #1.70a.)

1.75d. Variant: A rope breaks. A bell rings. A boy dies. (WW)

1.75d answer: This allows red herrings involving the homonyms “boy” and
“buoy” (in some pronunciations). Only use this wording if you want to
intentionally confuse your audience.