UnNews:Mrs. DeWinter's first name discovered

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19 June 2009

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts - In a large research facility staffed with hundreds of English Literature professors, three Cray II supercomputers and Andrew Wiles, the search for the long unknown name of the second Mrs. DeWinter has finally come to an end.

For over fifty years, researchers have had only the scantiest clues to go on, in deciphering the greatest literary mystery since determining that the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" were not written by Homer...but by another Greek with the same name*.

Mrs. Danvers, housekeeper and Rebeccosexual, knew the first name of the second Mrs. DeWinter, but would not come out of hiding to tell it to the researchers.

Two clues were known to exist in the book "Rebecca" by Daphne DuMaurier, whose star was never named. In Chapter 3, page 20, she says, "but my name was on the envelope, spelt correctly, an unusual thing". And in Chapter 4, page 26, Maxim DeWinter told her, "you have a very lovely and unusual name".

Researchers had brought many tools to bear upon this problem. Asking the DeWinters flat out was not possible, as they have been in complete isolation since the destruction of their beloved Manderly. Mrs. Danvers has not been found, though authorities are still eagerly looking for her.

Colonel Julyan always refused to comment on what he characterized as a "still pending investigation". Mrs. Van Hopper was found in Miami Florida and asked the name of her one time 'friend of the bosom' and all around gofer. She looked immensely pained, as if the asking of it had shocked her and said, "I always just refered to her as 'girl', and she was flighty little thing. Still, she did well in hooking that DeWinter gentleman, didn't she? Hey! Isn't that Janet Reno?" and off she went, leaving researchers none the wiser.

But it was Andrew Wiles who set up the parameters of investigation that allowed the computers to narrow down the possibilities. Working night and day the computers who could each calculate the weight in grams of every star in the Known Universe each nano-second were finally able to eliminate all the names it could not be, and provide the final one.

Andrew Wiles had perhaps best been known for his solving of Fermat's Last Theorem, but as even he has acknowledged, this achievement easily surpasses that. "I have to say, I got tired of all that 'but could you fit it in to a margin' crap. But in the solving of this mystery, the previously unnamed Mrs. DeWinter, I can finally say, 'yes, I can fit her name into the friggin' margin!' Jeez!"

Granted, it did take all three Cray II supercomputers two years, seven months, twenty nine days, twelve hours, forty four minutes and 2.78 seconds to come up with the name. And that was only after the 13 years inputting every known alphabet, syllabery, and heiroglyphic system on Earth.

"Was it worth it?", this reporter asked a contemplative Wiles. He just looked at me for a minute, then nodded his head solemnly.

And that was answer enough.


  • *Credit to Robert Heinlein who spoke of Homer in "Double Star".