Box art - Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why | Mom’s Door Lock Puzzle

The first big challenge of Tell Me Why is Mary Ann’s door lock puzzle. Tyler and Alyson’s mom had a unique lock designed for her door that references the Book of Goblins. Mary Ann wrote this book of fairy tales with her children, and the lock on her door is a riddle that can be solved with information from one of the stories within.

How to open mom’s door lock puzzle in Tell Me Why Chapter 1

The peculiar lock on Mary Ann’s door can be opened with the right combination. However, this code isn’t made up of letters or numbers. Instead, each dial is composed of five animals:

  • Bear
  • Frog
  • Moose
  • Muskrat
  • Pelican

The Book of Goblins is almost 100 pages, so you’d be looking for the solution to the door puzzle for a while if you had to read the whole thing. Luckily, Alyson gives you a vital clue that narrows down the story that contains the answer you seek. The story which contains the hints you need to unlock the door is The Princess’s Party, which can be found on page 15.

Tell Me Why Door Lock Riddle 1

The dials on the lock on Mary Ann’s door correspond to the three symbols found on the story’s title page: the torch, the sword, and the gold. The gifts are described as such in the story:

  • The Torch – When lit, it reveals the truth.
  • The Magic Sword – Will leap out of the bearer’s hand to defend them.
  • The Bag of Coins – Always provides money if it is for something the bearer truly needs.

To solve the riddle, you need to figure out which of the princess’s animal friends gave her each gift.

Tell Me Why Door Lock Riddle 2

Her animal friends are:

  • The Bear: Sharp claws. Lets her ride on his back and promises no wolf will harry her path.
  • The Pelican: Pious and attentive. Serves a buffet of seafood from her never-emptying beak.
  • The Moose: Stalwart and farsighted.
  • Big Frog: Prattling.
  • Muskrat: A mooch, haughty. Never has time for anyone.

With these descriptions, we can immediately disqualify Big Frog and Muskrat. That leaves Bear, Pelican, and Moose.

The Solution

Tell Me Why Door Lock Puzzle Solution

The first dial represents the torch, which can reveal the truth. The moose is stalwart and farsighted, so it’s likely this is the gift he gave.

The magical sword will defend its user automatically. Given the bear’s protective nature, this is his present.

Finally, the bag of coins will always provide for its bearer’s needs. The pelican’s never-emptying beak does the same, so this must be her gift.

Therefore, the code to Mary Ann’s door lock puzzle in Tell Me Why is:

  • Moose
  • Bear
  • Pelican