More hints ? But no more bonuses !
- it is quite clear this is in the Vorkosigan Saga: no other series has our Earth
it its past. The playright who wrote both the play of bonuses #2 and 3 and the play of bonuses #5 and 6, should be rather obvious ! You can try your luck on these bonuses, even if you don't trace the quote itself !
- earlier in the discussion between ZZZ and YYY (in which the character of bonus #1 does participate) YYY was extremely "coiled", but has started to "uncoil a litttle" before the beginning of the present quote, and fully uncoils when suggesting aaa-bbb.
- don't miss "Ah, no" that I added to the quote. ZZZ's line goes on further, giving the answer to Bonus #4, see below.
"So in the play, WWW XXX comes home for his father's funeral, to find that his mother has married his uncle."
YYY's eyes widened. "She married her brother?"
"No, no! It's not that racy a play. His other uncle, his da's brother."
"Oh. That's all right, then."
"You'd think so, but XXX gets a tip-off that his old man was murdered by the uncle. Unfortunately, he can't tell if his informant is telling truth or lies. So he spends the next five acts blundering around getting nearly the whole cast killed while he dithers."
"That was stupid," said YYY scornfully, uncoiling altogether. "Why didn't he just use aaa-bbb?"
"Hadn't been invented yet, alas. Or it would have been a much shorter play."
"Oh." YYY frowned thoughtfully at ZZZ. "Can you use aaa-bbb? CCC DDD . . . said you couldn't. And that it was very convenient." YYY precisely mimicked DDD's sneer in these last two words.
"On myself, you mean? Ah, no. (.......)
Here the first " . . ." are actually in the text, YYY apparently hesitates before quoting CCC DDD, but the final "(.......)" is mine, to mean that ZZZ keeps talking, giving the answer to Bonus #4, see below. (Incidentally, DDD is right in this respect, ZZZ does confirm aaa-bbb is useless on him).
Who is ZZZ , the character that speaks first, third , fifth, seventh and last?
Who is YYY (all even lines) ?
What is aaa-bbb (a noun in two words with a hyphen) ?
Bonus #1 : who else is present ?
Bonus #2 : the “five acts” and the “cast” refer to a play, XXX being a character of this play. For a 1/2 point, which play, and who is XXX (well, both questions have the same answer - incidentially WWW is just an honorific, you don't have to mention it.) ?
Hint : even if aaa-bbb had been invented at the time of the play, it would have been difficult to administer it to XXX's informant.
Bonus #3 : Why ? (you have to specify at least aaa-bbb here, if you have not answered the main question)
DDD is a name, CCC some kind of honorific. If answering by memory, you don't have to specify CCC, but for a half
Bonus #4 : Who is DDD ? (in fact, if you answer by memory you can even answer if you don't remember the name, if you describe the character's role well enough "the guy who...") And why would aaa-bbb also be useless on ZZZ ? The reason is not at all the same as in Bonus #3.
Hint : the reason of Bonus #4 has some connection with a different play by the same playwright as the one of Bonus #2
Bonus #5 : what other play, and in what earlier book of the same series is this connection described ?
A longer quote does not
reset the 5-days "no-ping-pong" rule, JKCade can answer even the main question now.
Any player can try to answer any bonus(es) without trying to answer the main question (though except for bonus #2, it seems difficult to answer the other ones without knowing the context, but not completely impossible, in fact, one can guess what aaa-bbb is, and answer also bonuses 3 and 5, even without solving the main question)
I give you a chance of winning a full
with a sixth bonus, because it is extremely difficult.
In still another book in the same series, earlier even than the one of bonus #5, a few lines of the same play as that of bonus #5 are quoted.
What book ?
Who quotes this play ?