Alpha Geek posted this to a mailing list recently; so far no one’s been able to answer it.
I’ve never read the stories he’s describing, but now I want to. Maybe someone who follows my blog knows the answer.
I’ve been trying to remember the author or character name of a golden age SF short story series. The main character is an inventor, but can only invent while drunk, and then does not remember what he’s done after he sobers up. He winds up with a mystery, like what the machine does or who the dead body is, and events proceed as a detective story–only the main character is both the detective (when sober) and usually the prime suspect (when drunk).
In one of the stories, he escapes from the bad guys by using his reputation as an inventor to convince them he’s produced a ray gun from tin foil and bits of string. In another, one of his machines excavates a huge hole in his yard, for reasons I can’t remember.
Any idea what I’m talking about?