It is a puzzle to test the detective skills of even Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot.
Where is Dundee’s dee-fiance?
The club that has dug so deep in the past to save itself both on and off the park appears to have given up on being a top-flight team.
The mysterious case of the missing fighting spirit has left everyone perplexed.
Unlike, for example, a St Mirren side that has only lost three times in their last nine matches, the Dens men have put up little resistance to relegation.
The Dark Blues are supposed to be in a battle but they don’t appear to be interested in saving themselves and their fate is now out of their hands.
Month after month, week after week they have been too easily beaten and they are now sinking towards the Championship.
The numbers are horrific: a record eighth straight Premiership defeat; a pathetic 18 points from a possible 102; six adrift of second-bottom St Mirren, who have also have 10 goals on them, with just four games to go; eight points behind third-bottom Hamilton Accies; one league win at Dens all season; and a full house of four losses to St Johnstone, a club which operates on a smaller player budget than they do.
Just like in the previous meeting between the Tayside two at McDiarmid Park, Dundee were a distant second best to Saints.
The accusation that they didn’t shown enough fight could be levelled at them again.
Defender Ryan McGowan, however, denied that was the case.
Instead, he stated: “I wouldn’t say it was a lack of fight.
“There is a difference between that and lack of quality, a lack of that final ball and a lack of confidence.
“That can all feed into being perceived as a lack of fight.
“Confidence is rock bottom.
“It is only ourselves that can get out of it and we have left ourselves with a mountain to climb with the way results have gone and the way we have been performing.
“Time is running out. It is starting to get out of our hands.
“We have to keep going, get back to training and make sure we are at it but we have been saying that for a few weeks.
“We have to get ourselves in shape and put in a better performance.
“This is a little bit of uncharted territory for me.
“I was on loan at Ayr and it went down to the last day but I have never been this far adrift.
“We felt we could have caused St Johnstone problems and that it was a game we could win.
“But it was a 2-0 defeat and we are saying the same old things.”
The players don’t seem willing to battle like brothers in arms but at least manager Jim McIntyre is under no illusions that they are in dire straits.
McIntyre said: “We’re not stupid.
“We know we need to probably win four on the bounce to still have a chance.
“That’s the reality of it.”
The Dens boss added: “It’s a major disappointment.
“We were so guilty of giving the ball away in key areas and I felt we showed a lack of quality on the ball.
“As soon as they cross the line they have a job to do.
“They know what it is as we work on it enough so they have to carry it out.
“We haven’t been good enough at doing that and that’s why we are in this situation.
“That is my responsibility – it is my team, my signings.
“We have to try and get some positive results.
“We get out of this by winning a game – it is simple.
“Until we do that then we are going to struggle.
“But we’ll keep trying. We’ll keep digging away.”
In contrast to the Dundee gloom and doom, St Johnstone enjoyed a great day in the Perth spring sunshine.
Matty Kennedy was like a cat toying with a mouse at times out on the left and they had several chances to put the game to bed.
They bossed the first half before getting the goals they merited after the break through Scott Tanser’s excellent freekick and Callum Hendry’s header.
Manager Tommy Wright said: “It was a good, dominating performance and we got what we deserved.
“We could have scored more goals, especially in the first half, so I am really pleased with the attitude and quality of play.
“I questioned them at Kilmarnock and the have bounced back and it is huge for them to finish in seventh place.
“We have got more points than last season and they should be pleased with how they have done this season because there has been an improvement.”
As for star man Kennedy, the Perth gaffer added: “Matty is an exciting player and he has a good partnership with Scott Tanser.
“We got a lot of joy down that side in a number of games against Dundee this season.
“They were both excellent as were Chris Kane and Callum Hendry. Hendry got his goal but Kane’s workrate was incredible.
“I don’t think our keeper Zander Clark had a serious save to make and we only had one scare near the end when (Craig) Curran nearly got in.”
The win made it four out of four for Saints against Dundee this season but Wright stressed that he didn’t take any special satisfaction out of that.
“I didn’t know about making history by beating them four times in a season,” said the Northern Irishman.
“I don’t take any more pleasure other than it has given us 12 points but the fans might do right enough.
“We have done well against teams below us this season. It is tough to beat a team four times in a season, so I am pleased.”