The aye's have it!!! Thank all of you for saying exactly what I'm feeling on this matter. I also chart out, count steps, look for patterns, etc but am currently 0 for (i've lost count now) on finding ANYTHING!
Heimlich, I've posed that same question, so to speak, myself (Why doesn't hostage negotiation work on the pirates in the catacombs at least to a small degree?)
I've decided I'm finished dealing with the catacombs as I think I'm flagged when I go in and probably won't be having much luck in the future. I've gone with trap detection now with a new 2nd tec and will just let him find me what he can. After all, he can travel to Cairo AND travel the catacombs with no fear of the pirates or their traps!