How they did it so masterfully is still quite a mystery.

Sarah-Betty

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The interior design is pretty majestic, and officials have worked hard to keep it in its original condition. Its interior glittersthere are mirrors and crystals on the walls and ceilings. How they did it so masterfully is still quite a mystery.

1)What does em-dash mean here?

2)Can we change the bold sentence into the following?
How they did it so masterfully remains/has remained still quite a mystery.

3) what does "it" refer to in the sentence below?
How they did it so masterfully is still quite a mystery.
 

Tdol

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Remains a mystery would work.
 

Rover_KE

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1) The em-dash functions as a colon—what follows explains why the interior glitters. [link]

2) (Already answered.)

3) 'How they did it' means 'How they kept it in its original condition ...'
 

Sarah-Betty

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Is the following also correct?
How they did it so masterfully still remains quite a mystery.

3) 'How they did it' means 'How they kept it in its original condition ...'
Thank you. I thought it referred to "mirrors and crystals on the walls and ceilings". In this case, may I ask if it is not better to reorder sentences in the following way:

The interior design is pretty majestic, and officials have worked hard to keep it in its original condition. How they did it so masterfully is still quite a mystery. Its interior glitters—there are mirrors and crystals on the walls and ceilings.
 

Tdol

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Not to me- it means How they managed to create it.
 

bubbha

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The interior design is pretty majestic, and officials have worked hard to keep it in its original condition. Its interior glittersthere are mirrors and crystals on the walls and ceilings. How they did it so masterfully is still quite a mystery.

1)What does the em-dash mean here?
In the above passage, the em-dash functions like a colon: what follows the colon explains or elaborates on what precedes it. In fact, I would write it with a colon. ("Its interior glitters: there are ...")

3) what does "it" refer to in the sentence below?
How they did it so masterfully is still quite a mystery.
The word "it" here refers to the interior design work.
 
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