Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Bit of a slog to research all the clues today leddies ed jittlemen ('specially if you've glugged a bit of red vino last night) but fortunately, the Eastender Himself has been on many training flights over this marvelous region, while acquiring his pilot's ticket and also hiked the national trail that the puzzle author mentions in one of the clues. As near as I can figure it, the answers are:

Q1. Dorothy Richardson

Q2. RAF Benson

Clue Answers and Letters
(S)utton Courtenay
The (R)idgeway
Basildon (P)ark
Spectemur A(g)endo

Re-arranging the selected letters, gives the word SPRING.

An author, whose works include 'Interim' and who was born in 1873, in Abingdon, which is now in Oxfordshire, was Dorothy Richardson. Travelling 3 miles south from Abingdon, takes us to a place called Sutton Courtenay, which is where Eric Arthur Blair aka 'George Orwell' is buried (The Indian Imperial Police clue is a bit of a giveaway here).

The battle fought in AD871 was the Battle of Ashdown, which took place around the Didcot area. The teacakes clue is a reference to a king Alfred who burned some biscuits while hiding out from the Peelers in a woman's house. The national trail is likely to be the Ridgeway, where there are many wonderful neolithic sites and hill forts to be seen and  explored (beware of Barrow-Wights though).

This puzzle is tricky because the author does not navigate as the crow flies, I believe that he measures the distances by using the odometer on his car and reckon that the most likely candidate for the Georgian mansion, is Basildon Park, which is only around four miles southeast of the battlefield in a straight line but could be eight miles by road. Basildon Park, according to the national trust web site, was restored by Lord and Lady lliffe, in the mid 1950s and gifted to the nation in 1978.

The RAF station (which the tyro Eastender has flown close to in his cessna) is likely to be RAF Benson: motto "Spectemur Agendo". Northwest of Benson is a place called Dorchester-on-Thames, which was a cathedral city and bishopric of a saint called Birinus (feast day 3rd December).


  1. Although I know there are answer sites for WWI, we usually try to so them ourselves, for the pleasure and sense of achievement.

    But stumbled across this ta top of Google when I searched for author and was impressed with your detailed explanation of your conclusions, which seem right.

    Just puzzled why anyone shares the answers to a competition - the more entrants, the less chance of winning.

    Thanks anyway.

    We did win WWI once (unaided), nice trip to Pisa.

  2. Hi

    I don't enter the competition myself, just do it for fun. Well done on winning the trip to Pisa ;-)

  3. How do you always manage to give such detailed answers? I came across your page whilst researching Sunday Times competition ages ago. I usually manage to answer questions correctly myself, but always check yours for verification.I feel quite nostalgic as I am a Glasgow Eastender of origin although I am not in Glasgow any longer, unfortunately. Thank for your help. Anne.

  4. Hi Anne

    map reading, research skills and hard work mostly.... ;-)