Saturday, 20 September 2014

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, through the possibly flawed perceptual filters of my own reality tunnel, the most likely answers this week, seem to me to be :

Q1. Buckingham Palace

Q2. Goldie

The Eastender, who normally does not dip his toes into the murky waters of politics, is still somewhat bemused and disoriented after the surreal and strange events of this week and not totally sure which country he is actually in. Her majesty, god bless her, according to the Scotsman newspaper, said that she "applauded the robust democratic tradition" with which the referendum was conducted. The Eastender concurs with this wonderful example of quiet and considered British diplomatic understatement and has enjoyed hugely watching the 'debaters' robustly exchange views with clubs, fists, bricks and Buckfast bottles, in George square for the last two nights. Mind you, fighting in George square at the weekend is hardly news in this part of the world and how the police can tell the secessionists and unionists, from the happy hour crowd zombies when the pubs and clubs spill out, is anyone's guess.

I digress, the puzzle was difficult this week and required a lot of work to solve (many thanks to the author, for putting in the time and effort to craft this one). The initial clues seem to place us at Monument, in the city of London, a place the Eastender knows well from his days testing derivatives trading software, when he worked in the square mile, back in nineteen canteen. The monument is a column which was raised in memory of the great fire of London and seems to have a gilded urn on top, which represents the aforesaid conflagration.

If you travel three hundred yards or so north west from monument, this brings you to the [B]an[k] of England. The Bank of England museum seems to have a large gold ingot in a perspex case with a hand sized hole in it, which allows the visitors to reach in an pick it up but not remove it (though doubtless a few punters have tried over the years).

Travelling west from the BoE museum brings us to the HQ of the 'Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths' at Golds[m]iths' Hall on the corner of Gresham St and Foster Lane. The WCOG seems to be fifth in precedence on the list of London guilds in some of the references I looked at. West south west from Goldsmiths' Hall brings us to the vicinity of Fleet Street, where lies the church of St D[u]nst[a]n in the West. St Dunstan's feast day appears to be on the nineteenth of May. The church featured in a book called 'The Vi[c][a]r of Wakefield' which was written by Oliver Goldsmit[h] (born c 1728).

A mile or so west south west from St Dunstan's in the West, in the district of SOHO, lies Golde[n] Square and it was here that Dickens claimed in his book 'The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby' (published c 1838) that R[a]l[p]h Ni[c]kleby, the money lender lived. North west from here is the site of Re[g]ent's park zoo and it was at this location, back in 1965, that an eagle called Gold[i]e, is said to have gone over the wall to visit Tottenham Court road and Camden market, with the police, fire brigade and some looney space cadet from the BBC, who tried to lure him back by playing an Eritrean nose flute, in hot pursuit.

North of Regent's park lies number 2 Wi[l]low Road and the house of the architect Erno Goldfing[e]r (born c 1902). Erno's brother got in a bit of trouble with the Americans, when he tried to melt some of their gold with a nuclear weapon (c 1964). Now collating the results gives:

1. [B]an[k] of England Museum     B    K
2. Golds[m]iths' Hall                      M
3. St D[u]nst[a]n in the West         U   A
4. Oliver Goldsmit[h]                     H
5. The Vi[c][a]r of Wakefield         C  A
6.  Golde[n] Square                       N
7.  R[a]l[p]h Ni[c]kleby                 A  C P
8.  Re[g]ent's Park                        G
9.  Gold[i]e                                    I
10. Erno Goldfing[e]r                     E
11. Wi[l]low Road                         L

Rearranging the extracted data, can give a combination which forms BUCKINGHAM PALACE, which does seem to have started out as Buckingham House c 1702 or thereabouts and fits in with the sterling clue, as the queen's picture is on the currency.

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