Saturday, 28 November 2015

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. Leadhills

Q2. The Southern Upland Way

N.B. The Eastender still cannot see the questions as they don't appear on some mobile devices but has been told what they are by some of the other puzzlers who have a hard copy of the competition...(will confirm later when I can acquire a printed copy of the paper).

The Eastender will fill in his best shot at what the answers are, when the Sunday Times IT bod, gets round to posting the flippin' questions. Probably been out drinking the cheeky juice again and who can blame them? Indeed, the Eastender Himself has been glugging a glass or two of red wine and eating some tasty food, in an attempt to stave off the effects of the howling wind, icy rain and Kaperlak, which blew in sideways today but I digress, the initial clues seem to place us in Lanarkshire, a county which in parts, is almost as beautiful as the shire that the famous Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, lives in. The Eastender of course is totally biased in this view, as he himself sprang from the good Lanarkshire soil, back in nineteen canteen.

The specific location, is probably the village of Leadhills (you can tell if someone is from there, they usually have snow on their car, when they drive into Glasgow in June). There does appear to be a short heritage railway there called 'The Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway', which is reputed to be the highest 'adhesion railway', where an adhesion railway is one in which steel wheels provide traction on steel rails by force of friction, in the UK. I did find some references which claim that the railway lies at an altitude of around fifteen hundred feet. Leadhills golf club is said to be the highest course in Scotland, with the highest in the UK being 'West Monmouthshire Golf Club', in the Brecon Beacons.

Leadhills, according to some of the sources I checked, was indeed the site of Scotland's first subscription library c 1741, where a subscription library is one in which membership fees are paid or an endowment is made to purchase the books, such bibliotheks often loan books to poor students, who can't afford the membership dues. The library in the village was started by a good old Jacobite poet called 'Allan Ramsay' born c 1684, so that the miners could improve themselves. Ramsay also founded a circulation library in the Lucken Booths of Edinburgh c 1725. The Lucken Booths appear to have been a range of tenements opposite St Gile's cathedral, which had lockable booths or lockable shops on the ground floor.

A steamboat engine designer, who was born in Leadhills c 1764 and who built the steam launch 'Charlotte Dundas', is probably William Symington. Driving south west from Leadhills would bring us to the dorp of Wanlockhead, which some of the sources I checked, claim is Scotland's highest village. The two hundred and twelve mile 'Southern Upland Way', passes close to Wanlockhead, crossing the two thousand three hundred and seventy eight foot 'Lowther Hill'. This is not a trail that should be travelled lightly by the unwary or inexperienced hiker, the hills here, though in the lowlands, can be just as dangerous as the ones in the highlands, for this region is isolated, very sparsely populated and prone to mist and bad weather, often with little or no phone signal.

The ninety thousand acre estate and one hundred and twenty room castle, which lie around eight miles south of Wanlockhead, are most likely the Queensberry estate and Drumlanrig Castle, home of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. The Duke's family crest features a stag (possibly derived from the Fehu rune, symbol of wealth as in if you had a herd of deer, you were rich because you could feed and clothe yourself with the products from those animals) and the motto 'Amo', 'I love'.

N.B. Due to the number of people who normally write poison pen letters in green ink posting on his page, the Eastender has moved to moderated comments but if you have a non abusive comment relating to the puzzle and its solution, he will endeavour to publish it.


    1. What is the name of the first village? (LEADHILLS)
    2. What is the name of the long-distance path? (SOUTHERN UPLAND WAY)

  2. 29/11/2015 @ 09:10
    It appears that the STIT Dept has woken up and fixed the "glitch"
    The form appears to be available on line.

    Per the "hard copy"version:-

    Q1 = What is the name of the first village?
    Q2 = What is the name of the long-distance path?


  3. Print edition - Q1 What is the name of the first village? Q2 What is the name of the long-distance path?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks for the update fellow puzzlers, if those are indeed the questions, then the Eastender agrees with Occam's answers, though they are still not visible on some mobile devices....

  6. On my desktop computer you now (4.45pm) get "This form has been deactivated and is closed for any further submissions. " Very helpful!