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The Adventure of the Timely Tourist

The Adventure of the Timely Tourist Puzzle/Quiz


The person being looked for was Michael Palin taking part in his first major TV travel documentary for the BBC in 1988. In October to December of that year he travelled “Around the World in Eighty Days”. The journey was a close repeat in terms of the itinerary of Jules Verne’s character Phineas Fogg in his book of the same name. Fogg bet a number of friends he could get round the globe from London using the transport available in 1873, the year the book was published. Like Fogg, Michael Palin made it in time, taking 79 days and 7 hours. Fogg thought he had taken 81 days and thereby lost the bet, but then found out that having crossed the International Date Line he had arrived back in London on the date he had bet upon – 21 December and therefore won his bet.

The answers to each set of clues are as follows, rearranged into the sequence that Palin followed for his journey:

11 - London: from Victoria Station
5 - Venice: Palin helped clean rubbish from canals
7 – through the Corinth Canal to Athens and Alexandria: helped to make bread on board the ferry, saw the Evzones in Athens, and called London using a code word and discussed a schedule problem
3 – Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt. He took part in a film shot in a local Safeways supermarket
10 – On board a dhow called the ‘Al-Sharma’ Palin is taken ill, but looked after by the friendly crew
4 – In Mumbai (then called Bombay) he sees a snake charmer, has a shave on the street by a blind barber, has his fortune told, views the Gateway to India arch and leaves by train to cross the continent
8 – In Hong Kong he meets his photographer friend and they go to the races at Happy Valley, he gets attacked by a cockatoo and they attend a dinner to celebrate the half way point.
1 – In Tokyo Palin sings karaoke and samples Chinese food before staying overnight in a Capsule Hotel.
2 – After crossing the Pacific on a container ship he stays on the Queen Mary in Los Angeles then leaves by train to cross the United States
6 – Palin breaks the journey in Glenwood Springs before continuing to Chicago and then the east coast.
9 – He arrives back in Britain at Felixstowe (Fee – lick – s –toe) and takes a local rail bus service back to London.
12 – His return is on the 80th day unlike that of Phineas Fogg who took 81 – but who gained a day as described above.

1 - Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle):“Silver Blaze” is one of the most famous short stories:
Gregory: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."
2 - Paul Temple (Francis Durbridge) – “By Timothy!” – a favourite exclamation
3 – Hercules Poirot (Agatha Christie) – “those little grey cells” ie brain power – favourite saying
4 – Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorothy L Sayers) – “The Nine Tailors” book title
5 – Inspector Morse (Colin Dexter) – enjoyed listening to female opera singers
6 – Inspector Rebus (Ian Rankin) – gritty stories of hard lives set in Edinburgh
7 – Kurt Wallander (Henning Mankell) – gritty stories of hard lives set in southern Sweden. References here to “Faceless Killers”.
8 – Not Miss Marple who is openly identified, but Dalziel and Pascoe (Reginald Hill): down-to-earth copper and university-trained policeman.
9 – DCI Tom Barnaby (Caroline Graham): midsummer (Midsomer Murders) – Chilterns, Princes Risborough (filming locations for TV)
10 – Inspector Maigret (Georges Simenon): May Gray, Lucas (Maigret’s sergeant)
11 – Jonathan Creek (David Rewick): “won’t be Greek” – magic (Creek’s performing art) – old windmill (Creek’s home).
12 – Detective Fix (Jules Verne) – the detective in the original “Around the World in Eighty Days” who mistakenly thinks Fogg is a bank robber and chases him round the world.

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