What a year it's been so far.
Instead of sending you the usual Spring Newsletter in March here I am writing you an Autumn Newsletter in October.
For that there's just one extraordinary reason - the Covid-19 pandemic. And with my fingers tightly crossed I dearly hope you and yours have all come through safely.
So how did we respond to the pandemic? With social distancing rules making it impossible for us all to assemble together in teams on the same day we introduced "do-it-in-your-own-time" quizwalks.
And here let me extend a big "Thank You" on your behalf to our three sets of volunteer organisers who, in date order, were:
- Joyce Heywood & Roger Heath Despite being close to built-up areas their London Loop Loiter
quizwalk from Coulsdon was along a surprisingly countrified route, offering distant views to
London Town and a stroll through Oaks Park on the outskirts of Banstead.
- Jan & Jez Spencer's By The Wey it's Burpham quizwalk from their home town
near Guilford offered a splendid mixture of town, park, woodland and a lovely stretch of the
- And last, but by no means least, Alan Reeves & Geoff Hunt took us back to their erstwhile
happy hunting ground at Shalford, also near Guildford, with a Shalford Stroll that was a very
enjoyable blend of towpath, country paths and quiet lanes.
And you, our members, turned out in good numbers with attendances of between 27 and 30 on each of these quizwalks. Thanks for your support.
To see who attended each quizwalk and how they finished go to: 2020 WALK RESULTS
There's no corresponding League Table as our usual competition for winner and runner-up didn't take place this year, ending a sequence unbroken since the inaugural competition in 1959.
To round off the story of these events let me share with you an incident that occurred on the Shalford Stroll. Roger Heath and Andrew Cordani, who were the first team to tackle Alan and Geoff's quizwalk, took the wrong direction when crossing a school playing field on Stage 7.
They believed the footpath signage must have been pointing the wrong way. So Roger took it on himself to return the next day and then took the photo below which shows the sign wrongly directing walkers towards the school building.
But when he rather lamely drew this to the attention of a taciturn local dog-walker with an American accent (you never know who you're going encounter out there in the countryside!) she challenged him in typical Stateside "Can do" fashion to put it right.
Obliged to rise to the challenge, Roger tells of a couple of minutes of strenuous and breathless wrenching that achieved the desired outcome in the photo opposite but nearly finished him off.
Great for all the teams that did the quizwalk afterwards but what was Roger's consolation? He solved a couple of clues he and Andrew missed the previous day but he categorically denies that was the main reason for his return!Our Remaining Programme
What now for the rest of this year? Regrettably we've had to cancel our annual lunch at the Reigate Manor Hotel, which leaves the Christmas Amble scheduled for Tuesday 29th December as our sole remaining fixture. This is the one opportunity our members have annually to all stroll round together with no clues to solve.
With Covid-19 on the march again it's a bit doubtful we'll be able to hold the Christmas Amble in this format but we'll keep you posted.
As you may know, Peter Evans offered to host this event in the Wimbledon Chase area. However, given the parking restrictions in force there except on Sundays he's agreed to organise a league quizwalk from this location next year instead. But we're confident of being able to find an alternative organiser for the Christmas Amble if needs be, so do keep the 29th December free in your diaries.It's Competition Time Again
On the run-up to Christmas here's a two puzzle competition for you to get your teeth into with a chance to win prize vouchers totalling £20. You can enter the competition as a team with up to four of you in the team.2020 Quizwalk Crossword
First, former quizwalker and organiser Peter Rose who, incidentally, celebrated his 90th birthday this year, has done us proud once more by devising yet another of his crosswords for us. Here it is:
Clues are a mixture of general knowledge, semi-cryptic, and QW related
|6.||Our Leader (5,5)|
|8.||Minimum size of QW 'team' (4)|
|9.||Spoilt mat (anag.) Well, it did cause a big bang! (5,4)|
|11.||An alternative reaction to 16 (4)|
|12.||Average score in a QW (3)|
|13.||The archetypical Englishman - well he owns up to a good drink (4,5)|
|16.||What you say when you realise you misread the directions, and have to go back a mile (2!,2!)|
|17.||Tam o' _____ (7)|
|18.||Military, but rude with it (7)|
|20.||A healing process, central to this cabbie (4)|
|21.||It joins two seas and cuts off a continent (4,5)|
|24.||Comedians say the P is silent in this (4)|
|25.||Venetian public service motor boat (9)|
|29.||Lake where the monster lives (4)|
|30.||Last, but not least, he has kept QWs going for many a year (5,5)|
|1.||Some people prefer this to 13. How low can you get? (4)|
|2.||Before a Q walk you may enjoy this, with a 1, possibly at 8 down (4)|
|3.||Aid and _____ (4)|
|4.||Out and about, thinking he's the bee's knees, but inside he got ripped off (7)|
|5.||A lot of us have been there, on QW etc, but during the war some of the Few who left there didn't get back (6,4)|
|7.||My! Chopin's arrangement is a great form of music (9)|
|8.||A QW stopping point, but it doesn't sound like the bird there would be happy in the nearby river (6,3)|
|10.||A Scotsman from far Midlothian (3)|
|13.||Our Founder (4,6)|
|14.||You get a free kick from them (9)|
|15.||If the Ref misses a 14, the crowd may invite him to go to this - well more than one, to be pedantic (9)|
|19.||If this is one word or two, there are usually plenty more - and pictures - on it (7)|
|22.||This can be in hands and faces (3)|
|26.||Red and unusual (4)|
|27.||A QW only becomes this if you go well astray (4)|
|28.||The Curse of Arbroath (4)|
The second part of our competition is an innovation devised by our founder's daughter, Chris Cooper. She named it virtual quizwalking and has since launched several virtual quizwalks on Facebook, as has Geoff Hunt who quickly got in on the act because he really rated Chris's initiative. Now Chris and Geoff have teamed up to devise a virtual quizwalk for all of you.
A Virtual Quizwalk (13) - Lucky for Some
We find ourselves today in York, England, with these clues to solve:
|1)||His Majesty's place at the start of a board game?|
|2)||I'm ill - i.e. sick of concealing this.|
|3)||Crazy Lear got lice here...|
|4)||...and where another madman was on the fiddle. Just a perk of the job?|
|5)||Now they have wheels. Before, did they have caterpillar tracks?|
|6)||My cup runneth over? Not in here!|
|7)||Fruity description of a Fiat that never starts, perhaps?|
|8)||The sad tale of Fergie's insatiable sweet tooth?|
|9)||Leaders tell heroic Edmund "At the top it's cold".|
|10)||Chap Mary turns into a drug supplier.|
|11)||A question asked by an inattentive musician, I'll wager.|
|12)||Warning! I hear just a hollow guarantee of repayment.|
|13)||It sounds like fools are excluded from this establishment.|
|14)||Eric came around for this cool treat.|
|15)||Crumbs! Crusty Doc Martin really takes the biscuit here.|
To search for the answers, which you'll encounter NOT in the sequence in which they are listed above but randomly, you now need to visit Chris and Geoff's "King's Square" location in York by clicking the link below.
If this link doesn't open copy it into your search bar and try again.
You should now be in Google Maps and be able to circle clockwise or anti-clockwise through 360° and to zoom in and out as you do so. You'll need to zoom in to solve some of the clues. If you're new to all this, just get the feel of navigating around before trying to do too much clue-solving.
TIP: You MUST stick to just circling around this "Kings Square" area of York or you'll get lost. But if you do go astray, just exit from Google Maps and click the green-coloured link again to re-enter at the starting point.
If you're doing this for the first time don't worry. As long you've got access to a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone you can take part, no problem, and you'll find it interesting and fun.Closing Date and Tie-Breaker
Taking our two puzzles together the maximum score is 47 points, made up of 32 from Peter's crossword and 15 from Chris and Geoff's virtual quizwalk. Since there is only one prize we need to have a tie-breaker if two or more entries have identical scores.
We're going to use a random number tiebreaker. So when you submit your answers to both puzzles choose any number between 1 to 500 inclusive and submit it with your entry.
Please email your entries to Roger Heath at email@example.com If applicable, name the other people making up your team, bearing in mind the maximum team size is four. Closing date for entries is Saturday 12th December.
The website https://avkg.com publishes random numbers on a daily basis, including ten numbers in the range 1 to 500 inclusive. If there is a tie we will use the first of the ten numbers generated by that site on Monday 14th December as the tiebreaker.
Whichever tied team's chosen number matches or is closest to that first random number wins. If this still leaves two or more teams that cannot be separated it will fall to me as chairman to devise a further tie-breaker and communicate with those teams.
Now while you're here I recommend you click on this link. You'll now see a self-contained version our competition which you can tuck away for later when you have more time. This version also enables you to print out the competition in an easy-to-work-with form. So do make use of it.
Lastly, we aim to publish all the answers along with the outcome of the competition in the run-up to Christmas. Good solving, everyone, and stay safe.