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TV Cream’s Puzzle Trail: The clues in full

Over the last few weeks TV Cream has been running a competition based on the 1980s children’s series Puzzle Trail.

Each day we’ve printed a clue to the grid reference of a square on a map of BBC Television Centre.

The idea was to cross off the squares that corresponded to those grid references, day by day, until there were only two remaining.

Well, the Puzzle Trail is now, perhaps mercifully, at its end.

We’re about to reveal the final clue that, once solved, will leave you with just one square uncrossed on your map: the square that contains the treasure – and perhaps more importantly, the square whose grid reference you need to email us in order to enter the competition.

We’ll print full details of how to enter, plus the prizes you can win, in a few moments.

First, by way of a chance to double-check your progress and catch any hints you may have missed, here are all of the clues in order, ending with that final all-important clue 31 – the one that will reveal the location of the square where the treasure is hidden.

(You can download and print off your own TV Cream Puzzle Trail map, either as a jpg or pdf.)

On day 1 Howard Stableford revealed the treasure was not in the square that contained the fire escape.

On day 2 Simon Bates said the treasure was not in the square that shared its grid reference with the name of a single by the Pet Shop Boys.

Des Lynam provided the clue on day 3, disclosing that the treasure was not in the square whose grid reference shares its name with a prestigious sporting event that used to be on the BBC, was televised for a few years by ITV, but is now back on the Beeb.

On day 4 Little and Large explained the treasure was not in the square just to the left of the ornate sculpture in the middle of Television Centre’s circular courtyard.

An entry from the diary of Kenneth Williams supplied the clue on day 5, revealing that the treasure was not in the square just to the left of the stairwell by the doors at the far end of the first floor of TV Centre.

On day 6 it was disclosed that the treasure was not to be found in the square that shares its grid reference with the first half of the postcode belonging to the London borough of the Big Breakfast house.

Day 7 presented the most complex clue so far. The treasure was not in the square that shared a grid reference with the episode in the second series of A Bit of Fry and Laurie that featured a guest appearance from Paul Eddington. For example, if it appeared in the first show of the second series (which it didn’t), the square to cross off the map would be A2 (A= first episode, 2 = second series).

The clue for day 8 was rather more straightforward: the treasure was not in the square that had a clock in it.

On day 9 it was disclosed that the treasure was not in the square whose grid reference could be found by taking the first letter of the surname of Bruce Forsyth’s female assistant during his return stint on the Generation Game, and coupling that with the number of times Brucie has left ITV to work for the BBC.

To get the grid reference for day 10‘s square, it was necessary to take the first letter of the only show Lenny Henry has done that has an exclamation mark in the title, and add that to the number of the Style Council album for which Lenny contributed spoken word vocals.

On day 11 the clue took the form of a sound clip. The name of the band performing the song in question was also the grid reference to cross off the map.

Day 12 involved an encounter with Blue Peter and progressive rock. To come up with the correct grid reference to cross off the map, it was necessary to take the first letter of the village that is the location of Simon Groom’s farm, and couple that with the number of albums (of original material) Mike Oldfield has released under the title Tubular Bells.

On day 13 it was revealed that the treasure wasn’t hidden in the square in which Roy Castle and a small girl exchanged pleasantries while doing a bit of toe-tapping, before joining what seemed at the time like a million other clog-sporting clientele to perform the world’s largest tap dance.

On day 14 Michael Aspel disclosed the treasure was not to be found in the square with the word TELEVISION in it.

Day 15 involved identifying the year in which an episode of Cheggers Plays Pop was broadcast, using the top 10 chart displayed in a photograph of Keith Chegwin. It was then necessary to add up the individual digits of that year to get a two digit answer, and finally combine the first digit of that answer with the first letter of the item Cheggers used to present on The Big Breakfast, to give you the grid reference.

The clue for day 16 was somewhat more simpler: the grid reference was the second half of the name of the “youth” “strand” of themed programmes invented by Janet Street Porter for BBC2 in the late 80s and early 90s.

Day 17 brought with it a picture of one of Sir Clive Sinclair’s machines, whose model number was the same as the grid reference to cross off the map.

On day 18 Frank Muir revealed the treasure was not to be found in the square with the word CENTRE in it.

Day 19‘s clue was themed around All Creatures Great and Small. To get the grid reference it was necessary to take the first letter of the surname of Christopher Timothy’s character, and couple that with the number of different actresses who played his wife.

The grid reference for day 20 was the postcode for the London borough in which Des O’Connor was born.

On day 21 it was disclosed the treasure was not to be found in the square that shares its name with the most ubiquitous size of paper in the whole world.

The grid reference for day 22 came from taking the first letter of Cliff Richard’s real name and coupling that with the number of points by which he lost the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest.

The square to cross off on day 23 shared its name with an American stealth bomber, a postcode area in central Birmingham, Riboflavin, an international standard paper size measuring 500mm x 707mm, a dye also known as dyesol, and the IATA airline designator code for Belavia Belarusian Airlines.

To get the grid reference of the square to cross off on day 24, it was necessary to take the first letter of the name of the brass band whose version of The Floral Dance Terry Wogan turned into a top 21 hit, and couple that with the number of times Wogan has actually presented (as opposed to commentated on) coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest.

On day 25, it was necessary to take the first letter of the second word of the title of the motoring magazine Angela Rippon presented for a while, and add that to number of the BBC channel which still broadcasts that same programme today.

The square to cross off on day 26 shared its name with the runners-up of the 2004 series of The X Factor.

Gary Wilmot was the theme of day 27‘s clue. The row of the square was the one mentioned at the end of the title of Wilmot’s mid-80s BBC children’s gameshow in which kids engaged in a lot of silly bother for no reason. The column of the square was the first letter of the impressionist showcase to which Gary and friends subjected viewers of ITV, also (blimey, he was busy) in the mid-80s.

Robin Day was the person to see to day 28‘s clue.

Clue 29 was the second half of the chemical formula for hyrdazine.

Clue 30 was a combination of the first letter of the surname of the man to whom Bill Cotton “made an offer I knew you couldn’t refuse” in 1984, plus the number of the channel that same man was appointed to run when he joined the BBC.

And so to clue 31.

To get the grid reference of the final square you need to cross off your map, take the first letter of the surname of the man who devised the original Puzzle Trail programme, and combine that with the number of Puzzle Trail series hosted by Tommy Boyd.

HOW TO ENTER

Email the grid reference of the square you think contains the treasure to puzzletrail@tvcreamtest.co.uk

Closing date for the receipt of emails is midnight on Wednesday 18 August.

There will be two winners of the competition.

The overall winner, who will be picked at random from all correct entries, will receive a copy of:

TV Cream: The Ultimate Guide to 70s and 80s Pop Culture
The Ultimate Book of British Comics
The A-Z of Cool Computer Games
TV Cream’s Anatomy of Cinema
The Encyclopedia of Classic Saturday Night Telly
TV Cream Toys: Presents you Pestered your Parents for

Plus some other nostalgic ephemera.

There will also be a prize for the first person to submit a correct answer.

The names of the winners, plus the solution to all the clues, will be published a few days after the closing date.

Good luck and happy puzzling!

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