What would you do ? (6) The Solution

“What would you do ?” used to figure on the cover of a boys’ comic called “Boys’ World”. This was a publication, obviously, aimed at boys and first appeared on January 26th 1963. There were 89 issues before the comic was merged with Eagle in 1964. The last issue of “Boys’ World” came out on October 3rd 1964.

I used to buy “Boys’ World”, and this was mainly for the front cover which always featured a kind of puzzle. It was called “What would you do ?” and was based on somebody being in what Ned Flanders would call “A dilly of a pickle”. Here’s the situation:

And the correct solution given on page 2 of the comic is:

” The soldier knew that the altar in a church usually faces east…looking towards Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ.  With this knowledge he decided to take a chance and get his bearings from the altar’s position. After that it was simple. If he faced the altar, then the north was to his left and the south was to his right. Before night fell, he was safe and sound back behind his lines.”

I’m happy with that, but I’m just trying to think if there are any other easy ways of establishing the cardinal points. The longest axis of a church is west-east and the wall without a door, thanks to the Northmen aka the Vikings, is the Northern one. The people in graves in a churchyard will rise up toward the east. Muslim graves too, face east.

There must be others. I know there’s one about moss on trees but I can’t think what it means. Do you know any others?


Filed under History, Humour, Literature, Personal, Politics, Writing

17 responses to “What would you do ? (6) The Solution

  1. Moss grows on the north side of a tree out of the sun.

  2. The altar was enough for me – this must be the first I have managed

  3. Down here in FL we also have a palm that, no matter how you plant it, the Traveler Palm’s fronds will grow East to West. But I doubt the soldier had one handy. 🙂

    • Probably not. My best guess is that the soldier was in Normandy. The altar and the columns have a flavour of a French church. Sadly, no quarter was given by either side to buildings of any architectural splendour. On one occasion, when the RAF was attacking Italy, the aiming point for the bombers was Milan Cathedral. Mind you, nobody hit it.

  4. My son was telling me about this documentary in BBC World service. I thought you would find it interesting.
    BBC World Service – Spitfire: The People’s Plane

  5. You have me there, my
    Knowledge of graves and churches stops at the west door.

    I shall look at gravestones a little more carefully from now on.

    • There are certainly some beautiful churches out there in East Anglia. Ely Cathedral, the “Lantern of the Fens” is a good day out, and I think it’s March where the church has a wonderful ceiling with statues of all the angels. And because Satan was an angel, he is there too, although as the baddie, he is hiding away in the corner. Lovely picture of the ceiling here:

      • There are indeed John. I was in Ely only last weekend, and have visited the cathedral on many occasions both professionally and as a member of the public. As Britain’s smallest city, it is a delightful place to walk round. Times too, I have been in March, but never the church. Next time I’m there I’ll stop by and take a look.

  6. atcDave

    Well, its easy if you’ve got cell service!
    Street signs might work if you’re familiar with the conventions of whatever country you’re, uh, visiting.

    • Yes, street signs are a good idea. There is a station in Paris called “Gare de l’Est” and most places will have some street names which refer either to directions or to places that you might be able to identify.

  7. I had no idea, quite fascinating John.

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