Want To Walk The Route Of The One Stop Tube Puzzle?

Last week we put a puzzle to you: did you work out how to get round the tube map, taking in every single line for just one stop? Tom M did! And quite a few other commenters were close. Here’s our solution, illustrated with almost accurate colour coding:

Note, you could swap Piccadilly Circus for Covent Garden and Moorgate for Aldgate with no consequence; and you could obviously do it in the opposite order.

To add our own idiosyncractic contribution to the Tube 150 celebrations, we’re going to walk this route on Easter Monday. Want to join us?

It’s about 15km or 9.5 miles — which is much shorter than our epic Olympic walk last year. We’ll get photos at every stop, paying tribute to each line along the way. There will tube themed things to entertain us, we’ll stop for refreshment at appropriate places and regale each other with tube tales. We might even compile a list of our favourite interviewees who’ve answered the question “Have you ever been sick on the tube” for Londonist. Heck, if Ben Norum brings some of his home-infused spirits along, we all might be sick on the tube.

Here’s the route mapped. To join us on Monday 1 April, leave a comment or join the Facebook event.

View Londonist: One Stop Tube Wall in a larger map

Many thanks to John Wilkes for the puzzle and mapping and Ben Norum for walk enthusiasm.

Photo by Edward Kimber via the Londonist Flickrpool.  

Tags: , , , ,


Article by Lindsey Berthoud | 3,284 Articles | View Profile

  • http://twitter.com/johnthestatto John (Statistician)

    Yeah, I’d love to join in.

  • David

    I’m in.

  • http://wolfwhistle.org/ Amy

    This is SO COOL.

  • Graeme

    Yes, please

  • Richard J.

    Well done, Tom M! But when the puzzle was set last week, it was alleged that “there is one possible route around the Underground [map] taking in every single line for just one stop”, implying that there was a single correct answer (apart from the start and end variations).

    This is not true. On 14 Feb, “Basil Jet” (not me) on the newsgroup uk.transport.london came up with this solution:
    ” start at Bond Street: c v p b n o j w dlr e d h m ”

    (I like this because the answer contains another puzzle – work out what the line letters mean and which direction you move in.)
    It is essentially Tom’s answer in reverse, until you get to Waterloo:

    Moogate to Waterloo – as Tom’s answer, then …
    Waterloo – Jubilee – Westminster
    Westminster – Circle – Embankment
    Embankment – Northern – Charing Cross
    Charing Cross – Bakerloo – Piccadilly Circus
    Piccadilly Circus – Piccadilly – Green Park
    Green Park – Victoria – Oxford Circus
    Oxford Circus – Central – Bond Street (or Tottenham Court Road)

    Taking the Tottenham Court Road option, this route includes 4 segments and 2 stations that are different from Tom’s and therefore proves that there isn’t a unique solution. Are there any more, I wonder?

    • Wilko

      Yes, unfortunate. The solution you have described is actually the one Tom posted (which does differ to above that I worked out). It seems there are few little variations but in all cases the bulk of the route is the same and mostly the same stations.

      I’m going to take it as proof crowd-sourcing works, as I spent quite a while checking for alternatives before we posted this and couldn’t spot any. When first told the puzzle I had been told there was a unique solution, which I never really questioned. Sorry.

      • Ricardo Illgen

        I have to admit I couldn’t resist to cheat a little bit and used a computer program to calculate all the possibilities. Looks like in total there are 9 solutions, although some of them are the same route swapping the District and Circle lines. Also, I’ve considered Bank/Monument and Tower Hill/Tower Gateway pairs to be just one station each.

        You can check them out here http://pastebin.com/cvTWVyqY . In the document, the above is Solution 9 and the one found by Richard J/Tom is Solution 5.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.gardiner2 Steve Gardiner

    wow this is like the real Mornington Crescent!

  • Yangchen Lin

    Let me know (linyangchen at gmail.com) if you guys fancy dropping in on the London Underground Photo Exhibition a stone’s throw from Embankment station – I’ll be delighted to give a guided tour. :) Website with map: http://www.linyangchen.com/tube150

    • http://londonist.com/ Lindsey Clarke

      Thanks, will do!