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How to cross Dublin without passing a pub

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How to cross Dublin without passing a pub


The challenge was set in James Joyce’s 1922 classic ‘Ulysses’, when the main character Leopold Bloom muses “Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub.”

In the 89 years since, it has been debated over many a pint of Guinness. Now, a software developer armed with an algorithm thinks he has the answer. Rory McCann used the website OpenStreetMap to pinpoint over 1,000 pubs in the Irish capital and let his algorithm do the rest. The map (see full picture from kindle-maps) was completed in time for this year’s Bloomsday celebration. Dublin marks Bloomsday every June 16, the date on which Joyce met his future wife Nora Barnacle, and on which the entire plot of ‘Ulysses’ takes place.

McCann does admit that his route does include walking past some hotels and restaurants, which although they are not exactly pubs, do serve alcohol. It also takes you along the walls of the Guinness brewery, which houses tourist bars. But then as they are inside the brewery’s walls, McCann argues that you don’t walk past them. This may keep the debate alive, but for the moment it’s as near to completing the puzzle set by James Joyce as anyone has ever got before.

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