A computer buff has solved the James Joyce riddle that has puzzled Joyceans for years – how to cross Dublin without passing a pub.
Leopold Bloom first posed the question in the Joyce classic Ulysses but now, almost a century later, the puzzle has been solved by Rory McCann.
The Irish Independent reports that he finally solved the riddle online but only after a number of unsuccessful attempts.
Computer whizz McCann revealed: “It was something I’d been aware of and because I’m a computer programmer and heavily involved in Open Street Map I thought I’d have a stab at it.”
Joyce first set the puzzle in 1922 in Ulysses and it is only now that the 30-year-old McCann has figured it out.
McCann said “It’s the kind of thing you can solve with computers, so it took me a few weeks on and off in my spare time, but I had to develop a piece of software first. Once I had the software it only took me 10 minutes to solve.”
A first fix, in 2011, came unstuck when McCann discovered there were plenty of pints of Guinness for sale on some streets that he had included.
Now his abstemious directions cross the Liffey via the James Joyce Bridge and exclude hotels from his pub-free route.
It also passes the entrance to the Guinness brewery on the Dublin quays.
He added: “On it you have to walk past the corner of the Guinness brewery and people took issue with that, but you don’t go near the entrance and even at that it’s not like you can walk up and knock on the gate on the quays and ask for a pint.”