Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Search Challenge (April 20, 2011): What's the connection?

Since the AGoogleADay puzzle is going on, I thought I might give you a slightly different challenge for today... more of a puzzle a la AGAD... one that requires (perhaps) a bit more thought than usual.  (Since I assume all you SearchResearch readers can do the AGAD puzzle without too much difficulty!).

So.. here's a fun, multi-step, chaining kind of problem for you.  Let me know if this was too simple for you (or too difficult)!

What's the connection between a male shoe style and the accent of John Muir?

Can you figure out the most logical (and shortest) path between them?

Search on!

1. I'm not sure if this is correct or not. I may have gotten thrown off by the picture of the shoe.

The picture is of a wing-tip style shoe so I searched for ["wing-tip shoes" history] that brought me to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brogue_shoe letting me know that wing-tips are also known as brogue shoes.

Searching for ["John Muir" brogue] got me several references in books to Muir going into deep brogue accent when telling a story.

Searching for ["John Muir" wing-tips] also referenced several books about Muir and wing-tips of birds touching the water.

Not sure if the correct connection is John Muir -> brogue -> Brogue shoes -> wingtip shoes

2. Late to the game, but took a path similar to Fred's.

I could not immediately place the style of shoe, so I started with [john muir accent], and learned it was Scottish.

Then, I did an image search for [black men's dress shoes] (threw in the black just for fun) and identified them as "wing tips."

Ran a search for [wing-tip shoes scottish] and learned that the pattens punched in the leather of the multi-piece uppers of shoes is called "brogueing" (thanks, Wikipedia article "Brogue Shoe"). Also learned that the origin of this shoe type is Scotland and Ireland.

Made the final connection in my head that I've heard the accent called a Scottish Brogue. Of course, I checked my work ([define:brogue] and [definition brogue]) and found that it is most commonly used for Irish accents, but also for Scottish.

I found it most appropriate that the brogue shoe was traditionally a rough walking shoe for the countryside--of which I am sure Muir would most heartily approve.

3. Two (three) searches in Wikipedia give me the following results:

[John Muir] --> born in Scotland: Scottish accent

[male shoe style] --> Shoe article; Men's shoes: Oxfords (also referred as "Balmorals")

Clicking on Oxfords: An Oxford is a style of laced shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp, a construction method that is also sometimes referred to as "closed lacing". Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals after the Queen's castle in Scotland, Balmoral.

So the connection between a male shoe style and the accent of John Muir is Scotland.