Missing the hustle and bustle of London’s iconic transport network? You’re in luck! Now you can travel the Tube in socially distanced style from the comfort of your own home – with the TfL Puzzle Book. We had a lot of fun earlier this year putting it together, and it was released 22nd October in the UK (you can find a copy for sale here).
Like a lot of our themed projects, this book began with a museum tour; this time, to the Transport Museum Depot to explore the archives, and discover more about the world-famous London Underground. Firstly, we travelled back in time to take a look at models of the earliest buses and trains which operated in London at the end of the Industrial Revolution, paving the way for the extensive network we know today.
Next, we moved on to the maps archive, where we spent a long time tracing different Tube lines throughout history. We were fascinated by the way that the design of the maps – like all of the signs and symbols of the Underground – has changed so much over time, and yet remains so iconic. Including map puzzles in the book was an absolute must: fire up your internal compass, and see if you can find your way across historical London on our cryptic guided tours!
We were also treated to a look at the original artworks used to create so many of the instantly recognisable posters that have appeared in TfL stations and escalators over the last century. We’ve included several of these posters in the book to create some visually striking puzzles which will really test a solver’s attention to detail. Tourists and Londoners alike will be able to recognise some of London’s best-known attractions too, which are shown off in vintage style in several of the original advertisements.
Packed with puzzles of all kinds – from crosswords and codes to mystery tours – there is plenty in the TfL Puzzle Book for everyone. Solvers don’t need to have memorised the Tube map to tackle the puzzles, but you’ll certainly be more familiar with it once you’re done! We hope you enjoy the journey through TfL’s past, present and future as much as we have.