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too little, too late

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Archive through May 23, 2005Brian Pamandanan22 5-23-05  9:29 pm
Archive through May 24, 2005Tricia Harvey22 5-24-05  11:12 pm
Archive through May 28, 2005David Burn22 5-28-05  1:14 am
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John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 1:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the causer of the damage definitely human?
Would what LU did have affected the causer of the damage? the tree itself? the area surrounding the tree? something else relevant to preventing the damage?
Did they do this by building something? knocking something down? closing something off? did they do a single action? or did they change a policy?
Was the tree cut down?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 6:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By John Morahan (Wunderland) on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 01:27 am:


Is the causer of the damage definitely human? this is not known - it is likely, but one cannot tell for certain
Would what LU did have affected the causer of the damage? the tree itself? this one, except that they didn't actually do anything the area surrounding the tree? something else relevant to preventing the damage?
Did they do this see above by building something? knocking something down? closing something off? did they do a single action? or did they change a policy?
Was the tree cut down?
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 2:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was it then something they didn't do? stopped doing? planned to do? or something they said?
Was the tree dug up? knocked over?
Einar Berg (Grainbeer)
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 3:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The cause of the death of the oak tree is: age (natural death)? Tree removed from its spot by uprooting? Chopping? Heavily cutting? Roots too severely cut? Bark removal? Drought? Waterlogging? Air pollution? Ground pollution? Pesticides? Severe attack of insects? fungi? virus? nematodes? Leaves all eaten by animal? Leaves picked by human? Too strong competition from surrounding vegetation? Tree overshadowed? Buried by earth or other material?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 5:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By John Morahan (Wunderland) on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 02:04 pm:

Was it then something they didn't do? yes stopped doing? never started doing - at least, by inference planned to do? or something they said?
Was the tree dug up? no knocked over? no

By Einar Berg (Grainbeer) on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 03:02 pm:


The cause of the death of the oak tree is: age (natural death)? no Tree removed from its spot by uprooting? no Chopping? no Heavily cutting? no Roots too severely cut? no Bark removal? no Drought? no Waterlogging? no Air pollution? no Ground pollution? no Pesticides? no Severe attack of insects? no fungi? no virus? no nematodes? no, but a bonus point for obscurity :) Leaves all eaten by animal? no Leaves picked by human? no Too strong competition from surrounding vegetation? no Tree overshadowed? no Buried by earth or other material? and no - sorry :( Recall that this puzzle concerns an oak tree within the purview of London Underground, and - if you will take a hint - look here
Einar Berg (Grainbeer)
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 9:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hum... not many more ways for a tree to die.... was this really a live specimen of a tree?

There is a station named "Royal Oak" on the Hammersmith & City line. Is this relevant?
Mosquito (Mosquito)
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 11:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the tree perhaps damaged by fire?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 12:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Einar Berg (Grainbeer) on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 09:37 pm:

Hum... not many more ways for a tree to die.... was this really a live specimen of a tree? yes

There is a station named "Royal Oak" on the Hammersmith & City line. Is this relevant? no, but help is at hand...

By Mosquito (Mosquito) on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 11:12 pm:

Was the tree perhaps damaged by fire? not just perhaps, but certainly - well done :)
Einar Berg (Grainbeer)
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 1:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tree caught fire because of: a spark? lightning? grass fire? someone deliberately - or accidentally - lighted a flame that caught the tree on fire? sunlight focused through a magnifying glass, or other medium that concentrated and directed the sun rays to a focus point (piece of glass et cetera)?

Fire powered by gasoline? kerosene? other kind of fire booster?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Einar Berg (Grainbeer) on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 01:21 pm:


Tree caught fire because of: a spark? lightning? grass fire? someone deliberately - or accidentally - lighted a flame that caught the tree on fire? sunlight focused through a magnifying glass, or other medium that concentrated and directed the sun rays to a focus point (piece of glass et cetera)? nobody knows why the tree caught fire. What matters is that it is now burnt.

Fire powered by gasoline? kerosene? other kind of fire booster? see above
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 4:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the layout of the London Underground routes relevant to this puzzle? Could they have put flame retardant material on the tree, but didn't do so?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 5:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Haenlomal (Haenlomal) on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 04:09 pm:

Is the layout of the London Underground routes relevant to this puzzle? no Could they have put flame retardant material on the tree, but didn't do so? I guess they could have done, but that's not the idea.

***** REFOCUS *****

There is a station on the London Undergound called Burnt Oak. It is so called because it is on the site of a burnt oak tree. It does not matter how, or when, or why, the oak was burnt.

I assert that London Underground, on a recent occasion, did "too little, too late" in respect of this station - or rather, this oak tree.
Tricia Harvey (Trixie)
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

London Underground were certainly rather late - 170 years to be precise! The name "Burnt Oak" was first used in 1754; the station was not built until 1924 (source - globalguide.org)
Uninteresting fact: in the 1970s, I took my driving test in Burnt Oak (and passed first time!)
Torgeir Apeland (Abc)
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 9:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the oak tree - or its remains - still present?
There isn't much you can do for a burnt oak, is there?
If they had been doing enough, in time, would we be able to see the effects of that today?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 10:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Torgeir Apeland (Abc) on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 09:02 pm:

Was the oak tree - or its remains - still present? It isn't there any more, I don't think
There isn't much you can do for a burnt oak, is there? suggestions on a postcard
If they had been doing enough, in time, would we be able to see the effects of that today? the oak tree would, presumably, still be there
HotBod (Hotbod)
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 6:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have they done something to make the train station safe from fires? And you mean to say that if they had done this when the oak tree was un-burnt, it might have saved the tree?

If whatever they have done now was done before the oak tree was burnt, would the oak tree not have burnt? Or did they need to do lots more of what they have done now for the oak tree to have survived anyways?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 10:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By HotBod (Hotbod) on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 06:32 am:

Have they done something to make the train station safe from fires? well, they've introduced a smoking ban on Underground stations, but this doesn't matter And you mean to say that if they had done this when the oak tree was un-burnt, it might have saved the tree? had they done rather more than they did, it might very well have saved the tree

If whatever they have done now was done before the oak tree was burnt, would the oak tree not have burnt? if they had gone rather further in a particular direction than they did, it would have saved the tree Or did they need to do lots more of what they have done now for the oak tree to have survived anyways? not so much "more of what they have done" but "carried what they have done to a practical conclusion"
HotBod (Hotbod)
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 11:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lets say A = What they did (the small part) and
B = The thing taken to its practical conclusion.

So if they had done B when the tree was alive would it have:
-stopped the fire?
-even with the fire stopped the tree from burning?
-stopped the tree from being where it was?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By HotBod (Hotbod) on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 11:46 am:


Lets say A = What they did (the small part) and
B = The thing taken to its practical conclusion. fine with me. Recall that when they did A, they did it too late - according to Trixie, some 251 years too late

So if they had done B when the tree was alive would it have:
-stopped the fire? well, it would have extinguished the fire...
-even with the fire stopped the tree from burning? ...before it could do much damage to the tree
-stopped the tree from being where it was? no
HotBod (Hotbod)
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 11:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And though we dont need to know (and in fact, we dont know) how the fire was started we are certain that the fire would have been extinguished?

Whatever that was done was the objective to extinguish fires? Something else?

What would have been the extinguishing agent?
-Water?
-Sand?
-Some Gas?
-Something else?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 12:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By HotBod (Hotbod) on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 11:59 am:


And though we dont need to know (and in fact, we dont know) how the fire was started we are certain that the fire would have been extinguished? well, that is what one would assume, at any rate

Whatever that was done was the objective to extinguish fires? no Something else? yes

What would have been the extinguishing agent?
-Water?
-Sand?
-Some Gas?
-Something else? I don't know, and it doesn't matter
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 11:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So B basically is about having fire extinguishers easily available? Being able to notify the firemen quicker (maybe even automatically)?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 1:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin) on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 11:26 am:

So B basically is about having fire extinguishers easily available? Being able to notify the firemen quicker (maybe even automatically)? B is basically about putting the fire out. A does not involve putting the fire out. The question of "notifying the firemen" is in the right forest...
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 11:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Putting the fire out... by fireman? random bystanders? automatic devices?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 10:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin) on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 11:18 pm:

Putting the fire out... by fireman? random bystanders? automatic devices? could be any or all of these
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 3:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is A a rule? a law? Does the underground have to provide additional equipment for A? additional personel?

The oak still might have caught fire, but would have been extinguished, right? So, what would B have changed: the probability of a fire getting started? the availability of extinguishers? the availability or response time of firemen? the fire-related properties of wood?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 4:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin) on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 03:47 pm:

Is A a rule? a law? nothing like this - A was simply something that was mentioned in an announcement at an Underground station while I was waiting for a train Does the underground have to provide additional equipment for A? no additional personel? no

The oak still might have caught fire, but would have been extinguished, right? right - indeed, the oak did catch fire, and this caused A to happen So, what would B have changed: the probability of a fire getting started? no the availability of extinguishers? no the availability or response time of firemen? this is closest the fire-related properties of wood? no
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 4:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oooo...sudden wild guess inspiration! :)

"If there is a fire, please notify your closest London Underground representative" <--- something like that? So that there is a delay instead of calling the fire department directly?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 8:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the idea that firemen utilize the trains? that firemen that happen to use the underground are dispatched directly from there?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 11:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Haenlomal (Haenlomal) on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 04:39 pm:

"If there is a fire, please notify your closest London Underground representative" <--- something like that? not very much like that, but not altogether in the wrong forest So that there is a delay instead of calling the fire department directly? if only A were done, the fire brigade would not be called at all

By Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin) on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 08:49 pm:

Is the idea that firemen utilize the trains? I am sure they do, but that is not the idea that firemen that happen to use the underground are dispatched directly from there? London Underground does not have its own fire brigade - they call the London Fire Brigade if there is a fire. But sometimes, there isn't a fire...
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 12:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sometimes there isn't a fire...

Smoke detectors relevant? how about lightning rods? heat sensors? security cameras? alarm systems?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 11:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What I ment, does the underground notify passengers of fires nearby, so that (off-duty) firemen (from the LFB), that happen to be on the train just then, can go there right away?
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 6:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was there some other "previous engagement" that kept the firefighters from getting to the fire? 'B', in other words?

A=announcement of a fire over the PA/intercom?
B=panic, stampede, etc.?
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 6:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Extreme lateral guess... at least for me...:

The tree taproot grew downward into the tunnel, and grew into some of the electrical lines, shorting them and causing the tree(root) to catch fire. If the tree had been moved (or never planted) 251 years ago, this would not have happened? (this probably isn't right, but you know how random guesses can help someone else get OTRT...)
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 1:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab) on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 12:40 am:


Sometimes there isn't a fire...

Smoke detectors relevant? how about lightning rods? heat sensors? security cameras? alarm systems? nothing as complicated as this

By Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin) on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 11:46 am:


What I ment, does the underground notify passengers of fires nearby, yes, indeed :) so that (off-duty) firemen (from the LFB), that happen to be on the train just then, can go there right away? But not for this reason

By Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters) on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 06:34 pm:


Was there some other "previous engagement" that kept the firefighters from getting to the fire? 'B', in other words? no, but fear not...

A=announcement of a fire over the PA/intercom? exactly and precisely so :)
B=panic, stampede, etc.? no - B was simply putting the fire out

By Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters) on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 06:40 pm:


Extreme lateral guess... at least for me...:

The tree taproot grew downward into the tunnel, and grew into some of the electrical lines, shorting them and causing the tree(root) to catch fire. If the tree had been moved (or never planted) 251 years ago, this would not have happened? (this probably isn't right, but you know how random guesses can help someone else get OTRT...) most ingenious, but you have already done enough for the

***** SPOILER *****

While engaging in our national sport of waiting for a train, I heard an announcement over the PA system at Hammersmith:

"Delays are occuring on the Northern Line due to a fire alert at Burnt Oak."

I reflected that simply alerting people to a fire wasn't enough. They ought also to have put it out - then, presumably, the oak would not have been burnt. Too little, too late.

Well done Lzeiters and Martin, and thanks to all who took part. This puzzle has been a little short of weightless poetry, so here are a couple of pieces about waiting for trains:

It ought to be plain
how little you gain
by getting excited and vexed.
You'll always be late
for the previous train
and always on time
for the next.


Piet Hein, Thoughts on a Station Platform

An unfortunate fellow of Tyne
Put his head on the railway line.
But he died of ennui
Since the 5.43
Didn't come till a quarter past nine.
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 6:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Now that was much less complicated than I thought... :)
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 10:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I might have missed it, but what has the puzzle title to do with it?

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