Rebecca Bloomwood

Sophie Kinsella's Rebecca Bloomwood was sent by a Chelsea pensioner to her ultimate experience. But when she got there she was bitterly disappointed. Why?
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BigRatAsked:
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BigRatConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Well I suppose I'm going to have to close the question by answering it myself.
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andyalderCommented:
Did she end up in Brompton Cemetery?
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
No, but why would you suggest that? What's Rebecca's name?
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andyalderCommented:
I drew a line from Craven Cottage where Fulham play football (Rebecca lives in Fulham) to Stamford Bridge where Chelsea (once nicknamed the Pensioners) play and after I passed by the stadium I ended up in the cemetery.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Hmmm. Why was the football team nicknamed the "Pensioners"?
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andyalderCommented:
Because they play like a bunch of old men. (and old women now that the Royal Hospital, Chelsea admits women).   ;)
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andyalderCommented:
I think we're looking for a woman Chelsea Pensioner who is an out-parient rather than an in-patient but I'm not getting very far along that track.

Rebecca's name may be Brandon.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
Looking at the lower end of the thinking scale (as it's early).
Bloomwood and Chelsea and the current event made me think of the Chelsea Flower Show, it's just possible she was disappointed because the tickets have all sold out and she was too late to get one.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
I'll repeat my question: why has the football team the nickname "The Pensioners"?

And I'll repeat this question: Who is Rebecca Bloomwood?

(And yes, she marries Luke Brandon later)
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andyalderCommented:
Oh, I get it. She's on her way to the flower show and asks this old codger in a red coat "where is RHS Chelsea", and because he was a bit deaf he only got the RHS bit and thought she was calling him Chelsea as a name so he directed her to the Royal Hospital School in Greenwich. When she got there she was disappointed because the school had moved to Holbrook in 1933 so there were no little boys* playing rugby for her to watch.

She then went back to the Royal Hospital and beat the pensioner to death with his walking stick.

*They used to thrash us when we played there but at least they had good tea afterwards.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
>>I'll repeat my question: why has the football team the nickname "The Pensioners"?

with

>>this old codger in a red coat

What sort of pensioner is he?

>>And I'll repeat this question: Who is Rebecca Bloomwood?

And I'll repeat this question again.

>>Oh, I get it.

No you don't, and you're going off on tangents again.

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andyalderCommented:
Rebecca Bloomwood is a shopaholic so maybe she was looking for the King's Road which after all runs parallel with Royal Hospital Road where the army pensioners live.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
>>Rebecca Bloomwood is a shopaholic

That took a while!

What does a SHOPAHOLIC need?

>> army pensioners

So it's a military question, is it?
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andyalderCommented:
Sorry, got distracted thinking abpot Alexie Sayle's favorite footwear.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
>>What does a SHOPAHOLIC need?
Shopahol...
They need a mall or large store.

Maybe due to construction things moved?  From what I'm reading the stadium has always been in the same location.

>>What sort of pensioner is he?
Midfielder Deco?  Like art deco or decorating?  Would seem to fit the shopping them.  Maybe she was looking for the best place for decorating stuff and since all the players seem to be imported none of them speak English very well, so he sent her to Deco's place instead of a decorating place?
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Or she was disappointed because she forgot her purse or was broke?
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
>What does a SHOPAHOLIC need?

I got: Shops or things to buy, money or credit, and an excuse.
The Chelsea Pensioners have no dependants and no bank account, but I can't see this getting in the way of the above and causing disappointment.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
>>>What does a SHOPAHOLIC need?

>>I got: Shop

That's a good start.

>>where the *ARMY* pensioners live.

(My emphasis) and that's a good continuation.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Old Navy keeps coming to mind for some reason...  the store vs. retired sailors (military pensioners instead of the soccer, er football team).  Guess that depends if the ARMY thing was pointing more to a general military thing or specifically to the army.

Sorry I need to google what I can out of this since I'm on the wrong side of the pond here, but found this article that had all kinds of nifty info about Chelsea:
http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Chelsea,_England/

"There was also until recently the Chelsea Barracks off the King's Road, now a shopping mall. "

Another quote I think was already pointed to "The best-known building is Chelsea Royal Hospital for invalid soldiers"

"Good antique shops off Sloane Square and Pimlico Road"

They also mention that Chelsea used to be popular for fine china and pastries once upon a time, but that time has long since past by the sound of that article, but if it were a more recent passing that could have been cause for disappointment.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
I nice little walkthrough of the shopping in the area - maybe something will jump out to those more familiar with the area and its history:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destinations/england/article662168.ece
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
This one mentions a few higher class places for shopping:
http://www.enjoyengland.com/destinations/find/london/chelsea.aspx

Heh - is she by chance an Arsenal's fan and wanted a jersey or other memorabelia, and got directed to the military arsenal?  Probably way off here, but got a little chuckle out of that digging around.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
Inspired by Para's Old Navy.
Perhaps she was sent by the Pensioner to the 'Army And Navy' and expected to find the clothing store which is now known as House of Fraser. Instead she found herself at the Army and Navy Club in St James'.
"Situated in relaxed refinement in the heart of St James's, the Army and Navy Club, often known by its nickname, "The Rag", prides itself on offering a unique combination of the ambience traditionally found in an officers' mess, with the comfort and facilities of an exclusive hotel."

It doesn't sound like something that would bitterly disappoint, but certainly it certainly isn't selling the wide variety of designer clothes brands, homeware, electricals, beauty and gifts that she may have been expecting.
 
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Paranormastic: We use words in the clue to get us somewhere, thereafter we drop them. The word "Chelsea" in Chelsea pensioner was used to get a pensioner of a particular type and now the word is dead.

Robin: "Perhaps she was sent by the Pensioner to "

is the correct start. But use the words in the clue.

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andyalderCommented:
Where *do* chelsea pensioners do their shopping? Most things are provided but there must be a private tuck shop at the hospital which of course wouldn't serve Rebecca.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Perhaps she was sent by the Pensioner to the best store to get shoes - only to find out that instead of high heels they sold cleats.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
>>Where *do* chelsea pensioners do their shopping?

I've just told Paranormastic that the word Chelsea is dead, so why bring it up again?

Paranormastic: I've just told you that the word was to get a pensioner of a particular *type*, so you can probably drop the word pensioner as well.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
The Royal Hospital Chelsea
From 12th June - 2nd August, The Ultimate Experience will be installing a semi- permanent marquee structure in the middle Ranelagh Gardens, known as The Conservatory at Chelsea, which can be hired on a venue only basis or as a complete party package. This fantastic, purpose-built structure is designed with flexibility in mind, making it suitable for any event brief, from a corporate dinner to a wedding breakfast, a BBQ to a family fun day.  With a seated capacity of 400 and standing capacity of 500 this venue is a cost-effective event space for larger events and benefits from its own private garden.
Over the Christmas period, The Ultimate Experience will be installing a similar structure in the south Grounds of the Hospital.  
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Guests will be taken back to a time of flapper girls and trilby hats in our jazz club reception, before dinner, which will be a glitzy and glamorous affair in the stunning atmosphere created by our chandelier and starlit dining room. Available for seated dinners and standing receptions, our all inclusive packages help you to celebrate Christmas in style.
But I think Rebecca would be happy to attend, It would give her an excuse to buy more clothes so she could enjoy the party.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Robin: It is quite clear that a misunderstanding occured between the pensioner and Rebecca and he sent her somewhere which sounded like what she wanted but turned out to be something completely different.

So, although your posting is very interesting, it is completely off topic!
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
So now I would think the next logical step would be to determine what would constitute 'the ultimate experience' for Rebecca/ a shopaholic.  I am leaning towards either a big sale, a grand opening of a new mall, or a specific type of item that would be highly desirable such as shoes, coats, jewelry, etc.

A red coat sale that ended up being a sale for redcoats?  Since she (presumably) wasn't part of the military then she didn't get to go inside or didn't get the discount?

Or maybe a 'giant sale' came across as a 'giant sail' to an old naval pensioner?
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
"Perhaps she was sent by the Pensioner to "
The Chelsea Hospital Mall, an impressive building designed by architects Sheppard Robson who are better known for their shopping centers.  Along with the much publicised over-spend on the construction there is an apparantly not-so-impressive display of artworks "The art gives the impression that it has been chosen without due deliberation: the selection process seems quite arbitrary". It neither looks, smells nor feels like a hospital, but it doesn't sound like much of a place to go shopping either.
If Rebecca was sent to the mall by the pensioner she could have been expecting a vast array of exciting shops, this feeling further enhanced by the look of the building. But once inside it would eventually dawn on her that she was in fact in a hospital, not what she was looking forward to at all.
 
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
>>which sounded like what she wanted but turned out to be something completely different.

THe last two posts have ignored this comment.
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andyalderCommented:
I don't think the last comment ignored that, Becky as a Brit in the books probably knew a mall was an open pedestrian area for playing pall mall but the American from the film probably thought mall meant shops.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
What American from what film, Robin?
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andyalderCommented:
The American version of Rebecca from the film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_a_Shopaholic_(film)
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
I didn't think I ignored the comment either, but it's obviously not the answer we are looking for.
Brit-speak 'mall' usually means 'shopping mall' same as in the US I believe. Pall Mall afaik is a street in London or a brand of cigarette.
I've not seen the film, just read one of the books. Is it necessary to get some information from the film for this question?
 
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
>>playing pall mall
-- normally when I hear 'pall mall' i think of the cigarette brand...

I don't think I ignored it, either, even if it was going down the wrong kind of road..

'giant sale' came across as a 'giant sail'  - tell me that you wouldn't be a bit disappointed.  More generically I was hinting towards a homophonic reference where there was confusion in the context so the wrong impression carried over.  Mall ~ maul, sale ~sail, coat (jacket) ~ coat (of paint), and so forth.  Even if this is the wrong path, I gave this example SPECIFICALLY in response to "which SOUNDED like what she wanted but turned out to be SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT."

The other reference "A red coat sale that ended up being a sale for redcoats" pointed towards an event, etc., that would have been accessible or interesting to the pensioner, but not to Rebecca  -- "which sounded like WHAT SHE WANTED but turned out to be SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT."

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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Or if movie based, would it be better to see the Brit version:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Dreamworld_of_a_Shopaholic
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Sorry on last post - didn't look at the whole article close enough.  Was referencing to the difference in names - "The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic" in UK and "Confessions of a Shopaholic" in US.  My wonderful memory (cough) came through again in remembering that it was redone in America under a different name, but that was the books.  Not sure if the movie was redone/renamed as well?
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
So other references from wiki going forward in the series past the first book and the movie (sorry haven't read the series so much) that may or may not be of service here...  Mainly looking for the direction of what constitutes this 'ultimate experience' to Rebecca.

-She takes to New York like an angel to heaven, or as she so succinctly says, "These are my people. I've found my homeland."

- hyperventilating at a Prada sample sale

- enter a magnificent place of worship and Becky enters Saks rather than St. Patrick's

- probably way off here, but the experience could be her own wedding, this sounds fairly amusing scenario from the 3rd book: "Suddenly, she finds herself caught in the middle between her mother and Lukes mother, both of whom want to throw her a lavish wedding, one in England and one at the Plaza in New York. The problem? Becky cant seem to tell either of them no, even as both weddings are being planned for the same day."  ... note from 4th book they had a 10 month honeymoon... must be nice!

- But the chance of a lifetime comes along - an Angel bag, the It bag of the season which Becky simply has to have.

- Becky helping Jess organize a protest against a new shopping mall (which turns out to be one of Luke's new clients)
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
You aren't going to get your answer marked correct by arguing Para ;7)
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
As usual you all go into far too much detail. Yiu have military and shop.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
>>You aren't going to get your answer marked correct by arguing Para ;7)
My argument wasn't towards making my previous comments correct, but rather refuting this comment
> THe last two posts have ignored this comment.

My comment did not ignore that - it was just apparently not correct.  I was a little set off by that.  I'm not looking for bonus points for it, just pointing out that I did indeed recognize the posting and responded accordingly.  So it was wrong - big deal.

Anyways...

I go into more detail for clue fishing purposes.  As Rat's clues seem to jump from one thing to the next, this is my method for dealing with that.  Hopefully in exploring one of many possibilities I might just touch on something noteworthy that will help jump to the next clue.

So we have military and shop, (and a misunderstanding).

So now to figure out how military correlates - it could be based on branch (army, navy, air force, etc.), that it deals with weapons (gun/rifle/pistol, sword, cannon, etc.), or a rank (private, general, admiral, etc.).

If working from ranks, some commonly used ranks for humor (and a possible combination) are private (auction), major (sale), and general (store).

Store seems like more of last or next-to-last hop (maybe the name of a store or style of store), but will probably be the last clue hop until mixed with the military factor.

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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
>refuting this comment
Mine was the other of the two posts and I don't think I ignored the comment either so... maybe it was a further clue? Or just frustration on the part of the asker.
"something completely different" is part of a well known phrase or saying, but I might be looking too deep again.
 
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andyalderCommented:
Perhaps she wanted to buy Chelsea Barracks, too late though since it was sold to the Qatari royal family for just under a billion quid in 2007.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Cheap at half the price, Andy!
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Maybe she went to the army surplus store and found that all they had left was 15 year old food packets?
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
It looks as if I'm going to have to close this one by myself. You can't seem to put military and shop together?
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andyalderCommented:
Only military shop I know of is the NAAFI.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Well you should try harder because it's a word play on SHOP.
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
Another word for shop could be store. A military store could be the arsenal and that seems to lead to another football team. Not really a shopaholic related guess, but perhaps she thought she was going to see Chelsea play and got to see Arsenal instead? I don't follow football at all but I understand that there is a bit of rivalry between different teams and this could be important to some people.
Before the instruction about wordplay, I was trying to think of a word that Biggles could have used to describe the centre of the battle - possibly something to do with a shop? Nearest I can get at the moment would be 'the theatre', and I was wondering if Rebecca was led astray by overhearing that there was a 'free for all' happening there.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
When I first went to Britain I used to listen to Barbara Castle going on about "the woman on the shop floor", which was a major issue at that time. There was also a TV program called the RagTrade with Miriam Karlin as a shop steward. Does that help?
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
instead of military should we be looking more at militant?  from wikipedia re: The Rag Trade:
"the female workers are led by militant shop steward Paddy (Miriam Karlin)"

"the woman on the shop floor" takes the eyes away from 'shop' being a place to buy things and towards a place to manufacture things, and the rag trade reference backs that up, as it took place in a "small clothing workshop", Fenner Fashions.

Barbara Castle was involved with a lot of union issues - maybe there was a strike, a violent one may (taking militant into play)?
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GeisrudSystems AdministratorCommented:
shop as in workshop?
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
warmer/colder?
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
I only mentioned Miriam Karlin to show that there was another thing called "shop". But you immediately go off on a tangent by changing one of the words again.

I have stated this before. Rat's puzzles always have the same pattern: The clues lead you to words, the words lead you to the solution. The substitution goes only once. So Rebecca Bloomwood => shop, Chelsea pension => military. Required answer = place.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Sorry - just making sure we had the right flavor using military instead of something else.  Relax.

So how about these then, based on military [manufacturing] shops.  Anything getting warmer, or am I freezing cold?

Place type:
Shipyard
Gunnery
Boot camp/training camp (making soldiers - a bit of a stretch, but hey)

Company names (not a place, I realize, but using as a building block for other ideas)
Names of companies that are defense contractors -- was looking for a bigger name that might have a particular site or plant of notoriety, but nothing stood out to me, but might be a start for someone else that might be more up on things over there.
Found a lot of names at http://www.armedforces.co.uk/companies/co/

Name of a specific site of presumed notoriety:
Didn't know if there is such a thing as a famous military manufacturing shop, but I gave it a try.  This feels more like the path we should be going down, but I'm at a bit of a disadvantage here since I don't know many locations in England, none of which would be remotely relevant.  Anyways, here are a few things I was able to dig up for starters.

Bridgeport  "world famous for its Turret Milling Machine and engineering excellence"

"Kingston ?Upon-Thames & Dunsfold near Guildford made Harrier Jump Jets and Hawk trainers as flown by The Red Arrows"

Hatfield. Weybridge. Hurn and Bristol. that all apparently had a lot of airplane manufacturing that closed.

The Newton Heath Factory in Chadderton (next to Greenfield plant), later British Aerospace, then BAE Systems - article I read said that this was supposed to be twice the size of any other airplane shop, at least when it was built - not sure on the current status.
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GeisrudSystems AdministratorCommented:
When I think of military (or Army) shop, I think of a PX, or BX - Base Exchange.  

In my experience, these are normally run by AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service).  That may be just US though...
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andyalderCommented:
Since Barbara Castle was mentioned it may be the armoury of Santa Barbara Castle he sent her to ;)
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Since nothing was accepted or commented on yet, could you at least throw us a bone as to the context of 'place', please?

-Place type
-Name of specific establishment or site
-???
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
OK, try this as an example :-

He bought a computer game called "Mice", silly boy.

OK, so what computer game ought he have bought?

"Rats" it's THE computer game.
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statler01Commented:
I think it's been covered but what I gather is she walks up to the guy and says "Can you direct me to the shops?" and he points her in what he thinks is the right direction... But when she gets there it's the army garage, not retail stores...

Or is it a specific shop?
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
>Or is it a specific shop?

Getting nearer the mark.

If I don't get any further replies on this, I'll close this question next week.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Instead of a Shopping Museum, she ended up at the National Army Museum Shop?
http://shop.national-army-museum.ac.uk/

I'm seeing that Knightsbridge is supposed to be a world-class shopping area, maybe some military substitution relating to that?

Or on Sloane St. there is Armani - maybe the old codger heard it as the Armoury?
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
If you noticed the word "Shop" does not appear in the question.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Hmmm...  play on the word shop...  we're not talking about the supermarket now are we?  (super=ultimate, market=shop) Just kidding... nothing military about that...

Wordplay on shop, with a military undercurrent, for the name of a place...
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Re-read my last comment, please, Paranormastic.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Yes, I know, sorry...  It just popped in my head and found it amusing.

Something more like chop shop or talking shop, but military... maybe like General Base Shop or Multiple Shop, but presumably more amusing.
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andyalderCommented:
Since you mentioned Barbara Castle could it be he directed her to Castillo de Santa Bárbara (Saint Barbara Castle) ?

Nope, didn't think so ;)
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
We've boiled it down to Rebecca Bloomwood (Shopaholic) talking to a Chelsea pensioner, who suggests she go somewhere. So where is this place, bearing in mind that Rebecca never goes anywhere without a shopping bag?
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sublimationCommented:
because all women are the same...
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Ignoring subliminal impressions, are we going to post a solution to this puzzle in January or shall I post the solution? I ask because I have a "Murder She Wrote" one comming up.
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andyalderCommented:
If Rebecca was American it would be possible that she was sent to the road that goes from Admiralty Arch to Buck House, but as a Brit she wouldn't fall for that one.
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
I drew a blank awhile ago...  I feel I'm close in concept, but just not hitting it... and if I'm way off then that's just not going to change much without redirecting clues.
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Andy: The associatuion with a military establishment and something which Rebecca *would* misinterpret leads exactly to the solution of the puzzle.
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captainCommented:
<sub>

Something that she thought would be for sale, was not for sale but the 'sign' on the door suggests it would be?

Read sign as in whatever you associate with the name/place...
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
All the clues are in the question. There was no mention of a sale.
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captainCommented:
Did she go to the Mall (Bucks palace => trafalgar Aquare)?
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captainCommented:
make that Trafalgar Square
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Bucks palace / Buck's place?
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
As BigRat's difficult questions go this has been a really tough one. In any other Zone one ot the suggested answers would have done as a workaround. All we seem to have done is repeat the question and don't appear to be any closer to the answer.
I'm all out of ideas so please tell me.
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captainCommented:
Harrods
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ParanormasticCryptographic EngineerCommented:
Mall / Maul...  that's my final guess/statement :p
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andyalderCommented:
So what's the answer?
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BigRatAuthor Commented:
>>Sophie Kinsella's Rebecca Bloomwood was sent by a Chelsea pensioner to her ultimate experience. But when she got there she was bitterly disappointed. Why

Sophie Kinsella's Rebecca Bloomwood => Shopaholic => Shopping Experience
Chelsea pensioner => British Army Old Soldier => British Military
ultimate experience => shopping experience => shopping in "The Shop" of all shops
military + shop = "The Shop"  => engineers, workshop
Britisg Army Engineers Workshop => The Royal Military Academy (RMA) at Woolwich

So Rebecca goes off to Woolwich and find out that "The Shop" is in fact an academy and is disappointed.

All the clues are in the question line, in order, shop, british military and the superlative in ultimate, giving "The Shop".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Military_Academy,_Woolwich
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Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
Thanks. I had never heard of 'The Shop', but I have now :7)
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andyalderCommented:
Both you (RobinD) and Paranormastic said it was (The Woolwich) Arsenal 6 months ago. Didn't have the answer exactly that it was called "The Shop" but bang on with the grid reference Rebecca got sent to.



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BigRatAuthor Commented:
Andy: The first reference to the word "Arsenal" was in conjunction with a "military STORE", a that led them to a football team(?). One could have just as easily siad "Another word for shop is workshop ad a military workshop wold be ....". What am I to do with half leads which go nowhere?
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