I followed it for a few days, post-exams with nothing much to do, but never finished it. I recall getting as far as an obscure children's dictionary, Aa's Woordenboek, then getting stuck. From the descriptions I realise now that I failed entirely to realise that it was a branching tree of clues, not a single linear trail, nor grasp that some of the clues broke out of the general format. Pre-Internet, I'm not sure I could have solved
You need to find a biography published in London in 1968 about a man of whom it was said "He was close on to six feet tall, of military bearing and of such extraordinary vitality that young ladies asserted they could feel him ten feet away".I never entirely believed it was finishable or sustainable: all it required was for one mean-spirited person to break the trail (see Marginalia and other crimes for evidence that moral responsibility and library use don't always coincide). But who had the time and energy to maintain it? Did the librarian in charge of 19th century Japanese journals never get tired, or suspicious, of students who obviously couldn't read Japanese asking for Kokubangaku kenkyu, vol.27?