IF Archaeology: Jean Childs' Excuse Me, Do You Have The Time?

I’m playing Excuse Me, Do You Have The Time by Jean Childs. It was buried unrated in the dusty corners of IFDB. Zero ratings, but there are two positive reviews from two different SYNTAX writers.

Excuse Me, Do You Have The Time? - Details (ifdb.org)

The game on IFDB is a slightly expanded TADS remake (1999) of an older ATARI game with the same title by the same author. The ATARI original is listed on CASA (as is another game by Jean Childs, WYSIWYG). No additional information though.

:: CASA :: Excuse Me - Do You Have the Time? (solutionarchive.com)

Can anyone point me to the original game, feelies or pictures from that original, more information on Jean Childs, or perhaps a walkthrough for either the original or the remake?
It’s not that I found the most amazing game ever, I’d rank it as slightly above average. However, being a 1999 TADS remake of a 1993 ATARI game does put it smack in the middle of the hobbyist renaissance. That makes it interesting.

Anyone know more about this game or its author, Jean Childs?

EDIT: a few posts down in this thread I mentioned I was quitting because I was stuck. Garry Francis dug up a walkthrough:


Yeah, Jean was part of our Adventure Probe community back in the day. I seem to remember her being a regular contributor to the magazine. I’ll have a quick nose and see if I can spot anything particularly relevant. As you’re already aware, the original was an Atari ST game produced using the ST Adventure Creator (STAC); the 16-bit version of the Graphic Adventure Creator.


Here’s one of Jean’s first letters to Probe…

As well as her own games and articles in places like Probe, you’ll find Jean reviewing games in the pages of Red Herring too.

Some quick links…
EMDYHTT? Review from Red Herring redherring redherring13 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
EMDYHTT? Review from the Adventure & Strategy Club
advclub asclub24 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
EMDYHTT? Advert from Red Herring
redherring redherring12 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A WYSIWYG review from Red Herring
redherring redherring16 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
and from the Adventure & Strategy Club
advclub asclub27 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

An little fun piece from Red Herring by Jean…

(there’s another piece further in about mazes)


thanks, strident.

directory Inetark/prog/adv/nl (that is, newsletter) duly created. Tomorrow I’ll populate it :yum:

on local archives… I was sure that the mirror here of ifarchive/games/tads was complete, and I’m surprised that is not the case, this little work of IF escaped the mirroring. Another thing to do…

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio


Thanks! A great lot of articles. I’ll dive right in.

EDIT: Hah! The comic from the Red Herring magazine is funny!


Red Herring’s illustrator, Ken Taylor, was a professional cartoonist for magazines such as the legendary Punch.

His work both in illustration and design, and the high quality, heavy stock paper and spiral binding, gave Red Herring a very professional look. I held on to all my copies back in the day. You can read all the back issues of Red Herring here:

Our text adventure community is building up a collection of Adventure Probe. We’ve got a lot… but there’s still probably hundreds left to add…


It looks like the Atari ST game is missing in action. Early TADS games were very popular on the Atari ST, so it’s a pity that it’s been lost. It would have been interesting to compare the original version with the current (if 1999 can be considered “current”) game. The intro says there are some new puzzles and other improvements.


I’m putting this one down. I’m completely stuck in the Kilimanjaro area. There is a yeti blocking my way. I know I have to launch stones at it from a nearby location, but the response to THROW STONES says that I can’t throw far enough. I’ll need a catapult.

The location descriptions are evocative and informative, but I’m getting fed up with reading them time after time while searching all the accessible areas for this necessary object. The in-game hint system’s not bad, but it only works when I’m right in front of a puzzle. It doesn’t provide a location for objects I need for a given puzzle.

So I’m putting this one aside until I feel like doing another tour of the game-world with fresh eyes, or until someone can give me a hint or a walkthrough.

Definitely worth playing, but it gets tedious when you’re stuck because of an object you can’t find.


I’ve been doing a little bit of research. There are some useful references in SynTax. I think you’ll find enough here to get you out of trouble.

The site is a little hard to navigate, so here are some direct links:

Atari ST version
Review from issue 27
Hints from issue 27
Solution from issue 53

TADS version
Review from issue 62
Solution from issue 69


That is great! The TADS solution will get me out of the Hole of Stuck.

Thanks for digging. IF-Archaeologer’s Gold Dentist’s Drill for you.


Added the TADS solution to the IFDB page.

I got past the stuck-point while carefully shielding my eyes from reading too much of the walkthrough. I hope to finish without further needing the solution, but it’s good to know it’s here. Thanks again.