• Kester Eddy

A tasty bite in Budapest - VIPs savour the flavour of home.

Updated: Aug 18

KesterTester83 - This couple were well known in Budapest at the time of this photo - who are they? UPDATED with results.

Photo: This couple were well known, at least in certain circles, when in Budapest in the 1990s, and their legacy lives on today because of their philanthropic activities.


I was going to post this photo yesterday as an extra clue to the Tester of a fortnight back, the American chain puzzle, but then I thought it could make one in its own right. So here you are - who are they? Of course, it might help you also solve KT81 as well, if you haven't nailed it by now. (I have also added a few clues since, to help you even more on that one. I'll post the winner on Monday.)


In addition, I've added a couple more clues to the Theatre Magnificent, in case you've been struggling over that one. :)


And I posted the winners to the 'sign change' tester earlier this week.


UPDATE - Contestants and the WINNER!


​It seems this couple two are still better known that I had imagined, and remain fondly remembered. First entrant, in rapid fire mode, was David Thompson: “Hi Kester, They are Donald & Vera Blinken. He was the US Ambassador here in the mid ‘90s and is, of course, the father of the current US Secretary of State. Jó hétvégét!” - said David, cheerily. Next was Bill from the Flour Mill, who clearly has a detective's memory for faces. "Is that Don & Vera Blinken?" I dunno, Bill, that's your job to tell me.

"I read the book by her that Janos Horwath's wife left in my apartment and it certainly looks like them. I recall her addressing various good deeds." You remember this from some odd book left around in your flat? That's pretty impressive, Bill. Nicholas Kabcenell then took the plunge: “The current US Secretary of State's father and step mother. He (Donald) a former Warburg Pincus partner, and Vera (originally from Hungary) and together benefactors to among other institutions- CEU archives.” Theodore Boone, riding high on a recent KesterTester win, wanted in too: “Ambassador Donald Blinken and Mrs. Vera Blinken. Donald Blinken is the father of Tony Blinken.” And they kept coming – Richard Lock, John Cantwell and Charles Kovacs all homing in on the former ambassador. “An easy and fun one for me,” said Amy Modly. “He, Donald Blinken, was US Ambassador to Hungary 1994-1997; prior to that Vera Blinken helped establish the NYC-Budapest Sister City Program in 1992.” Steven Nelson added a touch of diplomatic rock trivia. “I believe that's Don and Vera Blinken, father and stepmother, respectively, of current US Secretary of State (and occasional bandmate of former Hungarian Ambassador to US András Simonyi) Antony Blinken. Donald Blinken would have been US Ambassador to Hungary at the time.” And apparently, New York Bagels was big with Amcham at the time – Steven ought to know, he worked there back then. Finally, Csilla Davalovszky joined the party. “I think the couple in your last post is Donald Blinken, US Ambassador to Hungary in the 90s, and his wife (Hungarian-born) Vera Blinken. Their legacy in Budapest include the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives. Not to mention their son in the US, the current Secretary of State.” Right. Robert Brooker tells me the couple used to drop in now and again at a New York Bagel outlet (I suspect the one on Bajcsy Zsilinszky út), but on this particular occasion Donald had given a short address at a new store. (But Robert didn't tell me which one.) OK, now all that needs to be done is pop the numbers – all 10 of 'em – into the EU-approved Black Woolly hat and pick the winner. And …... drum roll …...... the winner, with global celebrity status awaiting, is …. Charles Kovacs …... ticker tape shower unfurls. I happen to know Charles is enjoying the summer kanikula somewhere distant at about 1,300 metres above sea level, but I'm sure he'll appreciate the adulation when he returns. So, congratulations, Charles and all how had a punt. I'd better get down to designing another tester tout d'suite, I suppose. In truth, I have about three posts all half prepared, but the heat and work have been hampering progress.

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