Tuesday November 06th, 2007
The Hunt is Back...Bigger, Better, and Sandier than Ever!
Dave Barry and Tom Schroder did it again, in my opinion the best ever. The Herald Hunt newspaper had jokes on Miami condo developers and Larry Craig, just as an intro to the zanniness that would ensue. The first tough puzzle: Hunters were handed a golf tee with the word 'FORE' printed on it. Hunters had to guess what to do next, as 40 was not a valid clue answer. However, 4-T was a valid set of map coordinates. When Hunters gathered there, they found a golf leaderboard, a list of various names with no apparent connection between the names. Hunters had to figure out that the tee was still the answer to solving the puzzle...as in four Ts. Only one name had four letter Ts in it: Elliott Tarantino, the answer. The second tough puzzle: Hunters initially encountered four Hunt volunteers wearing sandwich boards which had on them one of the following items each: a waffle cone, a chain link, Mark Twain and a key. Hunters had to rearrange the sandwich boards to put them in order: link-cone-mark-key, or 'Lincoln marquee'. Nearby was the Lincoln Theatre, and their marquee was lit up...except some letters were not lit. The unlit letters were 'Lcolna', whereas the lit letters were 'inThetre'. If you rearranged the lit letters, you got 'Thirteen', which was the answer. Our team that year (Lori, Byron, Phillip, and I) were able to get all the answers, albeit requiring some strategic swapping of answers, before the final clue was given. The 5 clues gathered up until that point:
a. The day after the day after yesterday is how many tomorrows more than the day before the week before two weeks from now?
b. Old MacDonald had a sea urchin, E-I-E-I-OWWWWWWW.
c. Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded. Who said that?
d. When the time came, and she finally understood what he had meant to her all these many years, through all those longing glances and murmured endearments, she had him taken out and beaten.
e. Then, lo, the Lone Ranger suddenly appeared in the manger, and proceeded to give a very tedious lecture about stranger danger, which not one of the three kings, who after all had ridden up out of nowhere without introduction, seemed to appreciate.

The final clue: 16, 5, 6, 33, 4.

So, how did we solve it from there? Hunters figured out that each of the five numbers referred to a word in each of the five clues. Taking the 16th word in clue 1, the fifth word in clue 2, etc., you wound up with: BEFORE, SEA, TOO, BEATEN, LONE. After staring at that long enough, some teams realized that they were a series of map coordinates: B4, C2, B10 and L1. On the map at B4 was a caricature of Princess Di. At C2 was Al Gore. At B10 was a doctor. At L1 was a miner. Taken together that gave you: DI AL DOCTOR MINER. You then had to dial Dr. Miner on the phone, which was 376-4637 => DRM-INOR (yes, a cell phone is required to play the hunt). A recording at that number said, "Dr. Miner is not in the office. If this is an emergency, we suggest you try Cornwald and Crabtree." At this point, our team got stuck and after ten more minutes of scratching our heads, the winners were announced. Cornwald and Crabtree were both names Hunters had seen before - on the golf leader board in the "fore tee" puzzle. Cornwald's score was 187. Crabtree's was 301. Those still in the running realized that 187 and 301 referred to additional clues on the clue page from the newspaper. Clue 187 was "PB" and clue 301 was ''NJ.'' Together, that would be PBNJ, or PB 'n' J, common slang for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. All that, and what do you get? You get-- a SANDWICH! Just to throw you off, there was a picture of a sandwich in the middle of the cartoon map. Unfortunately, this was just a distraction. Dave and Tom would never make it that easy. For those who won, they noticed another picture on the map: on the beach, along the Atlantic near 17th Street, was a cartoon image. It was a WITCH. On the SAND. In other words, a SAND WITCH. They sprinted to the beach at 17th Street and found a woman with a broomstick in a witch hat and a T-shirt that said: "What's your order?" They walked up to the witch and said, "PBNJ," and won.

Can't wait for next year. Plus, they're now doing it in Washington D.C. (The Post Hunt) in addition to the Herald Hunt.

By the way, thanks to Andy for keeping the Archives of all the hunts!
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