2017 May 28

Hunt 1987: It All Starts Here

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Unindicted co-conspirator Amber Blaha and I put together the first Hunt during the summer of 1987. It was a straightforward series of puzzles, with the answer to each being the location of the next clue. The prize—a basket of goodies, I think?—was hidden at the final location, a secret glen in Rock Creek Park that our crew had discovered earlier in the year.

We split participants into two teams, being careful that each team had someone who would remember the Rock Creek Park destination. The day before the Hunt, we journeyed around the DC metro area hiding clues at the other locations. The only one I definitely recall now is “Perry Lion”, one of the stone statues guarding the Taft Bridge where Connecticut Avenue spans Rock Creek Park. The Silver Spring Acorn may have been another site.

Little now remains of our first effort. The only puzzle I still have is this rebus:

Rebus clue to one of the 1987 Hunt locations

I'm sure the answer is obvious to everyone reading this… But just for completeness, I'll walk through the solution.

CHEESE - E leaves CHESE

CHESE + NAVY leaves CHESENAVY

CHESENAVY + TORCH leaves CHESENAVYTORCH

CHESENAVYTORCH - SENATOR leaves CHEVYCH

CHEVYCH + ASPEN leaves CHEVYCHASPEN

CHEVYCHASPEN - PEN leaves CHEVYCHAS

CHEVYCHAS + EEL leaves CHEVYCHASEEL

CHEVYCHASEEL + F leaves CHEVYCHASEELF

CHEVYCHASEELF - ELF leaves CHEVYCHASE

CHEVYCHASE + LIBRA leaves CHEVYCHASELIBRA

CHEVYCHASELIBRA + RYE leaves CHEVYCHASELIBRARYE

CHEVYCHASELIBRARYE - E leaves CHEVYCHASELIBRARY

CHEVYCHASELIBRARY + M.D. leaves CHEVYCHASELIBRARYMD

…or in other words, the Chevy Chase library in Maryland (since there's also a Chevy Chase library in DC).

Following the hint, solvers then had to read only every fifth word in the accompanying paragraph. This gives the additional instructions “Reference room. Go to vertical file. Look under “Singapore”. End.”

Somehow, people actually did figure out all our clues and find the prize. And nobody was arrested for climbing on public property! In fact, everyone had such a good time that we thought we might just do this Hunt thing again sometime.