Treasure Hunts

What the Griot Said

When you tell the Griot you want to learn about June 19, 1718, he closes his eyes for a moment and considers. Then he speaks slowly: Ah, yes. The man you speak of must be the one we call The Digging Man. He did arrive here on the day you name with eight other men….

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About The Legend

Battle scene

Once a small crowd of tourists has gathered, the guide begins the talk: We’re very proud to have the Legend here. It was discovered off the coast of North Carolina three years ago, dismantled underwater, and rebuilt in dry-dock. The North Carolina Nautical Museum has graciously lent the ship to us for this exhibit. As…

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Little Falls Playground

The actual wood carving from the original hunt. See text below for inscription.

A Department of Parks official stands amid the wreckage of the ancient tree. This last storm was just too much for it. It’s a shame. Everyone will miss this tree. I’m trying to save the carvings at least—the rest will be hauled off as waste. The official has sorted many of the carvings by date….

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Wandering the Legend

Someone’s obviously put a great deal of time and money into restoring the ship. But all that renovation clearly leaves little chance of your finding anything hidden. Just to be safe, you poke, prod, and pry every drawer, bookshelf, and widget onboard—to no avail. You decide to quit wasting time before they ask you to…

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Chevy Chase Library

The staff at the library is in a tizzy, and yellow tape is strung across the door. A plainclothes police officer approaches you. I’m afraid the library was burglarized last night—several books, furniture, and works of art were stolen. We’ll have the case wrapped up soon, but until then the library is closed to the…

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Hunt 1989: Scavenger Hunt

After serving behind the scenes for two Hunts, I was eager to compete for a change. Steve Williams took up the challenge of organizing the 1989 event, which was a scavenger hunt instead of the puzzle-centric events of previous years. Seekers were tasked to find the following items: Any Cleveland Indians or Tampa Bay Buccaneers…

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Hunt 1988: Spy Game


The second time around, we wanted to up the stakes a bit. Having teams compete was fun—but what if solvers could strike off on their own at any time? What if you couldn't trust your teammates? For this kind of backstabbing scenario, a secret agent theme felt natural. Participants could work together temporarily to solve…

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Hunt 1987: It All Starts Here

Rebus clue to one of the 1987 Hunt locations

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…

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