The Hunt Year was...


The American Red Cross

2008 Herald Hunt

Your online guide to the zaniness of the 2008 Herald Hunt!

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2008 Herald Hunt Cover Image

When:  10/26/2008

Where: Bicentennial Park

Gosh darn if the 2008 Post Hunt didn't set out to confuse the out-of-towners by bringing in some stuff that only locals to D.C. would know. The 2008 Herald Hunt sought to compete in that regard by making sure NO ONE could solve the Hunt. Easily the toughest Hunt thus far, it brought the festivities to a somewhat new location, that being Bicentennial Park, just north of Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami. This was a neat area for the Hunt, as the main stage sat within clear view of the headquarters of the Hunt sponsors, the Miami Herald, but also took advantage of the Arsht Center. Also, it was the first South Florida Hunt to have any rain, but it was just a brief misty shower that only lasted about 15 minutes, and there was sunshine at the end. Despite the difficulty of the Hunt, everyone had a good time...and are seeking retribution at a future Hunt!

The Initial Puzzles
NOTE: The puzzle answers are hidden! In order to see them, you must highlight them with your mouse to reverse the text!

1. Bob is an American taxpayer who made some poor financial decisions that left him deeply in debt. What will the federal government do for Bob?
A: lt will lend him money.
E: It will assume responsibility for his debts.
J: You're kidding, right?
Answer: J

2. Barb is a woman. How many pairs of shoes does she need?
B: Six.
D: Fourteen.
H: More pairs than she has now.
Answer: H

3. Miami is struggling with overdevelopment. poverty, traffic congestion, underfunded mass transit and a severely overburdened school system. What should Miami do?
K: Build a baseball stadium.
Answer: K

4. Complete the following lyric by Tommy James and the Shondells "My baby does the ..."
A: Hokey-pokey
B: Namby-pamby
C: Smoot-Hawley
E: Hanky-panky
EXTRA CREDIT: Define "Shondell."
Answer: E

5. Why do TV news reporters stand outside during hurricanes and repeatedly point out that the wind is blowing?
F: Because they are idiots.
I: Because they think we are idiots.
R: This really isn’t an answer. but wasn't it great when Geraldo got knocked down by a wave during Hurricane Ike?
Q: All of the above.
Answer: Q

Main Puzzles (i.e. the puzzle sites)
NOTE: Puzzle answers and their descriptions are hidden! In order to see them, you must highlight them with your mouse to reverse the text!

Puzzle: Do-re-mi
Location: Northeast corner of Bicentennial Park
Hunters arrived at Bicentennial Park to find a huge three-by-four grid pattern on the grass arranged as follows:
Row 1: Flamingo, runner at a finish line, deer
Row 2: Tea cup, a dolphin, a "Hello, My Name Is" nametag with no name filled out
Row 3: Ray Charles, needle with spool of thread, LA Dodgers cap
Row 4: Star of David, (nothing printed, just a white square), "OZ." repeated 16 times
In the background, a familiar tune played -- the "Do-Re-Mi" song from "The Sound of Music." If you sang along to the music, you got, "Do, a deer, . . ." etc., until the melody abruptly stopped at "Ti, a drink with jam and bread."
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 385
How to get the answer:
Astute Hunters realized a couple things:
- The images on seven of the signs on the grassy grid -- the deer, Ray Charles, the name tag, the marathon runner, the needle, the ball cap and the teacup -- were clear references to the song lyrics for do, re, mi, fa, so, la and ti.
- The grid represented a phone dial pad, complete with a "star" symbol on the lower left (the Jewish star) and a "pound" (16 oz. = 1 pound) on the lower right. So, each of the symbols "do" through "ti" represented a digit on the dial pad, and if you dialed them in order, the phone number would be 376-2894. If you called that number on your cellphone, you heard a recording: "Thank you for calling J. Andrews Travel. Your prize redemption code is 927."

The number 927 was not one of the possible solutions listed in the Hunt issue. But there was an advertisement for a phony company called "J. Andrews Travel" (named for singer Julie Andrews). The ad listed air fares to various cities. The key was to realize that the "redemption code," 927, corresponded on the giant dial pad to "la," "fa" and "re" -- in other words, "LA fare." The solution to this puzzle was the price for the LA fare, $385.

Puzzle: Unity Party
Location: Main Hunt stage in Bicentennial Park
On the Hunt stage in Bicentennial Park, speakers for "The Unity Party" held a political rally. A banner communicated the party slogan: "The Unity Party. Extremes cause strife and confusion. The solution is in the middle." A sign to the left of the speaker read: The moment of truth is
at hand, and each of
us must stand firm
in support of our nation.

A sign to the right read:
Eventually we will see
our efforts rewarded, for
in us are the seeds of
inevitable victory.

The speakers took turns urging the crowd to "bridge the gap," "unite," "reject extremes of right and left," "look to the middle," and other similar phrases.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 65
How to get the answer:
Both the slogan and the speakers were trying to tell Hunters to put the two quotes on either side of the speakers together and focus on the middle. If you did as you were urged, a numerical equation emerged where the lines of the two slogans met in the middle:
The moment of truth iS EVENtually we will see
at hand, and each oF OUR efforts rewarded, for
us must stand firM IN US are the seeds of
in support of our natioN.INEvitable victory.
The solution was "SEVEN FOUR MINUS NINE", or 65.

Puzzle: Marathon
Location: American Airlines Arena steps
Hunters arrived in front of American Airlines Arena to find a slow-motion race going on, under a banner that said: "ING MARATHON FINISH LINE." Three runners in the "race" wore track jerseys, but instead of numbers, the jerseys sported one or more letters.

The runners always finished the race in this order, listed by identifying letter(s): First: K. Second: BL. Third: FL.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 128
How to get the answer:
Hunters had to figure out that "ING FINISH LINE" was a hint to "finish" each jersey by adding "ING" to the letters already there. That yielded KING BLING FLING. In the fake travel ad that was essential in solving the "Do-re-mi" puzzle, there were also dates for special excursions, including one celebrating the British crown jewels. That would be a "king bling fling." The date for the crown jewel excursion was Dec. 8, or 12/8. The solution to this puzzle was 128.

Puzzle: The Hand
An offset puzzle; as Hunters exited Bicentennial Park, volunteers handed them little plastic back scratchers in the shape of a hand, plus a slip of paper that said: "See also: D-4.5"

D-4.5 was a reference to map coordinates on the Hunt Map, which led Hunters to the Arsht Center Concert Hall. When they arrived, an emcee was onstage, exhorting the crowd to participate in a "really big round of applause" -- for no apparent reason. He communicated that idea every way he could, short of using the phrase "a really big hand."
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 6
How to get the answer:
Very alert Hunters realized that here was a "big hand" to go with the "little hand" they were given at the park exit. It was a clear clock reference.

When teams plotted the location of the big hand and the little hand on the Hunt Map, they noticed that they lined up perpendicularly to two Roman numerals, a III and a IX, drawn on the map in the exact position they would occupy on a clock, if the "big hand" was on the 12, and the "little hand" was on the 6. The time would be 6 o'clock.

6 was the solution to the puzzle.

Puzzle: The Concert
Location: Arsht Center Opera House
Hunters arrived at the Arsht Center Opera House to find an odd concert in progress. The musicians kept interrupting their piece for unrelated instrument solos. All the solos were songs with numbers in the title:
First, a saxiphone played "Sixteen Tons"
Then, a tuba played "Three Blind Mice"
Then, a trumpet played "Eight Days A Week"
Then, a clarinet played "When I'm Sixty-Four"
Then, a trombone played "Seventy-Six Trombones"

Hunters also had two extra things happen during the concert:
First, a sheep flew across the stage, while the loudspeakers bleated, "Baa! Baa!"
Second, a woman was chased across the stage by a man with a net. Someone in the audience shouted, "Run, Claire! Run!" but to no avail. The man netted Claire and dragged her back offstage.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 364
How to get the answer:
Smart Hunters realized that they were being directed to two of the solos. "Two baas" suggested the tubas, and Claire in a net suggested the clarinet. Since the tubas played "Three Blind Mice" and the clarinet played "When I'm 64," the answer was 364.

The Clues
6. Magnetism, as you recall from physics class, is a powerful force that causes certain items to be attracted to refrigerators.
65. I'm astounded you think you can find unending Nirvana when you can't even find your way around Opa-Locka.
128. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.
364. You're a resourceful person, but you don't understand how thoroughly you upset people when you cause trouble. If you would only use common sense instead of continually -- and quite obviously -- confusing the issue by pushing for useless solutions, knowing full well they could never truly be successful.
385. "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that." -- Abraham Lincoln in a letter to a journalist, Aug. 22, 1862

The Final Puzzle
NOTE: The final puzzle description is hidden! In order to see them, you must highlight them with your mouse to reverse the text!

The Final Puzzle:
Solving the five puzzles gave Hunters five clues, which appeared to mean nothing.
At 3 p.m., the sixth and final clue was announced from the Hunt stage. It was a recording of a toilet flushing.
Final puzzle photos and materials...
Solving the Hunt:
In other words, a FLUSH. Some Hunters realized that in poker, a flush was defined as five of the same suit.

On the map, five bathing beauties were wearing five matching red swim suits. The women in the identical suits were located at coordinates H-2, W-1, A-3, E-5 and L-4. If you put those in 1-5 order, you got WHALE.

On the map, a cartoon whale was sunning at the seawall in Bayside Marketplace. Hunters who went there found Hunt volunteers in "Save The Whales" T-shirts, handing out a flier that said: "We need you in our battle to save the whales. Every "YOU" counts!"

That was a sneaky way of telling Hunters to count the U's in the five clues they hadn't used yet. There were three U's in the first clue, seven in the second, six in the third, 28 in the fourth and 13 in the last. That yielded a seven-digit phone number, 376-2813.

A recording at that number said: "Write your team captain's name and cell number on a piece of paper, plus the coordinates that spelled out the location where you got this phone number. To figure out where to deliver it, you're going to have to go back to square one. Figuratively speaking."

Square one was a sneaky reference to the No. 1 square in the phone pad from the "Do-re-mi" puzzle. But there was nothing there that hadn't been there all afternoon, a poster of a flamingo.

Hunters close to winning noticed that there was a flamingo on the map at Southeast Second Avenue and Fifth Street. Waiting there was a Hunt volunteer in a flamingo T-shirt. The first team that handed its slip of paper with the team captain's name on it won the Hunt.

Who won (Congratulations!):

Photos & related materials for the winners...


Photos, articles, stories and other multimedia related to the hunt...



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