The Hunt Year was...


The American Red Cross

2009 Herald Hunt

Your online guide to the zaniness of the 2009 Herald Hunt!

2009 Herald Hunt Cover Image

When:  11/29/2009

Where: Adrienne Arsht Center, Downtown Miami

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. It has been estimated that there are 100,000 giant Burmese pythons loose in the Everglades. Assuming that the average length of these snakes is 15 feet, what is the total combined length of the Everglades pythons?
A. 15,000 feet.
F. 150,000 feet.
G. About 284 miles.

Answer: G

2. On July 20, 2009, what did passengers encounter when they boarded the Miami Metromover?
B. A live six-foot nurse shark.
C. This really happened.
J. All of the above.

Answer: J

3. Which of the following has NOT at some point been the name of the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins?
A. Joe Robbie Stadium.
B. Pro Player Park.
C. Dolphin Stadium.
D. Fidel Castro Stadium.
E. Land Shark Stadium.

Answer: D

4. In August, Sen. Mel Martinez resigned as one of Floridaís U.S. senators. Whom did Gov. Charlie Crist appoint to replace him?
D. Gloria Estefan.
G. A live six-foot nurse shark.
H. Some lackey.

Answer: H

5. The three bones of the middle ear are:
A. The tweezer, the spoon and the doorstop.
C. The hammer, the anvil and the stirrup.
H. The frog, the geranium and the harmonica.
K. Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Answer: C

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: The Play
Location: Adrienne Arsht Center
At the Arsht Center opera house, actors performed an old-fashioned murder mystery. As the play began, the characters discovered the dead body of a man named Jack. As they tried to identify the killer, the stage plunged into blackness. A voice announced the technical difficulties would be resolved shortly. A minute later, the lights came back on, and the actors picked up where they left off. But as the play progressed, the characters began to talk about how something was different. It was up to the audience to figure out what: Jack, the corpse, had been white before the lights went out. When they came back on, he was black.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 21
How to get the answer:
Jack had become black. Blackjack is also called 21. 21 is the solution.

Puzzle: The Carol
Location: The Hunt Main Stage
A holiday chorus performed on the Main Stage in front of The Miami Herald building. They were all dressed in Miami Herald T-shirts, but two of the group also sported white wings and halos. The concert began with the opening bars of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", into a rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas."
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 3511
How to get the answer:
Hunters had to notice that the two singers with wings only sang the lyrics to certain of the 12 days: 3, 5 and 11. These were the "Herald Angels," which the intro music told Hunters to "hark" -- which means to listen to closely. The solution is to note the numbers for the days on which the angels sang along. The solution was 3511.

Puzzle: The Bracelet
Location: Trinity Cathedral
At Trinity Cathedral, Hunters were given rubber bracelets, the type Lance Armstrong made famous. They were instructed: "Put it on your wrist." But putting it on their own wrists did nothing to help solve the puzzle. Hunters had to notice that the legend printed on the bracelet wasn't an inspirational slogan, but simply "P. 3." The sharp Hunters thought to look at Page 3 of the Hunt issue, on which there was something called "Letter Jumble" -- a rectangle filled with letters in which there were hidden word scrambles.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 16
How to get the answer:
In the middle of the rectangle of jumbled letters, the letters Y, O, U, R, W, R, I, S, T formed a circle the exact size of the bracelet. If Hunters placed the bracelet on YOUR WRIST, as they had been directed, it formed a circle around 10 other letters: X, S, E, I, E, N and T. Unscrambled, the letters spelled sixteen, which was the solution.

Puzzle: The Balcony
Location: Arsht Center Plaza
Hunters arrived at the Arsht Center plaza to find a version of the classic Romeo and Juliet scene being enacted. Juliet poured out her heart on the balcony above the plaza, while Romeo pleaded from ground level. But in this version, the balcony is so high, the two would-be lovers can't seem to hear each other. In frustration, Romeo yells to Juliet: "Call me at my house!"
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 4000
How to get the answer:
Alert Hunters noticed that a page of restaurants in the Hunt issue contained an ad for a made-up Italian restaurant called House of Montague. Montague is Romeo's last name, as all who listened closely to the performance knew. When they called the number listed, they got this recorded phone message: "`Wherefore art thou' has four syllables. No, yes, no, yes." That was a way of saying: pay attention to the second and fourth syllables, which were "fore thou." The solution to the puzzle was 4,000.

Puzzle: The Soduku Puzzle
Location: The dock near the Venetian causeway
At the dock near the Venetian causeway, Hunters were handed a 4x4 Sudoku puzzle titled, The Bottom Line Sudoku Puzzle. The handout included an explanation of how to solve Sudoku, but this particular puzzle -- with only the two top corners filled in -- was impossible to solve before a few more squares were filled in. Hunters had to focus on the four center squares of the otherwise empty puzzle grid, which contained four question marks similar to four question marks on the Hunt Map. The sharpest Hunters proceeded to the locations indicated by the question marks on the Map. There they found four presentations, one for each question mark.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 2134
How to get the answer:
The first was a loop recording of an announcer calling a Dolphins field goal attempt, "It's up. It's good!" That represented the number 3. The second was an intravenous stand, as in the hospital, which is referred to as I.V. IV is the Roman numeral for 4. The third was a billboard of a golfer cupping his mouth with his hand as if yelling, and an empty word balloon; "fore" or 4. At the final question mark was an image of a basketball player dunking the ball; 2. Hunters who filled in the question-mark squares of the puzzle with those numbers could now easily solve the Sudoku. When all the squares of the puzzle were filled in with numbers, the "bottom line" of the puzzle was 2134, the solution.

The Clues
16. Iíve found that forewords are oft en especially meaningful.
21. Donít want to look? Fine. We are down with that.
2134. Put on your cape. Take them far away until theyíre quite lost.
3511. Find how to separate the old from the ancient. Thatís how.
4000. This is your chance. Take a number.
288. If words were inches...

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:
The final clue was delivered from the Main Stage at 3 p.m., when Dave Barry walked to the microphone and said: "I'd like to give you the Final Clue, but it's . . . too gross."

Final puzzle photos and materials...
Solving the Hunt:
For each puzzle solved, Hunters were rewarded with a clue. If they had solved all five puzzles, they had five clues to the ultimate solution to the Hunt:
16. I've found that forewords are often especially meaningful.
21. Don't want to look? Fine. We are down with that.
2134. Put on your cape. Take them far away until they're quite lost.
3511. Find how to separate the old from the ancient. That's how.
4000. This is your chance. Take a number.

By 3 p.m., the leading teams had realized that in the first clue, the phrase, "forewords are often especially meaningful" actually meant FOUR WORDS are meaningful, as in every fourth word. Hunters who cracked that code got this from the remaining clues: "Look down on them. They're how old? That's your number."

Then Dave Barry gave the final clue:
"I'd like to give you the Final Clue, but it's . . . too gross."

That was the clue: too gross. By which he actually meant TWO GROSS. A gross is a dozen dozen,or 144. Two gross is 288.

That number referred insanely smart Hunters to a sixth clue, listed as number 288 on the page of real and decoy clues in the Hunt issue. It read: "If words were inches . . ." Winning Hunters figured out that they should count the words in the five clues. There are 48 words. Making the translation, that would be 48 inches, which is four feet.

Map illustrator Otis Sweat had drawn the impressions of four feet on a brick sidewalk along Second Avenue near the Arsht Center.

The winners sprinted to that sidewalk and, keeping in mind the directions from the five clues, they, 1) looked down (and saw that some of the bricks were inscribed with the names of four made-up donors, all named Foot); 2) determined "how old" each of the four Foots were from the inscribed dates; 3) realized the final clue, "that's your number," was an instruction to put the ages together to form a phone number, 789-8399. The first to call that number (with a 305 area code) were the winners of the 2009 Herald Hunt.

Who won (Congratulations!):
1st place team
The Streit Brothers

2nd place team
The Ross Family

3rd place team
The Hind Family

Photos & related materials for the winners...


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



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Page last updated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024  2:20:39 AM