Tuesday, May 30

The Scavenger Hunt is complete

The 2nd Annual Almost Impossible Scavenger Hunt is over. Everyone had a good time. I've already heard a few good stories, and I can't wait to hear more.

I couldn't believe it, but one team actually flew BGRT in from Denver to collect the 5,000 points that he was worth. That led to the current leader for the Scavenger Hunt Quote of the Year, when Robert said, "well, they've forced my hand. Now I have to go to Canada."

And he did. He and Jennie brought back stunning pictures of Niagara Falls.

In all, teams brought back 211 out of the 720 possible things on the List. That works out to 29% of the list. They brought back 79 out of 284 items (28%), 80 out of 152 pieces of information (53%) and 52 out of 284 pictures (18%).

There were 8 puzzles this year, and I was told in advance that I was mean. They were harder than last year. Here is how you would solve the puzzles.

The Road Rally led to Evangel Church in Hanover Park.

To solve the Algebra problem, you needed to convert the street names into route number. Once you did that, the equation equaled 41, which you needed to turn back into a street name - Lake Shore Dr.

The cryptogram asked for the name of the character played by Jorja Fox on CSI - Sara Sidle.

The numbers in the Altendorf Substitution Code referred to page, paragraph and word numbers in the pew Bibles at the church. The code asked for the last name of the head of the pastoral staff at Living Hope Church - Gates.

The number you needed from the Killer Su Doku was 9.

The word search contained 20 words, but no word list. The hidden words were the capital cities of the former Soviet Republics, the countries that used to be part of Yugoslavia, and Slovakia. The unused letters, read from lower right to upper left, asked for the destination of the people whose covered wagons left wagon ruts near Scottsbluff, Neb. The answer was Oregon.

The text in puzzle 7 was written in Katakana. Katakana is the Japanese alphabet used for transliterating foreign words into Japanese. The puzzle is how you would write (not translate) this sentence in Japanese: "The name of the ice skating rink on Grace in Addison." It's called Addison Ice.

The final puzzle required you to take the answers to each of the first 7 puzzles to reveal a location where you could find a hidden item, which everyone nicknamed the Holy Grail. To solve this puzzle, you needed to take the first letter of each answer: E, L, S, G, N, O, A. Rearranged, these letters spell Gleason. The Holy Grail was sitting on a chair on my patio.

The final results will be announced at Quest tonight, and posted here shortly after.

I hope everyone who participated had a good time. I am already getting questions about, and ideas for, the 3rd Annual Almost Impossible Scavenger Hunt. I hope you can all join us next year.

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