A long time ago, I participated in the Puzzle Pursuit in San Diego, CA. It was a charity event that had about 20 teams of 4 people solving puzzles that were largely based on the surrounding area. There are links on this blog to the records of that event and others. What impressed me about the event was the cleverness of the puzzles and how they were so often based on some feature of the landscape. What I mean is that the shape of buildings, the letters on signs, the order of names in memorial plaques, etc., were part of the puzzles. Some puzzles were fillers to be solved while eating lunch and didn’t rely on those outside features but most did.
Years later, my daughter and I spent many long days in Truckee, CA creating puzzles for what we thought could be a Girl Scout Troup sponsored puzzle race (AKA puzzle hunt). We came up with enough puzzles but didn’t have any insight in how to market the event to get participants. We did have a lot of fun taking photos of every sign, plaque, map, etc., in the old downtown area and in making the puzzles.
A few years after the Truckee attempt, my daughter was set to start school at the University of Nevada, Reno. When we toured the campus, we saw that most of our puzzles would translate well to the school grounds. We starting taking pictures and making or changing puzzles. After a few years, I eventually got the Department of Clubs and Organizations at the school to sort of sponsor us. I presented the idea to their staff and a staff member decided to take on the event. Skip ahead past that staff member wanting to change the nature of the event and then totally flaking out on us to the part where I’m writing this now.
I have a website that I had created for the sanctioned event; unrpuzzlehunt.com, and I have the puzzles. Since I don’t have the support of the school anymore, mostly because there’s no one there who is willing to put in a few hours to get the proper approvals and give me a contact list for the student body and clubs, I’m going to make this a self-guided hunt. You can see by the website that I was all set of to have the event at a specific time on a specific day and that I was ready to take sign-ups. In the coming weeks or months, I’m going to change the site to give a small group of people all the info they need to print out the puzzles, tour the campus, and self-guide themselves though the thick and thin of puzzle hunting.
Wish me luck.