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Your online guide to the zaniness of the Tropic & Herald Hunts, and the Post Hunt!

"...[a] fine website..." - Dave Barry, 10/31/2005

"...a member of the worldwide cult of Hunt followers..." - ...later on in the same sentence...


THE 2016 POST HUNT IS OVER!

LEARN!
Read about how it works, and then review a previous Hunt!

FOLLOW ALONG!
Come join the Facebook group or follow @tropichunt on Twitter!

LAUGH!
Read Dave's Blog!

HUNT!
Herald Hunt: ??? !!! ???
Post Hunt: TBD


5/22/2016 - IT'S TIME TO SOLVE THE HUNT!

Goooooooood morning, everyone!

IT'S HUNT DAY!

It's time to let Dave, Tom and Gene make our heads hurt.
(It IS the Hunt, after all...)

It's time to rationalize things with others who disagree with you just so that you can have a number that matches one printed on a page.
("The answer is 89!" "NO IT'S NOT! 'BOOGER' would get a value of 48 because of a triple letter score, so it's 48! You'r so stupid!")

It's time to strain your relationships with others.
("Go THIS way! That's what the clue said!" "No, you're reading it wrong, we need to go THIS way...")

It's time to get wet.
(100% chance of rain at noon and still 80% at 4pm)
(That's not a clue)


It's time to be cold.
(Temp won't get above 58)
(That's a clue)


It's the Hunt.

Doesn't this sound like fun?!

See you at noon at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

FLORIDA TEAMS: We want to do a group photo at 11:30am; meet up in front of the Hunt stage area. I should be easy to find. I will be wearing jeans, dark-red t-shirt and a grey jacket. And, of course, there's my red hair...


5/21/2016 - THE 2016 POST HUNT MEGA UPDATE!

Good morning, everyone!

It's
Hunt time! Well, almost. Did you know this is the NINTH Post Hunt? That means the Hunt next year will feel all awkward, like your 10th high school reunion. We'll all look at how much older we've become, still play the same pranks on one another, reminisce over how Tom threatened Dave with a swirlie in the PortaPotties if he lied about Tom creating all the hard puzzles...aaaah, sweet memories.

With that said, we can not let the chicken team win again this year. Their reign of clucking terror must be brought to an end. Florida had the Hunt first. We're the egg that bore the chicken. It's time for Florida to regain the crown.

"But Andy," you say, "You are 0 and 27. You know you don't have a chance, right?"

"HA!" I reply. And pause. "Just a moment. I'll be right back." *one hour later* "Yeah, well, my team DID solve the Hunt last year, and we will do so again this year. So NYAH on you!"

(We really did solve it and came in 18th.)

You want to know how crazy and determined I am? Since last year's Hunt I ran my first THREE full marathons, the first two on BACK-TO-BACK weeks! If you don't think I have the determination, will-power and insanity to win, you're wrong. You don't know who you're up against. (I wouldn't recommend following me, though. I may recruit you to get into running.)

At this point the good people at the Washington Post have already made available online the Hunt intro, opening puzzles and the clues. That means you can start cracking right now. But it's a nice Saturday out (if you're a frog) and there's certainly other stuff you can be doing (singing in the rain) (the activity, not the movie, unless you want to watch the movie). So ENJOY your Saturday. You can do the Hunt tomorrow.

Speaking of weather...yeah, well...it's not going to be the finest. It won't be hot like last year, but be prepared to get wet. More on that in a bit. Right now, it's time for me to get started with the annual POST HUNT MEGA UPDATE!

1. PREPARE YOURSELVES!

GET THE HUNT EDITION OF THE SUNDAY MAGAZINE NOW
Ignore the wet stuff outside. In South Florida we call it humidity. Schlep on down to some local store and pick up the Sunday Editon if the Washington Post. It should be out there, so go get it.

REMEMBER: THERE WILL BE LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE AT THE HUNT!
There will be EXTREMELY LIMITED (and numbered) copies (just kidding, they aren't numbered) (except on their pages) (and clues) (and...oh, you get it) of the Hunt magazine available tomorrow. Do NOT count on getting to the Hunt and being able to snag a free copy of the Hunt magazine. If you do, you MAY be one of the lucky ones, but you're more likely to be one of the UNLUCKY ones. Don't risk it. Just get your copy now. You can't win without it!

YOUR POST HUNT WEATHER UPDATE!
Cool. RAINY. Bring your wet weather gear.
Your updated (un)Official Post Hunt Weather Hour-by-Hour Forecast for Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 is:
12:00pm - 58 degrees - 70% chance of rain
1:00pm - 58 degrees - 70% chance of rain
2:00pm - 59 degrees - 70% chance of rain
3:00pm - 59 degrees - 70% chance of rain
4:00pm - 59 degrees - 60% chance of rain

READ UP ON PRIOR HUNTS HERE AT THE ARCHIVES AND AT THE WAPO SITE, TOO!
There's LOTS of good information here at the Tropic/Herald/Post Hunt Archives, covering each and EVERY Hunt that has ever been held for the last 30 years (The Post doesn't get THAT in depth!). See that list over there on the left? Click through the year links and see the torture that Dave, Tom and Gene inflicted on us previously.

Also visit the Washington Post's Post Hunt pages to get overviews of how their Hunts worked in the past, too.

HAVE AT LEAST ONE SMARTPHONE THAT HAS GPS, EMAIL AND TWITTER
No smartphone = no prize. Really. Really really. You NEED to have at least one on your team because you will need to be able to use its GPS and Twitter and also (if you're trying for the new prize) send email. For Twitter, you should follow @posthunt to get important Hunt updates. Also, follow me, @tropichunt, to see my intrepid adventures as well as other important updates. Make sure you have a Twitter account and understand how to use it BEFORE the Hunt. Also verify you can send email from your phone.

WHAT TO BRING
Here's our recommendations on what you should bring:
- You and your Hunt team
- Cell phone (WITH GPS, TWITTER AND EMAIL ACCESS!)!
- Notepad (Waterproof may be a good idea, considering the weather forecast...)
- A clear, legal insanity defense (attending the Hunt is enough evidence of this)
- A clear voice to boo Dave, Tom and Gene with (How 'bout the Caps this year, eh?). - Pen and pencils and erasers (which can write on wet paper)
- A backpack or some type of bag to carry your stuff around in (and keep it dry).
- A hat to keep the rain away from your eyes (which will be filled with tears of pain as you suffer through the puzzles)
- RAINGEAR! (Please keep your umbrellas closed while indoors, PLEASE.)
- Money (for getting to/parking/eating/whatever you need to buy during the Hunt...!)

2. GETTING TO THE HUNT

The Hunt begins at noon SHARP INDOORS at Hall B of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Your best bet is likely taking the Metro. The Mount Vernon Square Metro stop is the one you want to use.

3. DURING THE HUNT

Try to solve all the main puzzles as quickly as you can so that you can try to win the prize for solving those! To be fair, the end game is much more difficult, so focus on the first part and worry about the end game later.

Don't forget to stick around afterwards to boo Dave, Tom and Gene as they explain how things worked after the Hunt ends. Remember that if a puzzle was especially tough or had problems, EVERYTHING IS TOM'S GENE'S FAULT!.

TWEET, TWEET, TWEET!
Remember what I just said about Twitter? You're supposed to be following @posthunt! The folks from the Post will be putting updates there. Follow me, too, but know that I will not be giving answers or hints out as I solve puzzles. Don't forget to use the #posthunt hashtag for your own tweets!

Please be careful with WHAT you tweet, especially photos or clue answers. We had folks tweeting answers to puzzles in prior years, and that just makes it harder for you to win the Hunt. Your pic of a puzzle could save a team the trouble of having to go to a puzzle site...so consider your tweets carefully!

THE ANNUAL HUNT MEET'N'GREET!
Many of you know me already. But if you want to find me at the Hunt, my red hair makes me easy target to find. I will likely be on the Hunt stage taking pictures at some point as well. I do not know what shirt I'll be wearing yet due to the weather and the temperature, but SHHHH, it may be one of these. I'll also have a backpack with me. Feel free to say 'hi' if you see me!

4. CHECK BACK HERE LATER IN THE WEEK NEXT WEEK

I'm flying home a few hours after the Hunt ends. Unlike last year's Hunt, I will have updates with pictures and more posted during the week and will be done by next week Sunday at the latest.

5. MISCELLANEOUS TIPS

ANNUAL FROM-TOWNER TIPS
- Time to change up your bets. My team came in 18th last year. We're gunning for #1, and we're bringing billy clubs to use on the legs of the chicken team. We're going all Tonya Harding on them.
- Remember the weather. You know it's been a weird winter up here, and SNOW is in the forecast tomorrow. Get your Gore-Tex coats back out. And your bright orange safety vests. You need to stay visible and warm.
- You know you need to have a valid Post subscription to participate tomorrow, right? They will validate it when you submit your winning answers. If you don't have a subscription, get one now!
- Clues and alcohol don't mix. Clues with alcohol mixed with Red Bull does, tho, with miraculous results. (Please drink responisbly.)
- The final clue will be at 3:58pm in Freedom Plaza. There IS a second Hunt stage out there for that reason.
(As usual, my teammates are forbidden from following these tips.)

That's it. Go get ready. Have fun tomorrow. And keep checking back here, on Twitter and Facebook for more updates. I'll see you tomorrow at the Hunt!


5/19/2016 - PSSST! BUDDY! LOOKIE HERE!

Nevermind, ain't nuttin' to see
here. Move alon...scram.


5/19/2016 - III DAYS TO GO! MOVING TO TWITTER AND FB!

Good evening, everyone!

Due to work, packing, traveling, etc. I'm moving the conversations to
Twitter and Facebook for the next day or so. Come find me over there, but also keep checking here for updates, too!


5/18/2016 - IV DAYS TO GO! GET A 4, STAT!

Good evening, everyone!

Tick tock tick tock! (Or "Bleep bloop bleep bloop!" Wouldn't a "24" and Hunt crossover be AWESOME? Have Jack Bauer trying to solve the Hunt or else some evil terrorist plot will succeed? Jack would be shooting people in their thighs left and right, but I digress....)

It's been a long year...a very long year. I know, there isn't a review of the 2015 Hunt here...yet...but I am working on it. It was the closest my team ever came to winning (We DID solve the Hunt!), and now that we've gotten that close...we're ready to win it big this year. And I have a secret plan.

JOIN IN A CHAT!
Okay, admittedly this is mostly iPhone-focused, but I'm hosting a
Talkshow for the Hunt! You do NOT need an iOS device to view it, but if you do want to ask questions, etc. you must have an iPhone or iPad. 'tis an experiment, and seemed like a novel thing to try. Tune in if you can and join in the conversation!

THANK YOU TO OUR 2016 POST HUNT SPONSORS!
Before we get into the festivities for the weekend, let's give our annual thanks to two of our main Hunt sponsors, Mix 107.3 and the Arena Stage! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We can't thank them enough for their ongoing support of the Hunt, so please make sure to thank these fine folks when you see them at the Hunt on Sunday. KEEP THE HUNT ALIVE!





See you all tomorrow!


5/17/2016 - *TAP* *TAP* *TAP* IS THIS THING ON?

Hello? Can you hear me? You all, way in back, raise your hands if you can hear me. Okay, good, looks like this thing is working again.

Folks, sorry about the technical difficulties that kept things from getting started sooner. The band is prepping for an AWESOME show for you all, and they want to apologize for running a bit late. If you want to
check it out, you can see some of the stuff they've been working on for awhile for you.

In the meantime, sit back and relax, and they'll be back (come back tomorrow) with more for you!

(Seriously, sorry for the delays, folks. Small maelstrom of life (and some technical) events immediately after the Hunt last year got in the way of the usual updates, but you can review last year's Hunt now! Come back tomorrow for some more usual updates as we prep for this weekend's Hunt!)


5/31/2015 - TODAY IS THE DAY! GET TO THE HUNT!

Good morning, everyone!

It's almost time for a great Post Hunt! It's going to be hot out there (90 degrees at 3pm!), so make sure you're ready and STAY HYDRATED!

Lots of folks have been thinking that the change in the Hunt Solutions email address was some type of hint/clue/etc. It's not. Just make sure you're ready to use huntsolutions@washpost.com if you want to have a chance at winning by solving the initial puzzles prize.

I'm moving over to
Twitter for the rest of the day, and since you need Twitter access, let's keep the conversation going there.

Get to the Hunt before noon! Find me (I'm a red-head in a red shirt, so that's pretty easy!) and say hi!

Have a great Hunt!


5/30/2015 - YOUR 2015 POST HUNT MEGA UPDATE!

Good afternoon, everyone!

This is the year. I can feel it. I know it. I have been training hard since the first Hunt in 1984, subscribing to Games magazine, doing sodokus daily...I got this. I have a great team assembled with me...it's time for revenge on my 0-26 record. Revengers, assemble! I will NOT be 0-27 at the end of tomorrow.

Yeah, right...

The passion everyone has for the Hunt defies description in most cases. You try to explain to your friends and co-workers who have never done it before about how much fun it is and just get blank stares back at you. You beg and plead to get them to go, because you know that once they go they'll return again and again, like you. It's almost like a contagion...but a good contagion (stay away, CDC!)...so keep spreading the word and get folks out tomorrow.

The fine folks at the Post have put all the pieces in place (NOT LITERALLY WITH THE PUZZLE SITES YET! THOSE ARE TOMORROW!), the
opening puzzles are online as well as the clues, and the Sunday Post is available in the D.C. area, so there's no reason that you can't go get started right now.

The weather forecast is getting better in terms of a decreased rain chance (down to 20% from 60% predicted earlier this week), but it's still going to be hot and the sun will be out, so be prepared (see below). I also have one major update from the Post for everyone, too, so read my annual Mega Update below carefully so that you're in the know. (Boy does that sound cheesy...)

1. GET PREPARED!

GETTING THE HUNT EDITION OF THE SUNDAY MAGAZINE NOW
Go get your hard copy of the Hunt magazine now. You can also look online at the Post's website.

REMEMBER: THERE WILL BE LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE AT THE HUNT!
Same as last year, there will be extremely limited copies of the Hunt magazine available tomorrow. Do NOT count on getting to the Hunt and being able to snag a free copy of the Hunt magazine. If you do, you MAY be one of the lucky ones, but you're more likely to be one of the UNLUCKY ones. Don't risk it. Just get your copy now. You can't win without it!

YOUR POST HUNT WEATHER UPDATE!
Sunny and beautiful! BRING YOUR SUNBLOCK!
Your updated (un)Official Post Hunt Weather Hour-by-Hour Forecast for Sunday, May 31st, 2015 is:
12:00pm - 85 degrees - 20% chance of rain
1:00pm - 87 degrees - 20% chance of rain
2:00pm - 89 degrees - 20% chance of rain
3:00pm - 89 degrees - 20% chance of rain
4:00pm - 88 degrees - 20% chance of rain

READ UP ON PRIOR HUNTS HERE AT THE ARCHIVES AND AT THE WAPO SITE, TOO!
There's LOTS of good information here at the Tropic/Herald/Post Hunt Archives, covering each and every Hunt that has ever been held for the last 30 years. See that list over there on the left? Click through the year links and see more details on what Dave, Tom and Gene put us through.

You can also explore the Washington Post's Post Hunt page to get their overviews of how their Hunts worked in the past, too.

HAVE AT LEAST ONE SMARTPHONE THAT HAS EMAIL AND TWITTER
No smartphone = no prize. You NEED to have at least one on your team because you will need to be able to use Twitter and also (if you're trying for the new prize) send email. For Twitter, you should follow @posthunt. Follow me, @tropichunt, to see my intrepid adventures as well as important updates. Make sure you have a Twitter account and understand how to use it as well as send email from your phone before you get to the Hunt tomorrow.

SUPER IMPORTANT UPDATE: The email address, as published in the Hunt magazine and online, has been changed! It was huntsolutions@mail.com but now is huntsolutions@washpost.com. Don't believe me? Look, they said so. MAKE SURE YOU USE THE CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR ANSWERS!

WHAT TO BRING
Here's our recommendations on what you should bring:
- You and your Hunt team
- Cell phone (WITH TWITTER AND EMAIL ACCESS!)!
- Notepad
- A clear, legal insanity defense (attending the Hunt is enough evidence of this)
- A clear voice to boo Dave, Tom and Gene with (How 'bout them Rangers, eh?) (I'm kidding; the Lightning are better...). - Pen and pencils and erasers
- A backpack or some type of bag to carry your stuff around in.
- A hat (sun, folks, sun!)
- SUNSCREEN! (SUN, FOLKS, SUN!)
- Money (for getting to/parking/eating/whatever you need to buy during the Hunt...!)

2. GETTING TO THE HUNT

The Hunt begins at noon at Freedom Plaza, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW near 14th Street NW in downtown Washington. While there IS parking available in the area, your best bet is likely taking the Metro. The Federal Triangle station is less than two blocks from Freedom Plaza and the Metro Center and McPherson Square stations are each nearby as well.

3. DURING THE HUNT

Try to solve all the main puzzles as quickly as you can so that you can try to win the prize for solving those! To be fair, the end game is much more difficult, so focus on the first part and worry about the end game later.

Don't forget to stick around afterwards to boo Dave, Tom and Gene as they explain how things worked after the Hunt ends (Remember that if a puzzle was especially tough or had problems, EVERYTHING IS TOM'S FAULT! Use megaphones to amplify your boos for him.).

TWEET, TWEET, TWEET!
The Post Hunt folks will be putting up important updates using @posthunt, so make sure you follow them! Follow me, too, but know that I will not be giving answers or hints out as I solve puzzles. Don't forget to use the #posthunt hashtag for your own tweets!

And please be careful with WHAT you tweet, especially photos or clue answers. Remember, your pic of a puzzle could save a team the trouble of having to go to a puzzle site...so consider your tweets carefully!

THE ANNUAL HUNT MEET'N'GREET!
Want to find me at the Hunt? My red hair makes me an easy target to find, but I'll also be wearing a red shirt (a team of red shirts, what can possibly go wrong?). I'll also have a backpack with me. Feel free to say 'hi' if you see me!

4. CHECK BACK HERE DURING THE WEEK NEXT WEEK

I'm flying home a few hours after the Hunt ends, and updates will be posted next week, so keep checking back for photos, explanations and more! Including my annual review!

5. MISCELLANEOUS TIPS

ANNUAL FROM-TOWNER TIPS
- Put money on Seam Memon. Seriously. You have a MUCH BETTER chance of winning SOMETHING tomorrow if you put money on him to either show or win. Seriously. I got a grand riding on him alrady. (You hear that, Sean? YOU BETTER WIN!)
- It's going to be 101 degrees at 7 am So forget clothing tomorrow! And deodorant. In that heat, it won't matter. Just let it all hang out and go about your business normally. Since everyone will be naked, it won't feel awkward.
- You also need a copy of the Miami Herald at tomorrow's Hunt. Dave is going to have a companion column with clues in it, so make sure you have a copy. Due to the format of the column, each section of the paper will only have 25 random words from his column that you'll need to rearrange.
- Okay, look, enough with the games. I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and I found this excellent video of R2D2 which fits the Hunt crowd well. Seriously.
- I tried this today, looking at the clues. The clues were blurry and didn't make sense until I drank a few beers. I suggest you do that tomorrow. Everyone's beer needs will vary, so don't overdo it. (Please drink responsibly!)
- In addition to the Hunt email address changing, the final clue time was extended to give more chances for people to solve the main Hunt puzzles. The final clue will be at 4:30pm.
- Remember, you can't compete against Sean, so why bother showing up when you're just going to lose?
(As usual, my teammates are forbidden from following these tips.)

That's all for now...keep checking back for more updates. And I'll see you tomorrow at the Hunt!


WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVES!

The Tropic/Herald Hunt Archives database is online and provides more details about the previous Hunts than ever before! If you have something to contribute, please let me know and I will send you details. All submissions will be properly credited.

What was the Tropic Hunt? What is the Herald Hunt?
The most fun you'd ever have going insane! Seriously, it's a wacky, zany race across areas of South Florida that the Miami Herald's Tropic Magazine held (approximately) every year from 1984 through 1998. Thousands of people searched for puzzles, strived to solve them and then put resulting clues together in order to win fabulous prizes. Sadly, The Miami Herald discontinued publication of Tropic Magazine shortly after the 1998 Hunt.

However, in 2001, the Hunt made a triumphant return (sans Tropic Magazine) as the Herald Hunt! And the Herald has been keeping the tradition alive by presenting new Hunts every year since 2001! Many thanks to everyone at the Herald who have reaffirmed their commitment to keeping the Hunt alive, and to Tom Shroder, who is now a senior editor at the Washington Post, but continues to make time to work with Dave on this wonderful event!

I have been through all of the Tropic/Herald Hunts, with the exception of the one you did from your own living room (what I call the 'non' hunt).


PLEASE READ THIS!

I am merely a fan of the Tropic/Herald Hunt. While I have had some experience setting up scavenger hunts and my own version of the Tropic Hunt, I do not have the resources available to assist others who are organizing their own similar hunts. I genuinely would like to help, but there are many other pages on the 'net to look up this sort of information. Right now my focus is to maintain this online 'museum' dedicated to the Tropic/Herald Hunts, from which you may use the resources here to create ideas of your own.

Click on a year below for more information or pictures.
 

Year

Location

1984

Across Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties

1985

Across Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties

1986

Downtown Miami

1988

The non hunt (played from home)

1992

Coral Gables

1993

Miami Beach

1994

Coconut Grove

1996

Downtown Miami

1997

Downtown Miami

1998

Downtown Hollywood

2001

Downtown Hollywood

2002

Downtown Miami (Bayfront Park)

2003

Miami Beach

2004

Coconut Grove

2005

Coral Gables

2006

South Miami

2007

Miami Beach

2008

Washington, D.C. - Penn Quarter

2008

Bicentennial Park

2009

Washington, D.C. - Freedom Plaza

2009

Adrienne Arsht Center

2010

Washington, D.C. - Freedom Plaza

2011

Washington, D.C. - Freedom Plaza

2011

The New Marlins Stadium

2012

Washington, D.C. - Franklin Park

2012

Coconut Grove

2013

Washington, D.C. - Freedom Plaza

2014

Washington, D.C. - Freedom Plaza

2015

Washington, D.C. - Freedom Plaza

Please Contribute to the Archives!
I hope to archive all the previous hunts with these web pages. If you have pictures or puzzles (or stuff that was handed out at some puzzles) that I do not show here, please let me know!


About the Author (Andy Wenzel)

Tom-Gene-Andy-Dave

I have participated in every hunt since the first one was held (with the exception of the 'non' Hunt), come close to winning a couple of them, but overall am a loser like everyone else. To this day, I find it hard to describe the Hunt properly. Nonetheless, I have managed to create two 'hunts' of my own while attending the University of Florida (The U.F. Hunts I & II). I strongly encourage everyone to come out, participate, go mad, boo Tom Shroder and Dave Barry & the folks at the Miami Herald/Washington Post, and have a great time!

Tom Shroder, Gene Weingarten, Andy and Dave Barry!
(2008 Post Hunt)

Email me if you have any questions/comments/stories/archive submissions!

Legal Stuff
All trademarks/copyrights/whatever are held by whoever they belong to (most likely the Miami Herald and Washington Post). I merely am someone who is extremely fond of the Hunt and wish to document it in all its glory!

 

Copyright 1998-2016  VW Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer

Page last updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016  4:06:57 PM