How the Tropic/Herald Hunt Works
So, what the heck is this all about? What exactly do you have to do?
Well, sit down for a few moments and let's review.
Generally, the goal of the Hunt is to be the first to solve all the puzzles and
do whatever actions are necessary to win the game.
I break the Tropic/Herald Hunt down into a few pieces for better understanding:
- the 'initial' puzzles
- the 'main' puzzles (or puzzle sites)
- the final puzzle
THE INITIAL PUZZLES
The initial puzzles are a small set of easily solved puzzles that you solve
prior to the official start of the Hunt. They are ridicuously easy compared to
what you are up against for the rest of the day, so don't get cocky just because
you breezed through these puppies...if you do, you're about to find out that
your whole world is going to be turned upside down.
Enough with the cliches.
These puzzles usually take the following format:
If O.J. Simpson drives his Lincoln Navigator through one stop sign and has four
lawsuits brought against him for various scratches he allegedly put on their
faces, and if each jury for each lawsuit seats a total of 9 jurors, how many
total people will be determining that O.J. couldn't possibly have done anything
wrong and should win another Heisman?
The answer is, of course, 36. Don't let these questions trick you. They are meant to have obvious answers. They are NOT indicative of what the rest of the day will be like.
THE MAIN PUZZLES (or the Puzzle Sites)
The game is now ready to start. Usually at 12:00pm, a clue is announced (either
over the radio or in a large public area) by Dave Barry. This clue tells you what to do with
your answers from the initial puzzles. For example, subtract 3 from all your
answers, or put some letters/numbers next to your answers. You take these modified answers and use a map that is supplied with the
Hunt materials to locate the puzzle sites.
Each site is different. Sometimes there are a few, sometimes there are
many...sometimes the site isn't necessarily announced and you find it 'along the way' to other puzzle locations. You need to go to each
site, view the puzzle that they have on display (along with anything they hand
out to you), and come up with an answer. It's tough. Study the Archives for
examples of past puzzle sites.
Each puzzle answer corresponds to a specific clue on a clue list in the Hunt
magazine, so if you think you know the answer, check the clue list to see if there's a clue for that answer. If not, try again!
Once you have solved all the main puzzle sites, you then look at all
their corresponding clues and put these clues together to form...something. A
word, phrase, number...something...or they may make no sense at all. It won't make sense...yet.
THE FINAL PUZZLE
Now is where the real treachery comes in. Moohaha.
Around 3pm or 4pm, a final puzzle/clue is announced by Dave, again either over the radio or
in a large public area. This answer to this puzzle, when put together with the
six clues that you got from the puzzle site, tells you what to do to win the
If you're lucky...and clever enough.
Whatever you do...do it fast, because you'll have other people who will be just as confused as you are trying to win!