The Hunt Year was...


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2003 Herald Hunt

Your online guide to the zaniness of the 2003 Herald Hunt!

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2003 Herald Hunt Cover Image

When:  10/26/2003

Where: Miami Beach

Ten years later, the Hunt returns to Miami Beach. Bright, sunny…HOT…Miami Beach. Well, this is South Florida, we expect it to be hot, don\'t we?

\nHow hot was it? Well, forget the 87 degree starting temperature…Dave and Tom added a beauty contest on top of that to throw in additional heat. Well, additional heat for some people….I\'m not lumping myself into that crowd…

\nThis year featured a smaller crowd (7,000) than the previous couple of years…possibly attributable to the fact that the Florida Marlins won their second World Series the night before (*cough* Yankees suck! *cough*), and fans travelling to watch the game. Puzzles were set on a smaller scale than previous Hunts, but Miami Beach doesn\'t offer many large areas for large groups to gather at once.

\nThe tougest puzzle overall was the \"Desperately Seeking Signs\" puzzle below. Everyone seemed to figure out all the letters except X (myself included). Dave made sure that the crowd understood that Tom helped to create that specific puzzle.

\nLeaving this Hunt, I can\'t help but ponder what the Herald\'s backup plans for all the Herald Hunt 2003 bottled water they sold would have been, should it have rained…*grin*

\nInteresting fact (courtesy of Tom Shroder): The first winner came in 10 minutes after the final clue, the second winner came in 20 minues after the final clue…and…you guessed it…the third team came in 30 minutes after the final clue!

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. How many planets are there in our solar system, if we count Marlon Brando as one?
A - 8
B - 9
G - 10

Answer: G

2. Assume that a standard walnut has an IQ of four. If the average "reality" TV-show contestant is exactly half as intelligent as a walnut, how many "reality" show contestants would be required to have a combined IQ of eight?
C - 2
O - 4
X - 27

Answer: O

3. Fred has invited three hip-hop artists to his club. If the club seats 45 people, and artist A has an entourage of 13, and Artist B has an entourage of 16, and Artist C has an entourage of 17, how long will it be before Fred's club erupts in gunfire?
X - Not long at all.

Answer: X (Duh)

4. If Chicago and Los Angeles are 1,500 miles apart, and train A departs eastbound from Chicago at 2 a.m. Central Time travelling at 75 miles per hour and Train B departs westbound from Los Angeles at 7 a.m. Pacific Time travelling at 100 miles per hour, what time will the two trains meet?
K - At 11:30 p.m. Mountain Time that same day.
T - At 9 a.m. Mountain Time the next day.
W - Never, inasmuch as Train B will plunge into the Pacific Ocean.

Answer: W

5. Which of the following phrases can the letters in "THE HERALD HUNT" be rearranged to spell?
D - "Handle The Hurt"
G - "Hurl, Then Death"
L - "Talent Herd, Huh?"
O - All of the above

Answer: O

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: Sand Sculptures
Location: The Beach at 15th Street
Hunters arrived at the beach at the mouth of 15th Street to discover three roped-off areas on the sand. Behind the first rope was a large sand sculpture of a fort. Behind the second was a sand-sculpture house. Behind the third rope was nothing.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 4000
How to get the answer:
Hunters had to realize that the 'nothing' wasn't nothing after all, but ropes surrounding a whole bunch of sand. So behind the ropes were: Fort, house, sand. Run those words together fast, and you get 'four thousand' -- which was the correct answer to this puzzle.

Puzzle: Beach Blanket Bingo
Location: The Beach at 17th Street
Two blocks up the beach, at 17th Street, Hunters encountered an odd scene: 25 large beach blankets arranged in a five-by-five square. On each blanket was a large number. Walking around were five characters in outlandish costumes -- a bumble bee, an eyeball, a man dressed like Napoleon with an ornate 'N' on his hat, an FBI government agent, and a woman dressed as Jackie Onassis.

All five characters were handing out cards. On each card, there were two numbers. For instance, the bee's card had 5 and 15.

Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 207
How to get the answer:
In other words, the characters were: a bee, an eye, an 'N', a G-man, and Jackie O. That would make this B-I-N-G-O. Beach Blanket Bingo, to be exact.

Hunters had to realize these were BINGO numbers -- i.e., B-5 and B-15, two numbers that appeared in the first or 'B' row of blankets. If Hunters plotted all 10 numbers from the five cards, they saw that one complete row of numbers was marked off -- a winning BINGO combination. Since the card said 'add it up', the solution was to add all the winning numbers, which came to 207, the solution to this puzzle.

Puzzle: The International Herald Hunt Beauty Contest
Location: Hunt Main Stage, near the Jackie Gleason Theater
At the Main Stage, near the Jackie Gleason Theater, a beauty contest was going on. The obnoxious emcee kept up a mildly sexist patter. When the eventual winner, Miss Aruba, was on stage, he was saying, ''How hot is SHE, ladies and gentlemen?'' When runner-up Miss Malaysia traipsed into view he said, ''I hope there are more chicks like THAT where she comes from!'' And when second-runner-up Miss Brazil sashayed across the stage, he said: ``If she's making it, I'm taking it, if you catch my drift!'
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 74
How to get the answer:
Alert Hunters noticed that in the Hunt section, there was a suspicious travel advertisement involving just those three countries, with ''fun facts'' about each. For Aruba (''How hot is she?'') the ad noted that the average high temperature was 84. A fun fact for Malaysia (''-- more chicks like that!'') informed readers that the Malaysian national bird was the mynah. And for Brazil (''If she's making it--'') it listed tin as the national product. So, guided by the emcee's comments and the fun facts in the ad, you had 84 for Aruba, ''mynahs'' for Malaysia, and ''tin'' for Brazil. Put together, that was ''84 mynahs tin,'' or 84 minus 10. So 74 was the solution to this puzzle.

Puzzle: Desperately Seeking Signs
Location: All along Lincoln Road Mall
On Lincoln Road Mall, some Hunt people were dressed as postal workers, handing out cards that asked Hunters to ''collect the letters: A+D+X-N.'' There were also four riddles, one for each letter, and a hint: ``Seek and ye shall find. Look for a sign.''
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 3540
How to get the answer:
Alert Hunters noted that on the Hunt map, there were cartoon characters in the shape of those four letters lounging along Lincoln Road, each one peering intently at a distinct location. If Hunters went to those locations looking for signs, they found four stores, each of which had a sign, which allowed Hunters to unlock the riddle.

Puzzle: Arguing Animals
Location: Stage along Lincoln Road Mall
On another stage on Lincoln Road four animal characters: a derelict bull, a flamboyant goose, a talking horse and a red fish.
Around each animal were a bunch of ''pool noodles'' -- those long pieces of foam that kids play with in swimming pools. The four animals were arguing over the correct solution to the puzzle; each animal claimed that the answer was to count noodles of a certain color in a certain way. But only one animal was giving out the right solution.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 28
How to get the answer:
Smart Hunters figured out that they should ignore the goose (a ``wild-goose chase''); the red fish (a ``red herring''); and the derelict bull (a ``bum steer''). The correct answer, of course, came straight from the horse's mouth. It was to count the pink noodles (14) and multiply by two, giving an answer of 28.

The Clues
28. Put the lime in the coconut, you big doofus.
74. One Five Fourteen Two Six Thirteen Three
207. As soon as Marge saw the severed giraffe head, she knew her marriage was over.
3540. Once I had a lucky purple banana and I did not care to share.
4000. Be nice.

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, read at 3 p.m., sounded like: ''Here's the clue. That's three. See?''
Final puzzle photos and materials...
Solving the Hunt:
This was the key to breaking the code. ''Here's the clue'' is three words, so ''that's three'' was telling smart Hunters to count the words. But what sounded like ''see'' could also be ''C'' -- the third letter. So the REALLY smart Hunters figured out that, by counting the number of words in each of the five clues, they would get a corresponding letter of the alphabet. If they did, they found that the five clues above contained, in order: 9 words, 7 words, 15, words, 14 words and 2 words, corresponding to the letters I, G, O, N and B. Which just happen to be the letters of BINGO rearranged.

At this point, truly insanely smart hunters scrambled to find their notes from the Beach Blanket Bingo puzzle. In that puzzle, the solution numbers were: B-15; I-30; N-33; G-53; O-76. If they rearranged these to correspond with I-G-O-N-B, they got 30, 53, 76, 33,15. That's a 10-digit number, starting with ''305.'' In other words, a telephone number. The winners called that number.

Who won (Congratulations!):
1st place team
Mark Engelberg
Steve Friedland
Robin Ginter
Cary Ginter

2nd place team:
Katy Capodiferro
Andy Capodiferro
Denise Graham
Scott Graham
Christine Salazar
Marco Salazar

3rd place team:
Hunt Davis
Mike Deacon
Evan Jones

4th place team:
Brian Adair
Helen Long
Bob Long
Ralph Long
Tim Mitchell
Knox North
Carol Pence
Bill Pence
Ozzie Ramos

Photos & related materials for the winners...


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



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Page last updated: Saturday, February 06, 2016  8:03:50 PM