Sunday, May 22, 2016

F is for Finding Fun

Today was the 9th annual Post Hunt, a crazy puzzle-palooza that sends participants scampering around downtown trying to solve big, silly puzzles. My nephew, Treat, and I have been doing it together since it started back in 2008, and over the years we've enlisted Josh, my mom, and this year, my brother Bill joined the team!

Before leaving the convention center, the five of us cheerfully watched an ear-splitting performance from a tuba, oboe, violin, and piano (answer: tu o vi pi, or 206314) and then found ourselves in the middle of a demonstration by the rainbow coalition brandishing colorful signs with rebus symbols on them. (In ROYGBIV order the signs read: pea-knock-L deck mine-s golden rings, 43 of course.)

Even the pouring rain couldn't dampen our spirits as we searched out a giant white square with a little 76 in the upper lefthand corner, and we huddled under the umbrella a long time before making an association with the crossword puzzle in the back of the magazine. Solving the two clues gave us fen and fight.

The letter F just didn't seem right, but we decided to move on to the next one. On the way, Treat connected fen and fight with one of the illustrations on the map, and we made a detour. There we found an identical square with an E where the F might be. Stumped, we continued on our way to a park where a volunteer held this sign:

 C-11 on the map was the Reflecting Pool, so Mom whipped out a mirror and, upon examining the lower left-hand flourish, backward, we read Date of Abe's Address (answer? 1119)

We were walking to our next challenge, still thinking, considering, and pondering the one we hadn't solved, when Treat realized that if we swapped the E for the F in the crossword, we had een and eight, or eighteen.

The last puzzle was a web address that, once pulled up on our phone's browsers gave us the warning, Watch your temperature. You’re almost freezing. You’re risking hypothermia. You need to be normal. Hint: Get the blood circulating. Walking around may help!

It was basically a high-tech version of the warmer-cooler-burning up game we used to play as kids, and we knew that we were looking for the place where our reading would be 98.6. There we found a giant blue C, which we took to mean that we needed to convert our temperature to Celsius. (37 was correct!)

Satisfied at solving the first part of the hunt we grabbed a table at the convention center, ate our picnic lunch, and mulled over the five clues we had. With half an hour to go until the final clue and the commencement of the end game, it seemed like anything was possible, but I didn't care if we won; the day was perfect already.

Life Lesson: “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” ~Dale Carnegie

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