The Hunt Year was...


The American Red Cross

2004 Herald Hunt

Your online guide to the zaniness of the 2004 Herald Hunt!

2004 Herald Hunt Cover Image

When:  11/7/2004

Where: Coconut Grove

This Hunt has several honors:
It's the 20th Anniversary of the Hunt!
It's the (lucky) 13th Hunt overall! (not counting the non-Hunt)
It's the 4th year in a row the Herald has held the Hunt, a first!

Coconut Grove played a great host to the Tropic Hunt in 1994, and it's very fitting that it returns 10 years later. The Grove is very compact, and makes it very easy for everyone to get around, plus there's lots to do before and after the Hunt, and great places to eat and drink. Can't beat that!

The 1994 Hunt held the dubious honor of being probably one of the easiest Hunts overall. The 2004 Hunt bested that! Many teams had already solved the final puzzle BEFORE the final clue was read. As I look at this in hindsight, I think this was done on purpose, because our feelings of excitement that we got "this close" to solving the Hunt could easily be crushed by the next year's Hunt, which will probably be as difficult as most Hunts usually are.

This Hunt had puzzles that were rather easy to solve, and even the final puzzle wasn't too challenging (as evidenced above). Because so many people had the solution before the final clue, and because all the puzzles seemed to be within most people's mental reach, I'd classify this Hunt as the easiest one to date, making the 1994 Hunt the second easiest.

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. If Hurricane Trevor is approaching Florida, while hurricanes Omar, Pauline, Rupert and Sheila are ravaging Florida, only days after hurricanes Jezebel, Konrad. Layla, Morton and Naomi finally left Florida, and at the same time hurricanes Ursula and Victor are strengthening in the South Atlantic on paths that appear to be taking them toward Florida how many hurricanes are we talking about?
A - 8
E - 10
X - Enough hurricanes to make it clear you should move the hell out of Florida.

Answer: X

2. What is the inverse cosine of the hypotenuse of an isosceles triangle that has a secant of 8.93 degrees centigrade?
K - 53
R - 756.86
S - I have no earthly idea what you're talking about.

Answer: S

3. An airplane leaves New York at 6 p.m. bound for Miami. If the airplane waits 45 minutes to take off and travels a distance of 1,000 miles at an average speed of 500 miles per hour, what will the passengers in coach be given to eat?
A - A sumptuous three-course dinner.
B - A simple but hearty hot meal.
F - A tiny packet of what appears to be gerbil food.

Answer: F

4. If you were standing on the surface of the moon, which of the following would be most visible?
N - The Great Wall of China
T - The Grand Canyon
W - Nothing, because the vacuum would suck out your eyeballs.

Answer: W

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: American Fido
Location: Peacock Park, and another location
A giant banner above a stage in Peacock Park read ''AMERICAN FIDO,'' which was a silly play on the hit show American Idol. Instead of aspiring singers parading before the judges, it was a series of lovable pooches. Hunters were handed ''programs" with a list of breeds and their ``average weight.'' Meanwhile, as each dog came onstage, the judges would assess the performance with comments like: ''You call that a dog? I'd call it something else.'' And, ''You need some coordination.'' And, ``It's not a 10, but it's close.''
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 24
How to get the answer:
All of these hints were suggesting that the answer was ''canine'' which sounds exactly like map coordinates K-9. Hunters who converged at that spot in the Grove found a storefront with a poster prominently featuring the word ''Greyhound.'' On the program, the average poundage of a greyhound was listed as 24, which was the solution for this puzzle.

Puzzle: The Keyboard
Location: Along Bayshore Drive, east of Peacock Park
In a green space near the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, hunters discovered an immense model of a laptop computer. On its screen were the cryptic words, ''WHEN IS THE KEY.'' Hunters had to ask themselves, ''When what?'' But if they looked closely, they found that the giant laptop appeared unremarkable, with one exception: on the keyboard, there was no ''L.''
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 1225
How to get the answer:
Annoyingly astute hunters realized that ''no L'' sounded just like ''Noel,'' which is when? Dec. 25. The solution to this puzzle was 1225.

Puzzle: Monopoly
Location: Coconut Grove Bank, and another location
At the Coconut Grove Bank, hunters were handed orange cards that were designed exactly like ''Chance'' cards from the game Monopoly. They said: ''ADVANCE TO WHERE THE MARLINS PLAY.'' This did not mean Pro Player Stadium. It referred to the marlin fish jumping out of the bay near Peacock Park on the Hunt Map. If hunters followed directions and went to that location, they discovered that it was the site of a boardwalk on the bay, suspiciously left off the map.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 400
How to get the answer:
Hunters who made the connection between Monopoly and the boardwalk where the marlins played could look on the reproduction of a Monopoly board in an ad in the Hunt section, and discover that the Monopoly property named Boardwalk could be purchased for $400 -- making 400 the solution to this puzzle.

Puzzle: Dominos
Location: Coconut Grove Playhouse, and other locations
At the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Hunt volunteers handed out coupons that said: ''Always Go for the Dominos.'' This wasn't referring to the cheese and tomato pies, but the five domino game tiles that appeared at various locations on the Hunt map of Coconut Grove. If hunters followed our advice and went to those locations, they were handed a different domino tile at each of the five sites.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 2
How to get the answer:
Alert hunters noticed that the dominoes they collected could align properly with the dominoes on the map in only one way -- and that alignment just happened to form the numeral 2, which was the solution for this puzzle.

Puzzle: The "Roaming" puzzle
Location: All over the Hunt area
As hunters circumambulated the Hunt, they were told to look for a puzzle in four parts that would obviously be related to one another. What they encountered were four volunteers walking around in giant foam hands. On the front of each hand was an image and a number. One depicted a toilet and the number 7. Another depicted a house bursting with people and the number 3. A third had the image of a pear and the number 4. The final hand had a ruler and the number 1.
Related puzzle photos and materials...
Puzzle Answer: 3714
How to get the answer:
Smart hunters realized that these weren't just any giant hands, they were giant poker hands: a ''flush'' (the toilet, of course), a full house, a pair (the pear) and a ''straight'' (the straightedge). Hunters had to realize that, in poker, the order of hands went: full house, flush, straight, pair. Arrange the accompanying numbers in that order and you got, 3-7-1-4. The solution to this puzzle was 3714.

The Clues
2. Now, we islanders call this dish by the name "mountain oyster", mon, but that be arch. It's goat testicles.
24. Running hard after David into that strong wind, my feet horribly sore, I just didn't owe him, or anyone, nine more miles. He won.
1225. Davey Jones: 15; Andrew Johnson: 213; Stephen Patrick: 7; Hunter Thompson: 129.
400. There's a new Christian rock group named "George". The drummer's poodle, "Fore," wears a golf tee around her neck seven inches long.
3714. If you see Edward, tell him that Al and his friend Bert can't give up nine banjos. Possibly a fife, but that's it.

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., was this: 'blah blah blah fourth''
Final puzzle photos and materials...
Solving the Hunt:
The final clue was the key to decoding the other five: three words of nonsense, followed by a fourth word which was meaningful. Hunters who applied that key to their list of clues got the following still cryptic message: Call the mon arch. David wind sore owe nine won. Christian George Fore tee seven. Andrew Patrick 129. Edward Al Bert nine fife. This is where it gets a little insane. Listed, for no apparent reason, in the printed Hunt section, were all British monarchs, beginning with Egbert and Aethelwulf in the ninth century. In a paragraph of explanatory copy under the list was the full name of Edward VIII: Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David Windsor. Bingo: Looking closely, each of the decoded clues contained two of those eight names (although some were split into two syllables) along with a number (including some which were sound-alike puns). So -- allowing for slight misdirection -- you had David Windsor, 091; Christian George, 47; Andrew Patrick, 129; Edward Albert, 95. You also had the first clue: Call the monarch. If you arranged the names in the correct order for English monarch Edward VIII, the accompanying numbers lined up in a 10-digit phone number: 954-712-9091. The winner, who should be immediately arrested and jailed, was the first to call that number and ask for Edward VIII.
Who won (Congratulations!):
1st place team
David Zionts
Keith Shulman
Marc Ramer
Russ Beyer

Photos & related materials for the winners...


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



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