Stuff about, you know, puzzles

Old Quick Writeup – Shinteki Decathlon 8

I used to be able to write these multi-part writeups of puzzle hunts I've played in, as a way of storing those memories longer than my own pitiful brain seems capable of these days.  Now, with two kids (one under two) and maybe an hour free time a day, it's a little more challenging.  I've been reduced to writing a quick summary just so I can remember what I've even done.

It felt like I didn't participate in much in 2013.  That may have been because I missed two big ones:  DASH 5 and Elevate Tutoring 2.  It ended up that I didn't do anything the first half of the year.  The first thing I played in was…

Shinteki Decathlon 8

Technically, it was a dry run of Shinteki's annual puzzle hunt/Day Game.  Andrea, Dan, and I were joined by Trisha as we battled against fiendish puzzles and tried out ClueKeeper.  Some quick memories:

  • Running through and exploring the Computer History Museum.  Very interesting place.  Good teams might have only had to go through once or twice.  We did not fall into that category.
  • Knitted leg warms on a mannequin.  'Nuff said.
  • Trying to solve several paper puzzles in the midst of a crowded, noisy mall at lunch.  Wei-hwa stared over the shoulder of Trisha (his fiancee) and casually asked her how it was going.  The look she gave him – kind of a you-wrote-this-and-now-you're-torturing-me-with-it – caused him to say, "Um, I'm… going to go stand over here by Scott."  He didn't say that he would watch me fail to solve the Q*Bert clue, but it was heavily implied.
  • Throwing a gold chain with Dan onto a Dr. T stand-in.
  • "This better not be one of those clues where you have to look the signs in front of a bunch of roses.  I've done that nine times already and I'm over it.." – Trisha.  Dan and I underwent the torture instead, it being only my second time doing a puzzle of that type. I mentally erased any plans of writing something similar in the future.
  • Filling digital versions of cereal bowls with digital versions of milk, using these cubes to solve get-4-gallons-using-5-and-3-gallon-jug style puzzles.  Other team members didn't seem to enjoy it as much, since it was kind of a one person solve.
  • Getting more of the order-these-historic-events right (8/10?) on our first try than other teams did after several tries.
  • Realizing that "triskaidekaphobia" can be represented by Ian trying to shuffle Triskets and a deck of cards together.
  • Walking up and down a certain avenue in a certain town, using ClueKeeper's won't-unlock-next-puzzle-until-you-arrive-at-GPS coordinates option, and thinking that would be a useful tool.

I didn't take very many photos as that seems to drain my phone's battery, leading to less chance of looking up information on the web. As unexciting as they may be, here they are:

Next up:  Berkeley Mystery Hunt 3.