People to meet, places to be

Meetup logoAs the previous post was about an exciting Meetup group in Manchester, it doesn’t take the greatest leap of imagination to try to find out what other exciting Meetup groups there might be out there. There are a couple of other interesting links at the end as well.

I mentioned the Escape Rooms and Puzzle Rooms in and around London meetup in a post about a year and a half ago, but it doesn’t seem to have been the most active group, having organised two escapes in the middle of last year and one in February. There’s more activity in the Escape Roomers London meetup group, whose members went to The Crystal Maze earlier in the month and have two escape rooms planned for May. London’s Secrets Society meetup takes a slightly wider purview, including escape rooms but also treasure hunts, “theme parks, pop-ups and the occasional unusual bar“.

We’ve covered the activities of the Treasure Hunts in London group quite a few times and probably the best way to keep up with them is to join their Meetup group; as well as the titular treasure hunts, they have a plan to play The Million Pound Heist at Enigma Quests on Saturday. However, they aren’t the only treasure hunt group in London; the Cultural Treasure Hunt Meetup of London has events every two or three months. The group has an impressive 800+ members so the hunts may well be popular. They’re free to play, though donations to the museums in which they take place are welcome. The group begat a sister group based around Cambridge.

Indeed, there’s no reason why London should have all the fun. As well as the Manchester group mentioned last time, Bristol is in on it; it has its own local escape room addicts group, which does not yet seem to have attracted a critical mass despite the efforts of the organiser, and also an exciting-sounding Rare Duck Club whose focus is more generally on live games – often of considerable, impressive scope.

A couple of other links unrelated to the Meetup site: Dean from Escape Review mentions Secret London Runs in passing; they have a variety of running tours, many of which involve several legs of running to interesting locations punctuated by encounters that go together to create a puzzle to solve. Many of their events are centred around 10 km runs, including breaks, so you’ll know whether that’s a surmountable barrier to entry or not. Lastly, Play Exit Games is currently running a giveaway competition with the prize being free tickets to Modern Fables.

Treasure Hunts coming up, especially on April 16th

Treasure map graphicTime to look at some treasure hunts coming up soon. There’s an unexpected running theme running through them.

  • Treasure Trail Quests are running their first event on Friday 15th April to Sunday 17th April; it’ll be in Stowmarket. Buy a book of clues for £20, either by choosing to receive a .pdf on Friday morning or a printed copy in person.

    Study the clues. Go online and research in advance. Visit the town with family, friends or get together a group of work mates then answer the puzzles. ((…)) It has been carefully crafted to be a family friendly fun challenge made up of a series of puzzles. There will be picture puzzles, word play and number play. ((…)) Entries must be received by 11.59hrs on the Sunday night. Entries can be made by email or by text or by using a submission form. Each book has a unique serial number. Only one entry per serial number. ((…)) The winner is the entry that is the first ALL correct entry drawn at random the next day, Monday at 13:00hrs. The prize is a cash award of £1000.

    The full T&C suggest that the prize rolls over if nobody gets everything 100% correct, presumably to the second hunt scheduled for St. Neots on May 13th to 15th. The same person is behind this as the Pop-Up Puzzle Room – so, while it’s by no means necessary, you might want to play his game or follow the brainteasers he posts to Facebook to get an idea of the house style. 

  • The Armchair Treasure Hunt Club are running a Spring club event in Shrewsbury on Saturday 16th April. The club has run an event every autumn for about twenty years; additional spring events are a recent revival of previous form. “Everyone is welcome to come along and compete, whether you are a member of the club or whether you just enjoy competing in treasure hunts. Gather for the hunt at 10am for an 11am start, and it’ll probably be about tea time when the treasure is unearthed. The £25 entry fee includes lunch as well as the hunt and its prizes.” The club’s web site has a page with more information and it just might be that there are a few pre-clues on the posters worth exploring there as well.
     
  • This site’s friends at Treasure Hunts in London have a couple of events coming up as well. Between 2pm and 5pm on Saturday 26th March, the Easter Treasure Hunt at the V&A Museum looks at “…art from north of the border. Working in teams you will be solving clues and puzzles, and answering questions about the art work. As this is an Easter hunt, expect a few Easter surprises along the way. As always we will end the hunt with a wee drink as we announce the results and award prizes to the winning team.” Tickets are £20 for a single player or £38 for a pair.
     
    Treasure Hunts in London are also organising a hunt called Rule, Britannia on, inevitably, Saturday 16th April. “The Queen’s 90th birthday takes place on 21st April 2016.To mark the occasion Treasure Hunts in London are organising a Royalty-themed Treasure Hunt. There will be themed clues to solve, puzzles, photo challenges and assignments. This hunt starts when the teams collect clue packs by the Queen Victoria Memorial, outside Buckingham Palace. It ends with a drink and prize giving at a pub near Kensington Palace.” Tickets must be pre-booked, a minimum number of teams (of 2 to 6 players) are required for the game to go ahead, and you must bring a smartphone to complete the photo challenges… and any additional tasks that might be sent out by text throughout the game. Tickets are £38 for a pair of players, £20 for a single player or £15 for a single player booking by the end of March, all including a drink at the end of the hunt.

If you know of other hunts, please send the details through. (That said, there was a Valentine’s themed hunt in early February that this site missed; the page has details of a few other interesting past hunts as well.)

Dates for your diary

weekly calendarThis site has got somewhat slack with updating its events calendar to the point where even linking to it in this article would feel wrong. Nevertheless, there are a few things worth looking ahead to already.

  • The first leg of this year’s WPF Puzzle Grand Prix is in progress already, starting about half a day ago. You have until Monday evening, UK time, to identify a clear block of 90 minutes and earn as many points as possible by solving pencil-and-paper puzzles set by a team from India in the first leg of a metaphorical race around the puzzling world. Some of you may know that the puzzles are always very fine and the contest is reliably great fun; this year’s competition has an added twist to make it more accessible and help more people find their level of fun. More about that very soon, hopefully while the first leg is still in progress.
     
  • The Coney troupe of interactive theatre makers are holding a Scratch and Salon session at the Camden People’s Theatre from midday on Sunday. The “Scratch and Salon is an open event making play on the line between public space and corporate space, and exploring the ideas around the commons“. At midday, “A map will be unfurled of scratch adventures and other playful experiences to be discovered in the neighbourhood of CPT. You’ll need a mobile phone with credit to send text messages in order to play. From 3pm – We’ll reconvene in the Theatre and host a salon – first curated with provocations from speakers segueing into an open space discussion – on what it means to make play in this space, and the politics of public space and the commons“. Not immediately puzzly, but very likely to be relevant somehow; their shows always inspire interesting thoughts.
     
  • February 27th and 28th see the UK Open Puzzle and Sudoku Tournaments taking place at the Selsdon Park Hotel in Croydon; since the World Championships were held here a couple of years ago, this has surely become the spiritual home of competition puzzles in this country. The company is always excellent and it’s as close to the World Championship experience as you’re going to get.
     
  • Closer to the usual core of this site, Can You Escape? of Edinburgh are hosting a Disabled Access Day on Saturday 12th March. “Join us on Disabled Access Day between 10.30 and 12.00 to take a look around Operation Odyssey our space themed mission, giving you a chance to check if the room is suitable and have a go at some puzzles (not the ones in the room – that would be cheating!) ((…)) People taking part in Disabled Access Day can also get 30% off bookings on the day or bookings made on the day.” Clearly Can You Escape? takes accessibility seriously; see the entry in the FAQ, but also the site’s inclusion in Euan’s Guide for disabled access reviews. While it’s far from the only site to do so, Exit Games UK is not aware of anything quite like this Disabled Access Day before and this would appear to be an instant example of best practice, well worth consideration by sites up and down the country. If you want to see whether the site is right for you, e-mail Can You Escape? first because only a limited number of spaces are available.
     
  • April is set to be busy, busy, busy, though in a very good way. From 1st to 3rd April, Now Play This returns to the New Wing of Somerset House in London. It’s not clear what will be on the line-up this year as the open call is in progress; “This year we’re particularly keen on things with interesting controllers, games which deal with utopias, play in a city context, and work which encourages player creativity – but games outside these themes are also welcome.” The event is part of the larger London Games Festival, “running from 1 to 10 April 2016, the festival includes 15 official events across 10 different locations” – perhaps something exit game-related might be appropriate for the Festival Fringe?
     
  • The Canadian Caper will be running on April 9th at the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto. “A one-day only escape experience for up to 15 teams of six ((though it’s not immediately clear whether it’s 15 teams per show or 15 teams total over the three shows.)) This is very much an escape game. There will be puzzles to solve. Solving puzzles will allow you to progress through the space into new rooms where you will find new challenges and new puzzles. Ultimately your goal is to physically escape the space. Unlike a traditional escape game though there will also be actors that teams will need to interact with to gain information.” The first episode in the series was put on by a number of bloggers and their very talented friends; us UK types can just dream and be jealous, for it sounds hugely cool and it is delightful that the first episode is not just a one-off.
     
  • We don’t have it so bad in the UK, though; Saturday 16th April sees the Springtime Hunt in Shrewsbury organised by the Armchair Treasure Hunt Club. “Everyone is welcome to come along and compete, whether you are a member of the club or whether you just enjoy competing in treasure hunts. Gather for the hunt at 10am for an 11am start, and it’ll probably be about tea time when the treasure is unearthed. The £25 entry fee includes lunch as well as the hunt and its prizes. Go to the club’s website for more details of how to book your place.
     
  • Never enough, never enough; Up The Game happens two days later. “On the 18th of April Amsterdam will host the first international Escape Room & Real Life Gaming Conference.” Their speaker list is extremely exciting with speakers from several countries. While the early bird tickets have sold out, you can still buy Advance tickets at €100 each, plus a small booking fee, plus the Dutch version of VAT, which by the way has the charming acronym of BTW.
     
  • Last year, this site proposed an industry meeting at the forthcoming live The Crystal Maze attraction; while all 32 tickets have been sold (and there are already names at the top of the waiting list) it’s going to take place on Tuesday 26th April. Maybe something else interesting might be happening around that time too, you never know
     
  • And that’s not even referring to DASH 8, set to take place in cities around the world on Saturday 30th April!

What other events is this site missing?

Coming soon to London: Adventure Race

Adventure Race logoLisa Long, so prominent within early DASH, early Puzzled Pint, Girls and Boys Come Out to Play and all manner of other exciting London puzzle events, points to an exciting-looking treasure hunt taking place in London on Saturday 18th July, AdventureRace.London.

AdventureRace.London is a treasure hunt in Central London in aid of charity. ((…)) Led by an adventurer from the Inspired50, discover secret London whilst completing fun, challenging tasks that test your intelligence, endurance and team working skills. ((…)) Teams are made up of five members. Each team will receive a printed clueboard which contains clues to challenges to complete during the race, some more cryptic than others. It is up to each team to unravel the clues on the clueboard and pinpoint the location of each challenge. All locations can be found in the Bank, St Paul’s, London Bridge, Borough and Bermondsey areas. Challenges can be completed in any order, with the exception of the first, although you may choose to strategise and plan your route thereafter.” Tickets are £30 plus a booking fee – or, for £40, you can be on a team with a named captain, whose life history may make them worth meeting.

There are a couple of other distinctive features. As well as challenging participants to raise funds over and above the ticket price, participants are challenged to make a positive difference and brighten another person’s day during the course of the race itself. If all goes to plan with both fundraising and deed-doing, the event has a goal of using its 100 participants to raise £10,000 and a hundred good deeds. There’s also a planned attempt on the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest word search, set to be about a 25% expansion on the 250×204, 5500+-clue monster presented at a college in Utah two and a half years ago that possibly still holds the record.

There have been events a little bit like this in the past, and there’s a continuum between a puzzle hunt and… well, orienteering. (Don’t get this site wrong; this site thinks orienteering is cool, just a different sort of cool, with plenty of other web sites that talk about it already.) At one end of the spectrum, speed of travel is all and the time taken on the challenges is almost incidental; at the other end, speed of travel may be disregarded, or all but disregarded, and the time spent on the challenges is key. Where does this event fit in? It’s not quite clear, but the event’s background sounds promising. The fact that it’s using technology from Fire Hazard also pushes it in this general direction.

Possibly vaguely comparable games might include the (past) Great Urban Race and The Go Game, both of which have had events in the past in the UK, though not in recent years. Possibly the most successful member of the genre was Intelligent Sport; this was a property of sports rights company IMG Media, famous for Trans World Sport and more, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they managed to get a show with some of the races on Channel 4 in the middle of the night, a couple of hours after the poker. (There are some episodes on YouTube.) The results site details the problems that were thrown up as parts of the race, which still exists under the name the UK Challenge.

If you’re thinking of playing, you might particularly enjoy this episode of Snoutcast which interviews two standouts of the Great Urban Race, also members of the puzzle hunt family, which might put you in mind for what to expect from a footrace-heavy treasure hunt.

Keeping clues in London

ClueKeeper logoThis site has previously previewed the hunts run by Treasure Hunts in London, though the stars have not yet aligned to permit a chance to play any of them. This is going to get rather easier from now on.

ClueKeeper has long been used not only to keep score and handle the administration for time-dependent puzzle hunts; it has also enabled people to play self-guided hunts, at your own convenience; a good way to learn about an area through the medium of play. However, these hunts have so far been only available in the United States – and only a dozen or so places there. Happily, this is no longer the case, as a recent update to ClueKeeper has enabled the pricing of hunts in currencies other than the greenback, and Treasure Hunts in London have launched Fairytale in the City, in which you can “Discover hidden heritage around the Spitalfields area of London“.

Start at Liverpool Street station and expect to cover perhaps a mile and a half over three hours or so. “Little Red Hen has weaved her way around London, from Liverpool Street to Brick Lane. As she travelled, she placed virtual eggs covering various items of heritage. The items hidden all have a Fairy Tale or nursery rhyme connection. Your task is to follow Little Red Hen’s route and uncover the fairy-tale and nursery rhyme connections as you hunt for virtual eggs.

This hunt is priced at US$14.99 per team, so just under £10 – cheap entertainment indeed for an afternoon’s fun for a team of up to five. There are several self-guided treasure hunt providers out there in the UK; perhaps it was just a matter of time before at least one of them started to find out what ClueKeeper might do. Fingers crossed that this is just the start and that London, and the rest of the UK, may soon see many more such hunts!

So you loved DASH 7. What’s next?

whatsnextThis site has always declared its constituency to be Escape games, puzzle hunts and more, so makes no apology for focusing hard on puzzle hunts for a while. The coverage of exit games as such is a bit behind; the map needs checking out, the list of exit games needs updating badly and this will be the first month where the League Table feature has missed its self-imposed “1st of the month” regular schedule. That aspect of regular service will resume shortly.

However, if you’re coming here for your first time, or one of your first times, as a result of DASH then you don’t have to wait all year for DASH 8 to get your fill of puzzle fun. This site has previously discussed an upcoming puzzle hunt held at Cambridge University, running non-stop for 24 hours from 4pm on Friday 12th June. It’s run by the Computing and Technology Society and that may well give you a feel for what sorts of puzzles it is most likely to emphasise, though no holds are barred. If DASH left you wanting more, in more than one sense, there are no better opportunities – and this one comes up shortly.

Alternatively, Treasure Hunts in London are running a street game in the capital, starting outside Capital Hall at noon on Sunday 14th June, so if you’re super-hardcore then you could practically back them to back. Rights and LiberTeas is part of the nationwide Rights and Liberties Celebration: Start by meeting Maggie Carta to collect your clue packs, then set off on your journey to explore political history. Discover great (and not so great) leaders, politicians and reformers as you answer clues and complete topical assignments and photo challenges. Meet politicians so independent they don’t appear on any ballot paper in this Scavenger Hunt Street Game around Westminster. Additional tasks are set throughout the game via text and via costumed “Political Party members”, so bring your smartphone. This not-for-profit event costs £15/player, or £60 for a group of five; the ticket price includes interaction with costumed actors, prizes for the winning team and end refreshments to toast the 750th anniversary of the Simon de Montfort Parliament (1265) and the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta (1215). Tickets are still available.

The ManorCon board games convention at the University of Leicester in mid-July has included a treasure hunt each year since 2001; this is normally an afternoon’s worth of fun but there have been some very cute things included along the way. For a hunt of a different style, the Armchair Treasure Hunt Club have their annual meeting in Winchester this year on Saturday 12th September and all are welcome.

If you particularly enjoyed the grid puzzles – the logic half of Interview with Rita Skeeter and Monsters – then you can do little better than getting involved with the UK Puzzle Association. The UKPA organises the UK team for the World Puzzle Championship each year; this year’s global gathering happens in Sofia, Bulgaria in October. Part of the team is determined by performances in the UK Puzzle Championship, which surely can only be a few weeks away; over the course of one weekend, choose a 2½-hour window of your own convenience and score as many points as you can by solving a selection of culture-free language-neutral logic puzzles. The championship is always great fun whether you come first or fourth-or-fifth-last, like me.

For something a little more regular still, there’s always Puzzled Pint, in two locations in London on the second Tuesday of each month. The puzzles here come from a rather more DASH-like background, but are deliberately accessible to all and designed to provide an hour or two’s fun for a team enjoying food, drink and good company.

If all that isn’t enough, you could always go and play an exit game; at a guess, a good 80% of UK residents are within an hour’s travel of their nearest game. After all, there are only about sixty to choose from! (If anybody knows a convenient way to generate such an isochrone relating not just to a single point, but to all the points in a single Google Map, please speak up.)

However, this site makes no apology for the degree of DASH coverage it has given this year and will continue to give in future years; this blog is all about helping people to find different sorts of fun that they could have and then helping convince them that it’s the sort of fun that people like them really could enjoy, not just the long-established hardest of the hardcore. With that in mind, you might well enjoy the very cool DASH 7 write-up at QMSM of the experiences of just such a team of puzzle hunt newcomers bringing across little more than (rather a lot of!) exit game experience.

However, the DASH 7 coverage here is by no means complete and there may be something a little unusual coming up before too long. Watch this space!

Treasure Hunts coming up this Christmas

"Christmas Treasure Hunt"First off, congratulations to Can You Escape? of Edinburgh, opening for business today. Their pin on the map has been turned from red to yellow to celebrate their opening, plus hopefully the map is a sensible level of zoom by default once more.

This site’s friends at Treasure Hunts in London have some interesting-looking games coming up over December. First of all, their “12 Days of Christmas” treasure hunt will be played today, Friday 5th December, starting at the National Portrait Gallery; the hunt will be run twice, first between 1pm and 4pm and a late night version between 6pm and 9pm. The charge is £10/player and it’s suitable for teams of two to six.

After that, on Saturday 13th December, there will be a treasure hunt entitled Operation “Rebuild Santa’s Naughty or Nice List”. This one starts at the Piccadilly Institute; this is a licensed location so you must be 18+ to attend and bring ID. Again it’s suitable for teams of up to six, but it’s a longer event (2pm-7pm) and the the charge is £15/player, with the higher price including Christmas crackers and mince pies, and paying for the presence of seasonal characters. Naughty or nice; what do you think? This site concludes “naughty, naughty, very naughty”. Wa-ha-ha-ha.

Not enough for you? The Saturday after that, 20th December, sees a restaged hunt from November, starting at 10am, around the village of Chingford, just outside the North Circular in the north-east of London. Catch a train from Liverpool Street, for this one is £10/player.

One of this site’s loyal friends and true, Dean, also recently pointed to a hunt entitled The Enchanted Mirror, presented by HiddenCity and Time Out London.

Your challenge: in teams of up to four people, solve a trail of clues set by an evil queen, in search of a magical mirror. Stroll down cobbled streets, weave through galleries and pause for drinks in tucked-away taverns. Expect to find yourself seeking out hidden objects and presenting code words to people you meet along the way. Solve the clues and you’ll embark on a journey across the capital. Uncover the mirror, solve its final challenge, and your team will be rewarded.

This runs daily, with yesterday seeing the first performance and tickets available every day until 11th January, other than Christmas Day, plus or minus one, and New Year’s Day. The clues are aimed at adults, but supervised children are welcome. No local knowledge is required, but a love of fairy tales will help you get the most from the Snow White theme. Start at any point from 11:15am to 1pm at the Victoria and Albert Museum, then expect to spend 3-4 hours (including one break!) to cover three miles or so. Entry vouchers cost £40 and cover a team of up to four.

Happy hunting to all, and to all a good night!

Some more games coming up in London

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After yesterday’s post about the blurring of the line between exit games and interactive theatre, here are details of some more games and events that are pretty identifiably on the interactive theatre side of the line. They look to have enough to them to be likely to be of interest to readers – at least, to readers in London.

iAm is a show organised by the Bush theatre but performed daily at the Kensal House community rooms until Saturday 25th October. Tuesday and Wednesday have 1:30pm matinee shows, Thursday to Saturday 7:30pm shows and Sunday and Monday are days off.

Welcome to an intimate focus group – only a select few have been allowed in. The product is cutting edge: it could be the next big thing. But as the guinea pigs sign up eagerly to secrecy, someone throws a spanner in the works. The company’s latest recruit has ethical concerns. Surely the iAms have certain rights…

Technology is about to take on a life of its own.

iAm is a fast-paced, interactive show about our attachment to technology. It gives audiences the chance to experiment and compete. Mixing immersive theatre, interactive games and a futuristic scenario, the play addresses big subjects like morality and community in a digital age.

The SPID theatre company‘s web site describes the show by saying “iAm explores our attachment to technology by giving audiences the chance to experiment and compete. Mixing immersive theatre, interactive games and a futuristic scenario, the play addresses big subjects like morality and community in a digital age.” That’s easily playable enough for this site.

This site normally skews away from running games – obstacle races are right out – but there are a couple of games of Citydash coming up, which has a bit of thought and brain to it.

Run for checkpoints, replan on the fly as the map changes, and duck for cover as our patrolling guards close in. Or take it more strategically, rack your brains to solve our cryptic clues, and keep your eyes open for bonus points.

However you play, you can watch the live scoreboard for updates and battle it out with nearby teams. With a huge range of strategies, approaches, and levels, you can take this as casually or competitively as you want.

This site likes cryptic clues, this site likes strategy and this site likes that there is a charity benefit event, in aid of the Street Child charity, in Central London on the afternoon of Saturday 15th November. Before then, there’s a Hallowe’en version at 7pm on Friday 31st October, wherein all the guards are replaced by things that go bump in the night. Bear in mind that the latter game is taking place after dark in Shoreditch, so there’ll be a lot of ’em about.

If these are all a little too near-topic for you, Puzzle Hunt Calendar points to a much more orthodox treasure hunt happening from 2pm to 5pm this Saturday, 11th October, organised by Treasure Hunts in London. This weekend’s game takes place at the Tate Britain art gallery, though is not organised by them. “This one involves searching for animals. There is a mixture of straight and cryptic clues to solve as you take your time exploring the gallery. It’s not a race, so you have time to look at the paintings and possibly stop for a coffee.” £10 per player, teams of up to five, and a debriefing at a pub afterwards.

Speaking of pubs, next week is Puzzled Pint week as well!

City Hunt: pretty cool!

Adapted from "Between Blackfriars bridges, with train, from south" by Alethe - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Between_Blackfriars_bridges,_with_train,_from_south.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Between_Blackfriars_bridges,_with_train,_from_south.jpg(Photo between Blackfriars bridges, adapted from a file licensed under Creative Commons; mouseover for specifics.)

A loyal friend and Puzzled Pint teammate, Richard, accompanied me on an attempt at the City Hunt treasure hunt around the Blackfriars area of Southwark last night, as previewed earlier in the week. Recommended; good times, and many thanks to 4749 Tanner Street, the people behind it.

There are thirty clues to find in a box a little bigger than a square kilometre. They are detailed on an optional printed map, distributed for a few hours daily at two locations, or they can be found by using the online map on the City Hunt web site. This seemed to work well for us on both Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android, bearing a distinct resemblance to Google Maps architecture under the hood. Wander to the approximate location of any of the thirty pins on the map, click on the pin, find a question with four multiple-choice answers. Find the answer in real life, click the appropriate answer online and earn the point for that location.

Many of the locations are slightly quirkier and lower-key than you might find on a typical Blackfriars attractions guide, but you’d hope to find them on a really good local guide. (To say more would be to spoil the event.) The hunt has sponsored prizes and some of the locations relate to the sponsors, but this is done reasonably tastefully in practice. We started the hunt at around twenty past eight at night, giving the endeavour an enjoyably intimate undercurrent of adventure – and yet it felt less likely to get arouse police attention than, say, going geocaching.

We attempted to solve fifteen of the clues and found fourteen answers by streetlight. This took us a little over two hours, though there may have been a stop for liquid refreshment along the way. (We stopped due to the late hour, an early start the next day and phones running out of battery. Consider this a recommendation for bringing a spare.) A few of the clues might have been found by Wikipedia or Google Maps, or by intersecting the wrong answers to leave an obvious right answer; however, most of them couldn’t, and enough of the locations we found put smiles on our face to make it well worth our time and effort.

Earlier, reader Dean has pointed to Quest Coventry, which bears some similarities but might be technologically more complex. (There’s no telling how the end results compare, not least because of the delights on offer on the two locations.) Well done to any local tourism groups far-sighted and fun enough to promote such events. Be warned that they often tend to have restricted lifespans, or at least their central competitions have finite closing dates; Quest Coventry’s current round has finished, and City Hunt is only accepting entries towards the prize until 10pm on Sunday 21st September.