ATH 1988:

Armchair Treasure Hunt 1988

Title: Armchair Treasure Hunt 1988
Setters: Paul Coombs & Brian Jackson
Themes: Connections, G.Bernard Shaw

Some Notes on the Hunt

Paul Coombs writes...

Following the previous year's debacle, it was important to do something that worked. We got ourselves better organised, and fixed on the theme early on. The "connections" idea gave a twist, with the entrants needing to undertake some lateral thinking to make connections between three seemingly-disparate items. In retrospect I seem to have drawn most of these from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, which probably eased the task of any team who had access to a copy. One reason for the appearance of 'makeweight' questions such as these is that if the first letter of each answer spells a message then you need to find lots of answers beginning with vowels. Over the years, most of the obvious ones have been used up, and so subsequent setters have used some ingenious methods to avoid the problem.

I think this was the first time we put the hunt in the company magazine, then called Noticeboard. This removed one distribution problem, but raised another because its delivery was not treated as a high priority by the postroom, and many people failed to get their copies before they left for their Christmas break. So there was still lots of photocopying to do.

The "connections" idea meant that the hunt was relatively cockup-free, although I did receive some criticism about the size of the answer sheet, which rambled at some length about passenger pigeons and other esoteric topics. The treasure location was determined by simple idea for a red herring - the clues clearly pointed to "Shaw's Corner" at Ayot St Lawrence, but the treasure site was the neighbouring village of Ayot St Peter. Both are near my then home at Stevenage.

Brian Jackson writes...

Didn't like this one. It wasn't just the questions that were a bit pedestrian (I remember a lot of people objected to the connections format too). I came to dislike the plays of George Bernard Shaw intensely and issued a 'no more crowd scenes' edict (the artist gets stroppy!). Still, it got the hunt going again.