Pablo's Armchair Treasure Hunt

Armchair Treasure Hunt 1990

Title: Armchair Treasure Hunt 1990
Setters: Rod Fine & Brian Jackson
Themes: Astrology

Hunters' Tales

The Mills team got off to a flying start with the acrostic, and sussed the stings and arrows of the outrageous fourteen places by Christmas. Then we made our first mistake - we went on trying to do the puzzle instead of playing Scrabble. Finally cracked the whole thing at dusk on New Year's Day and set off in perfect conditions - dark, driving rain, gusty wind - with nothing to trouble us except one anagram - IPSSTU. Was there a STIPUS tree, or should we worry about falling into USPITS?

We parked the car in a puddle and set off, unable to see anything like a viewpoint and expecting an ITPUSS to spring out of the bushes at any moment. Found the public toilets (PISS-UT?) and then light dawned as we found the sign indicating that the whole area was laid out like the inside of the diseased mind of a quizmaster, an assault course tailor made for hapless hunters. Now hot on the trail, we paused only to do a few SITUPS before plunging into the woods. Finding a hole several feet deep by the Accidental Leg method, we decided that Rod couldn't have been mean enough to put it down there - that was our second big mistake.

After twenty minutes we had found a lot of fallen trees, each with its L-shaped patch of fungus, and a lot more that sounded ominously close to falling. By now the team looked more like the cast of Henry V (Branagh version) than of Treasure Island, but Long John Silver would have been proud of our perseverance. I end with a Black Spot to Ken Kirkman - we'll get you next year!

Brian Mills