ATH 1998:

Armchair Treasure Hunt 1998

Title: Armchair Treasure Hunt 1998
Setter: Brian Mills
Themes: Food, Enid Blyton, Music

Brian Mills writes...

Some Notes on the Hunt

1998 saw a return to the more traditional form of armchair treasure hunt - published in DiaLogica and on the web. The "Famous Five" team took over the mantle following Paul Coombs' departure to Reuters, and we settled on a combination of themes on which to base the competition. Delia Smith provided food, and Gilbert & Sullivan added some musical entertainment.

We had plumped for a wood in Beaconsfield as the site for the treasure, and decided to make copious references to Beaconsfield in the puzzle. Our team name - The Famous Five - was perhaps the most obvious clue, as Enid Blyton, author of the series, had a long association with Beaconsfield. We drew pictures to depict Blyton's "adventure" series, and took hunters on an imaginary tour of the UK, visiting places with names that evoked people with associated with Beaconsfield (Blyton, near Gainsborough, included).

I would have to admit to a certain amount of plagiarism in setting this hunt - the imaginary tour, chemical element code and "connections" questions were inspired by two of the earliest hunts (Northaw and Ayot St Peter), and we realised later that the Knight's Tour had also been used before. Indeed we discovered recently that part of our imaginary tour bore a striking resemblance to that used in the very first Armchair Treasure Hunt - though we had never actually seen it. I suppose this is inevitable if a format is frequently reused.

This Hunt was preceded by a Warmup Puzzle that you might find amusing.