Pablo's Armchair Treasure Hunt

Some Guidance on Setting an ATH

1. The Benefit of Experience

Setting an Armchair Treasure Hunt brings with it a whole new set of challenges compared to entering one. However, there is an array of previous Hunt Setters from whose experience any prospective new setter can hopefully benefit, and the intention is to document such sage advice in these pages of the website. To start with, consult the page listing some useful Hunt Design Tips.

If you have any suggestions, nuggets or comments, please don't hesitate to send them to the Past Setters.

2. Pablo's Guide to Setting

Pablo (who else?!) produced a brief skeleton Setter's Guide which was last updated around 1999! It outlined a useful timetable for setters, some tips on what to include, along with some practical advice. The guide has been useful in setting previous ATHs, but many elements are inevitably now out of date, especially those in relation to Hunt production and distribution. It is also pre-Google as well.

Hopefully these website pages will evolve into a comprehensive Setter's Guide, but in the meantime Pablo's Guide still contains some practical and useful tips on pitching Hunt content.

Download 2007 Answers PDF document Pablo's Guide to ATH Setting, which is in PDF format.

3. Setter's Checklist

The following may provide a useful checklist of tasks that a Setter will likely need to perform and when:

  • January-October: Produce Armchair Treasure Hunt. See Guide and Tips.
  • October: Produce the Hunt Poster.
  • October-November: Produce Solution document.
  • November: Retrieve ATH Trophy from previous winners.
  • Start-November: Announce the forthcoming Hunt on the ATH Website.
  • Start-December: Send a reminder e-mail to teams on the ATH Distribution List.
  • Early-December: Bury the treasure. Leave as late as possible, but don't forget to do this!
  • Mid-December: Publish the Armchair Treasure Hunt.
  • December-January: Monitor team(s)' progress if possible - see Team Watching.
  • December-January: Publish any errata on the ATH Website.
  • December-January: Prepare Marking Spreadsheet. Review and finalise Solution document.
  • January-February: Choose an appropriate venue for the Prize-Giving Ceremony, and book if necessary once you have a firm idea when Results will be published.
  • Mid-January: Publish reminder of imminent closing date, and submission instructions, on the home page.
  • End-January-February: Mark Team Entries.
  • End-January-February: Collect Team Tales as you mark. You can edit down before publication if necessary.
  • End-January or February: Publish Solution on the ATH Website, notifying all teams who have submitted an entry.
  • February: Once marking is complete, arrange for ATH Trophy to be engraved with new winners' name.
  • February: Publish Results on ATH Website, notifying all teams who have submitted an entry and inviting them to the Prize-Giving Ceremony.
  • February: Pen some Setter's Notes, summarising what worked and what didn't, and any lessons learned.
  • February: Add your complete set of Hunt pages to the ATH Archive on the ATH Website.
  • February or March: Hold trophy-giving ceremony.
  • March-December: Recover life.