# Solution to the Herald Hunt

Dance Lessons Puzzle

Another Carnival entertainer gave mass dancing lessons in a lot near Main Highway. The dance instructor began by teaching four individual dance steps -- the Motivate, the Doe, the Wind and the Loco. When the crowd seemed to be mastering the steps, the instructor said, “Ok, now we’re going to put them all together,” and danced the four steps in sequence. Hunters had to notice the order in which the steps were danced: the Loco, then the Motivate, then the Wind, then the Doe. If Hunters said the names of the steps out loud, they got LOCOMOTIVATEWINDDOE.

Which sounded identical to “locomotive 8 window.”

It so happened that in the special Hunt issue, there were a dozen images of modes of transportation, including ships, planes, cars and . . . locomotives. One of the locomotives pictured in the section had a clear number 8 on its side. This was locomotive 8. In its front windows were two taped Xs. In Roman numerals, XX is 20, which is the solution to this puzzle.

The Ships Puzzle

At the waterfront of the Barnacle historic property, two giant dice were stacked at the end of a long dock, one on top of the other, beside a giant ruler.

With no further explanation, Hunters had to look elsewhere for the solution.

In the Hunt issue was a large ad for Carnival’s newest ship, the Breeze. At the bottom of the ad was a list of some other ships in the Carnival fleet. Sharp Hunters noticed the name of one of those ships was the “Paradise,” which sounded almost exactly like “pair of dice.” Those Hunters who figured out the ruler next to the “pair o’ dice” was a reference to the measurement of the length of the Paradise, which was listed in the ad at 855 feet, solved this puzzle.

Endgame

Hunters who solved the five puzzles above, gathered five clues:

10. If you want to become a vegetarian, take a pea, carefully wrap it in lettuce, then throw it in the trash.

15. We only mention the word booger because we know you know it wouldn’t be a clue.

20. The world was aghast when Kate and William were pronounced man and wife, and William promptly turned into a frog.

25. You might want to avoid venturing into the forest, what with the voracious pollster bears lurking there.

855. We could lay down some sod, since growing grass from seed takes so long.

At 3 pm, Dave Barry and Tom Shroder announced the final clue, which was simply a painting of a green phone.

Frighteningly intense Hunters reasoned that the new clue told them two things: “green” and “phone.” In the first five clues, there were exactly seven mentions of things that were green: pea, lettuce, booger, frog, forest, sod, grass. The fact that there were seven items, combined with the phone image from the final clue, alerted National-Security-Risk-smart Hunters to the fact that we were trying to give them a coded phone number: Count the letters in each of the green words and you had a phone number: 376-4635. If they dialed that number in the 305 area code, they heard a recording: “Go to MANY BIG signposts. Think smaller.”

The Hunt teams that realized this was a reference back to the signpost puzzle ran there. And some had no idea why. But the really disgustingly clever ones knew that they were looking for the signposts labeled with the letters M, A, N, Y, B, I and G. If they “thought smaller” on each of the word pairs on those signs by choosing the smaller word, they got the final message: GO HOME HAND CATCH HER YOUR NUMBER.

At Peacock Park, just behind the Hunt stage, there was a baseball field. A couple of people, seemingly oblivious to the Hunt going on around them, were playing pitch and catch there. The first team to run to home plate, and hand their cell number to the catcher, won the 2012 Herald Hunt.

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