South Florida

Solutions to the 2019 Herald Hunt

Here are the solutions for the 2019 Herald Hunt:

1. The Floating Billboard Puzzle

We sent Hunters to a location at the edge of the park on Biscayne Bay. A large sign warned Hunters to “Look Out!” Hunters who looked out at the bay noticed a floating billboard cruising back and forth.

The message on the billboard looked like this:


On the Hunt Map, artist Otis Sweat had drawn a cartoon submarine in the bay. The markings on the submarine looked like this:


Hunters had to figure out that the arrows on the floating billboard were pointing down, towards the water beneath it, inviting them to imagine the submarine below the barge. If they lined up the two arrows in the sub markings with the two arrows on the barge markings this is the image that resulted:


The solution to this puzzle was 5x74x9 = 3,330

2. The Rotary Puzzle

Inside a rope circle in the park we set up an odd arrangement: ten black circles arranged in an arc, with a crescent shape at one end.

Volunteers handed out a flier that read:



The Rotary Club is a calling. Heed the call by solving this simple problem using contemporary equipment:

3 + 53762 + 44

Hunters had to realize the problem they were trying to solve wasn’t a math sum: It was a phone number and that “contemporary equipment” referred to their mobile phones. The trick was to realize that, on a smartphone keypad, the “0” key is also the “+” key. By replacing each “+” with “0,” Hunters got a 10-digit phone number: 504-407-1096. Calling that number reached a message: “The solution is standing in front of GHI.”

Now Hunters had to realize that the 10 black circles and the crescent shape represented the dial of an old-fashioned rotary phone. The letters GHI on a rotary phone are associated with the fourth finger hole. Standing next to that hole on our giant dial was a “Rotary Club” member with a huge nametag that read BRAD. If you translated BRAD to numbers using the rotary phone dial, you got 2723, the solution to this puzzle.

3. Game of Thrones Puzzle

On the stage, a knight, a sailor, a police officer and a pirate competed in musical chairs around three “thrones,” aka toilets. As the music played, an emcee did a play-by-play, pronouncing the character names oddly – KUH-night, DOC-tour, Con-DUCK-tah, and PI-rate. In the special Hunt section, we placed an obviously comical ad for Rental Kingdom, managed by an outfit called Iron Bank Lenders. The “Iron Bank” name alerted Hunters to the fact that the ad was connected to the Game of Thrones puzzle. There was also a suspicious typo in the headline: “Available toi let by the hour.” The rental items were all absurd -- US Senators, toilet plungers, orange toupees, etc. One of the items was pizza, which rented for $2.95 an hour.

The last contestant standing, or sitting, on the lone remaining throne turned out to be the pirate, or as the announcer said it, PI-rate.

The solution to this puzzle was the hourly rental rate of the Pizza Pie $2.95, or 295 on the Clue Pages.

4. Frisbee Game

In another Hunt area, volunteers handed out hundreds of souvenir Frisbees and encouraged a mass participation game of Frisbee toss.

Along with the Frisbees Hunters received a handout with a doggerel poem:

Ode to a

Game of Frisbee

To solve this thing, just have a catch

With folks you want to beat.

Team up with foes, and you will snatch

Sweet victory from defeat.

Not every “fris” is the same, you see

Though all share shape and fly like birds.

Studied close, from A to Z

Diff’rent discs have diff’rent words.

Don’t be shy, no time to waste!

No hiding in some grotto,

The task at hand requires haste -

Let this be your motto:

‘Show me yours, I’ll show you mine!’

The words, in all, do number nine.

By the by, you’ll need to see every one -

Even eight won’t get it done.

Knit them up in sentence prose

And you’ll nail this puzzle on the nose!

(Please return all Frisbees to Hunt staff before you leave this site. We will redistribute them as souvenirs from the stage at the end of the Hunt.)

If Hunters did as the poem suggested -- cooperated with their competitors to see and record the nine different words found printed on the Frisbees, they came away with this vocab list:










The only possible grammatical sentence that makes sense of those words is: “Imagine three Frisbees to the right of a one.”

The solution to this puzzle was 1000.

5. Marching Band

In a large open area of the park, Hunters watched a marching band form into an X while playing the classic rock earworm, “Smoke on the Water.” A fake ad for books in the Hunt Issue featured one book cover with an image of a plume of dark smoke rising above the water. That ad had a web address beneath it. When Hunters called up that web page they saw a satellite image of the area of the park where the band had assembled. In the blank areas on either side of where the band had formed the X, there were numbers -- 7 to the left and 13 to the right. With the X formed by the band, it reads 7 X 13. The solution to this puzzle was 91.

The Endgame:

Hunters who solved all five of the above puzzles came away with five numbers which they matched with five clues on the Clue Pages. The five real clues were:

91. Read it like


295. THE FIRST PART: hrld.

1000. Find the man in the apparel we’ve described. Hand him a slip of paper with your name, cell number and pass-word.

2723. The pass is thrown.

3330. The word is out.

At 3 p.m. from the main stage Tom and Dave read out the Final Clue, which sounded like this: “If you solved all five puzzles, you have what you need to solve the Hunt, except for the holiest number.”

Except they weren’t talking about the “holiest” number. What they really meant was the HOLE-iest number.

That referred to clue number 8888, which had two holes in each 8, for a total of eight holes, more than any other number on the list. Clue Number 8888 read: “It’s nowhere near the pastrami on rye. It’s just above the sub. You might want to go back and look again.”

Hunters needed to remember that they had solved the floating barge puzzle by imagining it “right above the sub.” We were telling them to go back to the bay shore and take another look at the barge. The sign on the barge had changed. Now it looked like this:


The first clue (Clue 91) instructs them to read it upside down. That would give them this:


“8 h” was a map coordinate which led them to a spot bordering Biscayne Boulevard. There Hunt Volunteers handed out a flier:

“The second part: us/endit”

Here Hunters had to use clue 295: “The first part: hrld.” Combining this with “us/endit” gave them a web address that brought them to a photo of the Biscayne Boulevard skyline they could see from where they were. They had to notice that the logo of the YVE hotel at the top of the building had been altered. The letters YVE had been erased, and the letters NAV had been added to the left of that space while the letters ST had been added to the right.

Combining the real to the fake in the logo, they got NAVYVEST.

The Hunt map depicted a man in a navy vest at B17 in the Hunt Map. When the super-smart Hunters raced there, they could make use of the last three clues:

Number 2723, “The pass is thrown” and Number 3330, “The WORD is out,” gave the password: thrown out.

When they did as Clue 1000 directed -- Find the man in the apparel we’ve described. Hand him a slip of paper with your name, cell and pass-word – they solved the Herald Hunt.

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