Hunts in San Francisco Bay Area

(There probably won't be a lot more updates to this section as I will have left the area by the end of 2004)

First Annual Bay Area Treasure Hunt (BATH) - Happened September 29, 2001 - I was surprised at how well it worked out, considering that the Hunt was assembled from pieces contributed by the competitors (a method which turns out to have precedent in BARF II) - some very nice puzzles - a first-rate job

Chinese New Year's Treasure Hunt - Set in downtown San Francisco, this hunt focuses on the history and quirks of the city landscape. Possibly the longest-running hunt in the Bay Area, certainly the biggest.
3/2/02: The organizer, Jayson Wechter, deserves a lot of credit for taking risks to keep this Hunt fresh, even in the face of burgeoning popularity and the concomitant pressure to play it safe. But one thing I am a traditionalist on is the letters (marking the final answer to the clue). Without them, there always seems to be at least a couple of ambiguous solutions which throw a serious monkey wrench into the whole business.

YABA Treasure Hunt - Now (2001) in its third year, the smaller size of this hunt (~200 participants vs. 1000 for the Chinese New Year's Hunt) allows it more freedom in puzzle design (such as puzzles that require entering a bookstore or grabbing a copy of a free newspaper).

Chard's list of hunts - Features information on a couple of defunct but cool-sounding hunts. (Looks like the old URL for this page is history. Current URL courtesy of the Wayback Machine.) Bay Area Bicycle Treasure Hunt (location moves around the Bay Area)

The Go Game - unusual game/performance/creativity thing - frequent community games - now in many cities Park Challenge - set in Golden Gate Park BANG! - the Bay Area Night Game From the makers of the Jackpot Game, a new kind of game called Shinteki which debuted in May 2004 with Aquarius (one of the smoothest games ever and some really nice clues)

San Jose Chase (page salvaged from a Google cache)...

The Herald Hunt

The Herald Hunt (originally "the Tropic Hunt") is still my sentimental favorite. Its strengths are its unsurpassed wackiness and entertainment value.

An article about the Herald's decision to end Tropic Magazine.

Other Games


Index of all known (human-sized) mazes

Google Maps, overlaid with (some) worldwide maze locations
Links to more information about lots of mazes

Adrian Fisher's Maize Maze Index Page
The Amazing Maize Maze Homepage - makers of the best corn field mazes in the States. I strongly recommend patronizing mazes from American Maze Company or Adrian Fischer and being wary of others because copycats have sprung up and they seem to be churning out ten times as many mazes, but trust me, they are pale and pathetic imitations. For more details on what these imitations are like read my rant on this subject.

Adrian Fisher Maze Design
Logic Mazes - Home page of maze guru Robert Abbott, designer of many of the "sideshow" mazes at the better maize mazes.
Maze-Mania, a South Carolina fence maze recommended by Abbott
A page on maze classification and algorithms for construction and solution

Robert Abbott recommends the "beautiful and tricky" hedge maze in Luray, Virginia - The Garden Maze

Disclaimer: None of these hunts involve searching for actual treasure. "Treasure hunts" are typically a series of unrelated clues which lead you to different locations throughout a given city or area. Generally, whoever solves the most puzzles or gets to the most locations, wins.

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