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Saturday
Aug202011

CitySolve San Francisco 2011 Scavenger Hunt Race

A conversation before the start of the scavenger hunt:

Karen: Ok Justin, I have to be honest with you so we're on the same page. I am really really really uncontrollably competitive when it comes to things like this.

Justin: Please just don't yell at me.

Karen: Can't guarantee that.

Well, there was a little bit of yelling on my end. But just a tiny little bit. Good news is, we came in 6th place out of 65 or so teams! I wasn't deluded enough to think we would nab first, but hey, being in the top 10 is good enough for me. This also means we're qualified to be in the National Championships in Las Vegas, the magical land of buffets and strippers with C-section scars.

Compared to the scavenger hunts I've done in the past, this CitySolve one is definitely more of a race where running plays a huge part. The puzzles are relatively easy - each clue describes a location where you have to traverse to and take a photo of your team there. The real "game" is prioritizing and planning out the most efficient route since you're only allowed to travel by public transportation and by foot. Since I'm not a fast short-distance runner, I was pretty much the weakest link. Hey, it's hard to sprint when you have so much brain in your head. Shit gets heavy! But compared to a large percentage of the team who relied on walking and waiting for flaky busses, we totally ruled.

Here are some choice clues from the hunt (seriously, they're not that hard, even for people without smart phones):

1. The name of this SF commerce area is the second part of a major feminine food brand that distributes: Hamburger Helper, Bac-O's, and Fruit Roll-Ups. Answer: Crocker Galleria

2. This checkpoint is a pleasure dome you can reach by roller-skate...[the clue goes on but most people got this by this point] Answer: Xanadu Gallery

3. A block west of your destination is a bar that shares its name with the last US presidential only child. You'll find it on the street that has the same name as the US President that succeeded the aforementioned child's father. Once you figure out this dive bar, you'll need to find this hidden street of criminal fame. Here, three scores (think Gettysburg Address) ago, a shamus received a hot bullet from a woman pursuing a one-of-a-kind artifact. At the site, find a plaque commemorating the deed. Answer: Chelsea's Place on Bush, plaque was for The Maltese Falcon.

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