SF Treasure Hunt
Sped over to Justin Herman Plaza yesterday at 4:30PM to start the San Francisco Treasure Hunt. Hundreds of folks filled the plaza, and we stood around, coming up with a name last minute: “Days of Swine and Roses.” We were surprised when it won 3rd place in punny team titles. Then, off to One Market to get beer, and concentrate on solving 18 clues. Here is a sampling, #18:
Take the six-letter word for what people often sing in (and subtract an ‘s’); knowin’ you is a reversal but sounds like it can help. It reaches 700 when it starts going uphill…
So we couldn’t get the first part of the clue- “showers” and “chorus” were our guesses. Then, in classic SF Treasure Hunt fashion, we decided to just find any blocks that reached 700 in the grid. It’s a small number. That’s the only real time that living “in the grid” of the game helped. Oh, and finding fast routes to any points from or to North Beach! I was lucky- unlike past years, all of my teammates were living in and/or working in the city- lower Nob Hill, Corona Heights, Lauridio, and North Beach. So they too could identify buildings and angles from the photo clues.
We were pretty tuckered out. We ate during our first hour of clue-solving, then were basically off and fast-walking without sitting down, for 4 1/2 hours. Some teams ran the entire way. We ran into friends on other teams, holding flashlights (those headlamps are evil!), the telltale sheaf of white papers, and puzzled looks. I actually got underneath an illegally parked car convinced that the manhole cover below it harbored a clue. (Wrong: it was a small drain cover on the sidewalk!) We worked on a very super secret team call that means: regather, “sou-wee!” For some reason I had never known about this pig-call.
We got to the cutoff at 8:59, then through some misdirection were sent into a line to wait two precious minutes. After some miscellaneous bureaucratic brouhaha, they sorted it out and we could be declared finishers- left a few clues unsolved. We wandered around finishing them for an few minutes then enjoyed a nice bottle of Italian wine in Jackson Square at a new restaurant, that kept running out of everything we wanted to order. And, getting a cab on a Friday night, at Columbus & Pacific, during the Chinatown Parade, and the disgorging of all of these treasure hunters… very impossible.