Monthly Archives: January 2011

New Year’s Puzzle Hunt! (Part 4)

And now, the last checkpoints in the New Year’s Puzzle Hunt!

The title of this puzzle is “Rockin’ Around The Clock“. The following text was printed below:

Donnie was a player, all right. But he got played. He was supposed to pick up his girlfriend, Veronica, for the darts at her place at 12:33 PM. Little did he know that she had just had a cozy little lunch with his best friend, Leon, that finished at 12:21 PM. She rushed home and got there at 12:30 PM, just before Donnie did. She checked her text messages and saw that Leon wanted to meet again at 12:45 PM, so she told Donnie that she wasn.t feeling well, and left poor Donnie standing at her front door at 12:33 PM, right when he was supposed to be there.

Go to where you commonly lose these, and text or call us and tell us: How much does it cost to get these wet?
Click for solutions

New Year’s Puzzle Hunt! (Part 3)

The Puzzle Hunt continues! Yesterday we had the first three checkpoints, now here’s the next three:

The title of this puzzle is “Just Like The Dorsai“. The following text was printed below:

hampton wildfire factory company
inn potbelly kona cosi
milwaukee redrobin grill
bigbowl cheesecake noodles

When you solve the puzzle and find the item, text or call and tell us:
What is the sum of these ladies?

Click for solutions

New Year’s Puzzle Hunt! (Part 2)

So, how did you do on the Trivia Quiz? If you found it tough, don’t feel too bad – it was supposed to be! The average score on the quiz was 46%, with a low score of 30% and a high score of 72%. At 6 seconds per correct answer, that means that everyone got at least a little bonus out of it, from as little as two minutes to as much as three minutes and 36 seconds. (Side note: Thanks to Genet and Street for grading the trivia quizzes!) Also: Want to see the trivia quiz answers? Highlight the black boxes in the first post and you’ll be able to see them!

At this point we handed out packets to each team. On the front of each packet was written the team name, a phone number, and the name of the first checkpoint for the team. Inside were thirteen envelopes, a bag of jelly beans, and a Hampton Inn room key. The envelopes were labeled Skwentna , Rohn, Nikolai , McGrath , Takotna , Ophir, Shageluk, Anvik, Grayling, Kaltag, Unalakeet, Shaktoolik, and Koyuk. As I’m sure you know (really?), these are all stops on the Iditarod Trail. The names don’t really have any significance beyond providing a name for each checkpoint that was non-sequential.

The phone number on the packets was intended for the teams to text requests for hints and guesses at answers to. The phone numbers were actually Takaza and my Google Voice numbers, and we had half of the teams reporting to him, and half reporting to me. After about 20 minutes, though, Dan and I got utterly swamped with the incoming text messages. Instead, we switched to having the teams report to the common room for hints and to submit their answers, one team allowed in the room at a time. This turned out a lot better, since it allowed more interaction and allowed us to better gauge how things were going.

Let’s start in with the checkpoints!
The general format for each checkpoint was that the teams first had to solve a puzzle, then use the information derived from the puzzle to answer the question posed in the clue.

The title of this puzzle is “Surely You Can’t Be Serious“. The following text was printed below:

jyi acfbvagi cz wvpcgq ycqy moif eagyajjag. cj cz rviafvp a ocgjaqi emniv, agn gmj hdcvj firigjvp. zm jivv dz: xyaj piaf xaz jyi bcrjdfi jalig?

Click for the solutions

The New Year’s Puzzle Hunt! (Part 1)

This year at Wuffmeet we held the initial New Year’s Puzzle Hunt. Teams spent an afternoon racing around the Hampton Inn Lincolnshire trying to work through the clues and get the answers to the questions we posed to them in the fastest time with the least number of hints. The rules were simple:
1. No asking for help from anyone else or using the Internet.
2. If you leave the hotel You’re Doing It Wrong.

After a bit of sorting out, we got everyone together into eleven teams of two. They were:

Coondog DataHawk & Linnaeus
Die Piggies! Rama & RB
Easy As Jam Aureth & Jenne
Ginger Squee Initially Basil & Jen, then Quasi & Jen
Isentropic/Failing Illini Hartree & Roho
Minot Artemis & Dbruin
Team Awesome Woody & AidenDingo
Team Burnout Stevie & Zexyz
Team Hot Tub Spork & Madius
Team Rawr Rusty & Kellic
Team Slobber Tolemur & Vish

We started out with a 50-question trivia quiz. There was no penalty for incorrect answers, but each correct answer was worth a 6-second reduction in the final time. We gave everyone exactly ten minutes to complete the quiz. The quiz is shown below (highlight the black box to get the answer).
The Trivia Quiz…

Wuffmeet 2010 – That’s A Wrap!

Wuffmeet 2010 is over! And damn, was it good.

For those wondering, Wuffmeet is a gathering of our (Takaza and my) friends that we hold every year at a hotel around the Chicago area. The number of people in attendance varies, but this year was one of our bigger ones, with around 70 in attendance. This year we moved from a Courtyard to a Hampton Inn, and I think it was a move for the better. Certainly the function space was an upgrade: we went from two rooms and a room on the side for booze to a single large room where everyone could eat, chat, and drink. The hotel rooms were better, and the suites were actual suites. We were in a great suite right next to the function space, where we had the luxury of a full-sized refrigerator and a kitchenette.

We started things off with a fantastic dinner that RB put together. Fourteen of us ventured down to Otom Restaurant in Chicago for an excellent meal (and some really tasty drinks – who knew butternut squash juice could be so good in a cocktail?). This made for an excellent start to the weekend.

Friday we started things off with getting the common room organized, then a nice day of hanging out, chatting, and welcoming friends as they arrived. The annual Wuffmeet Poker Tournament was that afternoon, and it was won by Gir, with Rama in second place. Then it was time to set up for dinner, which was an excellent meal catered by one of our favorite Chicago BBQ places: Smoque BBQ. I was happy to see that we ordered almost the exactly correct amount, just a little too much. Can’t ask for more for a buffet! We had ice cream for dessert, and got to the serious business of partying in the new year. We served champagne (and sparkling cider) for the toast at midnight, and the other New Year’s revelers in the hotel were vastly amused by the appearance of fursuiters in the lobby.

Saturday started as slowly as you might expect. Once folks started making appearances in the common room, I put some hot dogs on to heat up. Those seemed to go over well. Lunch was followed immediately by something new: The New Year’s Puzzle Hunt. This was an awesome new event that Dan and I had a blast putting together. Look for a series of posts to follow detailing all of the quizzes, puzzles, and solutions! For dinner this night, we had served tacos – beef, chicken, cheese, onions, lettuce, cilantro, sour cream, avocados, and the choice of corn or flour tortillas. For dessert we had a variety of cakes and pastries. In the evening, there was more socializing, somewhat less boozing (what a surprise, given the previous night), and we capped things off a session of “Horrors from the Web” (though really, it was more relegated to “Horrors from e621” 🙂

We had originally announced that we would wrap up the party on Sunday, but when Dan and I realized we had Monday off, we decided to push on through one more day. Unfortunately, many did not have the luxury of a holiday on Monday, so over half of the group left over the course of the day. For me personally this was the best day of Wuffmeet, and a reminder why I enjoy the party so damn much. It was a very low-key day, with some socializing, some chilling and browsing the net, and finally some swimming (my first chance to do so all weekend). For dinner we ordered pizza from Lou Malnati’s, and it was very good.

Today, the last stragglers gathered for brunch at the nearby Walker Bros. Pancake House – a hearty group of nine folks. Great company, and good food – an enjoyable way to finish off the weekend. Thanks so much to Jet, Hunter, Rusty, and Josh for their assistance in getting everything packed up into our cars. We got home at around 2:30 PM, and had unloaded and picked up Buddy from Dan’s mom by 3:30 PM.

So yeah. Wuffmeet really rocked, I think. A few things in summary, from my personal perspective:
What worked
* The new hotel was a great fit for the party, and the beds were much more comfortable
* A single room make things feel more cohesive, and having the (epic) bar close at hand was quite nice as well
* The Puzzle Hunt was a blast!
* I loved the Thursday night dinner – a very nice way to start the party off
* The food from Smoque is always delicious!
* The media PC was a good addition. Having the low-level background music was nice. Many thanks to Gir for bringing the projector!

What didn’t work
* The taco bar, while tasty, was a crazy amount of work. I spent 8 hours cooking the beef and chicken on Thursday (with the generous assistance of Roho and Genet!), and that was very stressful for me
* The way events were scheduled, and the proximity of the puzzle hunt to the taco bar ramped up the stress for both Dan and me
* No more garlic for Dan!
* An event like this is getting too big for two people to do everything – we need to start delegating some of the work around to others, or we won’t get any of the relaxation time that makes Wuffmeet so great. (OK, this has been the case for the last few years, we just need to actually do it!)