Saturday, June 22, 2013

CLUE #97-101 FOUND!

The initial clue is a conversation between a dinosaur puppet and my son, but it is playing in reverse. Here is the same video playing the correct direction. 

Dinohunter Jeff sent over this synopsis of the final dinohunt: 

First clue was a video with a puppet saying "Snow Park" backward. Went to Snow Park, chatted with Michael about the position of a building in the video. The building wasn't in Snow Park. I saw two other people trying to find it, I waved them over and we chatted for a bit. We all decided to bail, and as I was walking out I saw the dino sticker and a chalk arrow outside the park. I again waved the couple (Jacob/Jen) over and we followed the stickers/arrows to a dock where Jacob found a fishing tackle box on the end, hanging off a chain in the water.

Second clue - Big dino jigsaw puzzle in tackle box. All three of us worked on it while some random person was taking photos of us. Had numbers on the back -- like 3+3= 9= etc, so we ended up with a bunch of numbers. Simple letter substitution got us CORNER OF HARRIS & 15 so Harrison / 15th.

Third clue - a flyer wheatpasted to side of trashed building. I call it the Dump House because that's where you take a dump, apparently. Image of Han Solo & Webster (the li'l dude w/the TV series), along with a lot of strange text at top. Also an image of one of those darling Chinese carry-out boxes, and a cupcake with a "1" candle on it. And there was a hand in the middle of Han/Webster with eight fingers. So we ended up ignoring the text and working on the image -- something on eighth between Harrison and Webster. Went there, and duh -- it was First Cake, one of the two bakeries in Chinatown I go to. Big bulletin board between a restaurant (the take-out box) and First Cake (the cupcake w/the "1"). Found a flyer with Chinese-stylized English.

Fourth clue - the flyer had a photo of a house on it, and I TOTALLY KNEW THAT HOUSE -- it's a burnt-out thing that you see coming out of the tube from Alameda .. it has been sitting around for awhile, but recently construction has started on the house[1]. Mounted to the house was a metal Makita drill box that had a sticker on it: "DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF DINOSAUR ATTACK" ... looks like it worked ... inside was a small pterodactyl figurine with a small tag on it that said "Please find my home" and a box.

Fifth clue -- inside the box, another jigsaw puzzle. This one had paragraphs of text about dinosaurs on the back of each piece, and letters were circled to indicate that we should go to RED PAGODA ALICE 7 ... the pagoda across the street, on the corner of Alice and 7th. There was a small black birdhouse hanging up on the pagoda, pretty high up. I didn't think it was anything, but after scouring the area, Jacob came back and looked at it, and there was a switch on the back -- it lit up the inside. Unfortunately there was a smokey plastic window over the hole, so we could just barely make out a dinosaur inside, and behind -that-, the Oakland-Alameda border tiles in the Posey tube. I actually pushed the window out a little way to see if a bit of text to the right was important, but it was just the Oakland city limits sign. Then Jen boosted Jacob up to re-tie the birdhouse to the pagoda, we had to cut it down to look at it.  Then we walked into the tunnel to go to the tiles ... and there was an encoded phrase written on the sidewalk.

Sixth clue -- we tried to figure it out for a couple of minutes, but the noise/etc was crazy so we walked back and cranked on it in the shade. It took awhile -- I thought it was going to be rot13, but it turned out to be rot12. That might have been ... 45 min? Because I had bailed on the rot theory early on when rot13 didn't work. I was talking to Doc about it via cellphone asking him if he could find a "rotEVERYTHING" website and he sent me the answer as I had just figured it out (I am looking at my first guesses and I had "AT" nailed, I just didn't extend that out like I did with IS IF and TO; -and- I suspected "AT" the most because you know, directions ... oh, and I thought the code word "CTT" was going to be "SEE" or "TOO" ... not "OFF" ... okay then). The clue was something like WASH OFF AT LATHAM FOUNTAIN which is in the little "v" of Broadway and Telegraph.

Seventh clue -- There were six dinosaur cut-outs scattered in the plants in the fountain. One side had the word "OAK TREE" spread out among the dinosaurs (we stalled on that until Jen typed in the phrase on all of the dinosaurs, QUERCUS, the street name of oak trees everywhere). The other side had a bunch of letters. Jacob used the Internet Anagram Server to pull the word "PLAZA" out of the word scramble, and we tried to add "OAK" to it until I noticed that "FRANK" was in there because the Frank O. Agawa (something like that) Plaza was right nearby. We went to the plaza and headed straight to the oak tree, and just as we got there Jacob saw a guy pull at least two paintings out of the tree. He didn't know they were the paintings -- he hadn't seen the initial clue photo posted on the site -- so he didn't say anything at first. I saw the guy leave the tree, but I hadn't paid attention and didn't notice that he had anything with him. We looked around a bit more, I was running out of time on the meter, so I gave my cellphone # to them, drove them to their car ... that's when we put the whole "guy taking paintings" thing together ... I dropped them off, then I tried to find a free spot close to the tree, couldn't ... and bailed.

Postscript -- Jacob called me and said they had gone back and talked to the guy -- he apparently had four or all five paintings. He gave them two, he kept one for himself, and he put one back in the tree (I believe) ... I think he did that after Jacob explained to him that this was part of a scavenger hunt because it seemed pretty clear we were the first people to get that far (we re-packed each of the clues before we left each location). Then he called me up and insisted I take one of the paintings, so we're going to arrange that in the future. 

The Dinohunt closes out with something I always expected would happen more: a hobo walked off with the paintings. I hope everyone who participated had fun, I'll be posting my thoughts on the whole experience in a day or so.

Friday, June 21, 2013



Please remember: do not remove the clues! 

The current hunt leads to 5 paintings instead of the previously reported 4. 

It is an on-your-honor system, so please only take one. 

Good luck, see you in the morning.

Friday, June 14, 2013


The clue for the final Dinohunt with paintings 97-100 will be posted early on June 22nd 2013. 

Please spread the word. 

If you've already found a painting, please encourage your friends to participate.


Friday, October 19, 2012