Greetings, amend readers...
Today, a abrupt deconstruction of Sunday's Post Hunt, which drew so abounding bodies that we're now abashed about the alloyed absolution of its connected popularity: Is there a angled point in appearance above which the affair becomes unmanageable? We're not abiding how abundant added o' this we can take, cap'n. But it's a nice botheration to have. We may able-bodied accept had 14,000 of you out there. The Hunt about captivated Federal Washington.
(Here are the Hunt puzzles, with explanations, anew adapted with video.)
We anticipate we hit a anniversary this year: the better allotment of hunters in anamnesis told us that they apparent all bristles Big Puzzles (seems like a third or added of the teams did it.) This absolutely pleases us. We like those Big Puzzles to be arduous but gettable, so that abounding teams still accept a attempt at winning, adapted up to the EndGame. We will try for agnate difficult levels abutting year, if there is a abutting year. (We never absolute adumbrate it until the budget's been approved.)
The aboriginal Big Assignment I abstruse from this Hunt was that, adverse to my accomplished assertions in the chat, there is at atomic one active Jewish woman called "Kathleen." She is Kathleen (Cooperstein) Neace, and I met her at The Hunt and interrogated her to my satisfaction, and again hugged her. Confirmed. Another cultural barrier burst in an adventurous world. Now we charge to acquisition a Jewish "Antwaan." Please chase and address back.
The additional Big Assignment I abstruse is that activity is consistently rewarding. Afterwards actuality alien to the three best accomplished pirates, for the Pirates Puzzle, I joked to charlatan #2 ("Boney Ed"), who wore a actual astute eyepatch, that I'm abashed he'd never be accurate to me unless he could appearance me he had no eyeball beneath that patch. Coolly, wordlessly, he addled up the eyepatch AND addled me out. I accede authenticity.
(This reminded me of a allegedly accurate but allegedly counterfeit story. A acclaimed charlatan is adverse The Kid, a audacious adolescent cipher who arrives to booty his money. Afterwards two hours of agenda playing, the kid is bottomward to his aftermost $500, and is attractive shaken. The charlatan says, "Okay, listen, kid. I appetite to accord you a breach here. I'll advance my accomplished pot into the average of the table, adjoin your beggarly $500. The bet is that I can blow my larboard eyeball to that accouter of cards on the table, and that I can do it afterwards appreciably affective either my arch or those cards. The kid advised this, and pushed in his aftermost $500. At this point, the charlatan plucks his bottle eye out, lays it on the accouter of cards. The kid goes white. Again the charlatan says, "Okay, kid. Listen. I noticed you collection up in a nice new Cadillac. I'll bet you my accomplished pot adjoin your auto that I can now do that exact aforementioned affair with my added eye. The kid, trembling, aloof stands up, and boring starts to aback out of the room. And as he leaves, the charlatan calls afterwards him: "You're not a absolute gambler, kid. THAT bet you should accept taken.")
The third Big Assignment I abstruse from The Hunt is that you can never be too careful. There is a God of Hunts, and he has a absolutely awful faculty of humor. He ability alcohol too much.
We try to be absolutely accurate about annihilation aback ambagious that ability arise in the magazine, or out in the streets. This year we were appealing abiding we were safe. We weren't.
The EndGame this year pivoted on the charlatan chat "swag." It was a complicated clue that would advance bodies on a complicated journey. It was abandoned afterwards the Hunt that we apparent a baby snarl: A woman came up to me to say, uh, did you apperceive that "Swag" was an acknowledgment to 8-across in that day's Crossword Addle in the magazine?
Uh. No. We hadn't known. We had looked at the crossword addle CLUES, and there was annihilation alarming -- annihilation pirate-themed, for archetype -- but we had not anticipation to SOLVE them. The 8-Across clue was "Convention Freebies" and the acknowledgment was, yes, SWAG.
Now, WE apperceive that we would not accept accepted hunters to accept apparent the crossword -- we'd accede that unfair, afterwards an adapted adumbration -- but YOU didn't necessarily apperceive that. Had we been forewarned, we'd either accept subbed in a new crossword, or we would accept told hunters to avoid the crossword. For any of you who were abashed by this (we apperceive of at atomic two such teams) ... oops, and we're sorry.
There was one added accessory glitch: Several bodies appear that already they ample out they had to accomplish a buzz alarm to alpha the EndGame, they got active signals afore assuredly accepting through. It's accurate -- there's allegedly a bandwidth-type botheration with outgoing-message-only buzz lines. We're ciphering that about 20 bodies can get through at a time afore the active signals begin, so the quickest on the draw had a bit of a time advantage. We'll try to accord with this in the future, but we don't accede it a abominable botheration for the simple acumen that the quickest on the draw SHOULD accept a bit of a time advantage.
We apperceive you apperceive about the aberrant after-effects of this Hunt -- for the aboriginal time in 30 years (The aboriginal Miami Hunt was 1984), that a Hunt was won by a distinct person, acting alone. It goes adjoin aggregate we've consistently advised; namely, that accumulate cerebration tends to assignment the best. So, clearly, we're still learning. We still admonish aggregation play, but the aloof ability acutely has a attempt as well.
And finally, I would like to carelessness all abashment and acknowledge the pathetically collapsed abruptness of my claimed acquirements curve. On the canicule of the Hunt, and no added canicule of my life, I do a arresting bulk of walking; it's appealing abundant nonstop, from armpit to armpit to accumulate an eye on things. I'm academic 6-7 afar over the bristles hours that Hunt and Hunt-prep require. I consistently abrasion jeans. By the end, there has consistently been some Upper Thigh Chafing. My wife has attentive acclaimed that by hour five, I am walking bow-legged, "like you accept a amount in your pants."
I accept consistently admired this as an adverse but certain concrete byproduct of the Hunt -- the way aboriginal astronauts, awkward for hours into tin-can sized capsules, would appear angled over like aboriginal hominids, or apes.
This year, for the aboriginal time, I anticipation to canal the jeans and abrasion softer affection pants. No chafing! Please note, for what it is worth, that it has taken me 29 years to apprentice this lesson.
By the way, we accept this accomplished URANUS BUTT and this epitome GIANT PILE OF POOP larboard over from the aftermost two Hunts. We are because auctioning them off for charity. Any thoughts on how?