“City Hunt” treasure hunt in Southwark this week

"City Hunt" logoNot much advance notice of this one, mostly because this site only found out about it very recently, but City Hunt is “a mass-participation treasure hunt that challenges you to explore the rich culture of the Blackfriars area of Southwark in London“. The event started yesterday and runs until Sunday 21st September. ((Edited to add: Thanks very much to Polly Robbins for getting in touch with some clarifications; this article has been updated accordingly.))

Produced by arts organisation 4749 Tanner Street, the event is free to participate in and available to both solo solvers and teams. There are either 30 or 40 (reports vary)quirky secrets hidden in the streets between Blackfriars Bridge and St George’s Circus“. The game can be played either on the web site or with the aid of a printed map distributed by a volunteer.

Tap a marker on the Google Map to reveal the clue.

Go to the location and solve the clue. You’ll need to have a good look around. The answers will be hidden in text, information boards, plaques, shop signs, dates above doors etc.
Select your answer from the multiple choice options.

You’ll be shown your score, and you’ll also be given some interesting information about the clue.

Go back to the map to chose the next clue to answer.

It’s not clear whether there’s any aspect of necessary puzzle-solving in order to find the answers, or whether simple observation is all that’s required. It’s also not clear whether the answers will be available 24/7 or whether you might have to visit during certain hours for reasons of natural light, shop openings and so on. ((Edited to add: There has been clarification provided that if you’re playing by phone on the web site, the hunt should be playable at any time until Sunday night.))

A number of local prizes are on offer, and “…score will be calculated by taking the average of your speed and your correct answers – so race and get as many as you can, or go slowly and solve more.” A hustler might want to go around slowly in order to learn the correct answers, then sign up as a single player, start the clock and Mo Farah it around the course to record an amazing average speed.

This site apologises for the extent to which the live events it reports upon has a very strong London focus. It’s most inconvenient, especially for people who are shift workers 250 miles away. However, that’s where the action is – at least, for now – and the best way to deal with it would be to make interesting things happen all over the rest of the country. It’s also amusing that this is only extremely slightly further west than many of the locations used in the DASH and Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play puzzle hunts that have previously been discussed.

So, trying something a little different, is there anybody out there who might like to take part in a team for this hunt on Thursday, Friday or Saturday this week? This would be at a very gentle pace, more interested in a pleasant day out than trying for the prizes. It could be a fun way to meet up with site readers!

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