Around the World: a US hunt playable around the world?

South Carolina state map(South Carolina image courtesy of, published under a Creative Commons licence.)

Life gets in the way for a few days and all of a sudden there’s a little backlog of exciting news to post…

The happiest news of the day is good reason to turn two more dots on the map from red to yellow as Breakout Games Aberdeen have announced that they’re taking their first customers today and Crack the Code Sheffield previously suggested that today would be the day on which they will be taking their first customers. (There are TripAdvisor reports for the site already, so perhaps they have had a soft launch already?)

Last year, this site briefly covered the University of South Carolina puzzle hunt, which has been an annual fixture since 2012. Registration is now open; the hunt’s informational page suggests that “Remote teams and members are still welcomed in this Hunt. On the registration form, please indicate that you are playing remotely, and more information will be provided to you“, and an article on last year’s event reported that “Twenty of this year’s teams were composed of USC students, but the remaining teams were remote, and came from as far as China and the United Kingdom.” Fair game, in that case! On each of the five days of the first week of the hunt, a set of puzzles will be released, along with a metapuzzle derived from those puzzles’ answers, with the overall hunt solution derived in turn. You can get a better idea of the hunt’s form from the 2014 puzzles and the 2013 puzzles as well. (Ooh, they had an Only Connect event as part of the 2013 hunt as well! Excellent.)

Lastly, Iain points out that 25 cities across the United States will be having one-day revivals of the old Lobby Lud gimmick this week! To celebrate the start of the second series of NBC’s The Blacklist, lookalikes of the show’s lead character will be deploying themselves across the US between Monday 2nd February and Thursday 5th February then posting clues to their whereabouts to social media. The first three to find each lookalike and whisper the phrase that pays stand to win hundreds of dollars. Sadly South Carolinians will have to travel north and cross the state border to either Charlotte or Raleigh in order to play!

If you’re not in the US but still feel like making some money, don’t forget Quiz The Nation on Sunday evening; download the free app and get tokens letting you play your first few quizzes at no charge. The competition was bigger in week two than week one, but not wildly so, though the standard of top competitors is getting higher. First place pays £1,000, second to tenth and spot prize winners all claim £50 or more, and eleventh to fiftieth win tokens to play further games for free.


  1. Thanks for covering the Hunt once again! My name is Chris King, and I am the creator/editor of the USC Hunt. We are now just a week out, and I’m really excited for this new Hunt to start! I sincerely hope that some of you in the UK will be able to register for the Hunt. Sure, there are some puzzles that are both American-centric and USC-centric, but most all puzzles can be Internet researched or backsolved.

    Also, I LOVE Only Connect. Fun fact, I am “wheelsongenius”, the Youtube account that uploads the current OC episodes for everyone to see, including us Americans who can’t use the iPlayer. We had an event where teams got their very own Connecting Wall, and I think everyone had a great time. After each team played their own wall, they were given a link to this wall, where an answer could be extracted. I’ll leave it to you the reader to figure out that answer.


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