DASH 7 predictions

Crystal ballProfessor Trelawney has been divining again and this is what she has come up with regarding DASH 7 in London (and 15 cities across the US!) this Saturday:

  1. As the event gets closer, weather forecasts theoretically become more accurate. The BBC’s current prediction is for a dry day sandwiched between two showery ones, Metcheck’s latest prediction all but rules out rain with the morning being sunny and forecast.co.uk have revised their chance of rain down to 4%. In conclusion: double umbrellas.
  2. Apparently the ClueKeeper codes for the hunt have been released by e-mail, so make sure you have the latest version installed and practice with the tutorial and the demo hunt if you haven’t done so already. It’s not clear whether or not you’ll be able to see the live scores on the day as teams solve.
  3. Last year’s prediction that London will be overrepresented in the top third of the results table proved accurate, but just barely. Given that there are so many people with Puzzled Pint practice now, let’s make the same prediction again!
  4. The team from The Magpie crossword magazine have won both previous London events, so must surely be the favourites to do so again. Mark Goodliffe has won the Times Crossword Championship for seven years running, won the Times’ sudoku championship last year as well and has been in teams ripping up Puzzled Pint in London. On their day, if the puzzle styles suit, they’re a global threat as well.
  5. The event is being run by a team to whom much gratitude is due; one of them was among the most vocal critics of the standard of American-British cultural translation in last year’s hunt, so it stands to reason that this year particular attention will have been paid and we can all really look forward to the results.
  6. Given the theme, there’s one very logical location for the hunt to go, and the geographical information we’ve been given does point in that direction – but how close will the logistics permit the hunt to get?
  7. The tea-leaves point to a prediction that this event will be slightly shorter than that of last year, but again relatively construction-heavy. The overall time limit of eight hours will not be too onerous, though from experience it is possible to dawdle so much that despite solving the puzzles in under four hours it was a real struggle to fit puzzles, travel between locations, eating, drinking, taking selfies and wayyy too many overexcited loo breaks into the eight. Ahem.
  8. There will be a code sheet, it will contain two unusual codes (where the usual suspects are morse, semaphore, braille, binary, hexadecimal and the phonetic alphabet) with exactly one of the two proving relevant.
  9. At least one of the puzzles will have an answer that makes you think “Hmm, you could probably just guess that to be the answer from the flavourtext and the way the puzzle is written without actually going through the process of solving it” and that’s no bad thing at all. Taking guesses at puzzle answers in this way is to be considered an example of the Dark Arts, though not actually an Unforgiveable Curse.
  10. Don’t be a stranger and please do say “Hi”! My wife and I are the right-hand half of the picture in this post so you know what to look for, but I have a beard this year. It would be fun to catch up, either before the hunt, afterwards or both.
  11. Don’t forget to look out for this image along the way in the exclusive competition!

See you there!


  1. Regarding point #4: There’s a good reason why the MIT Hunt has the tradition of making the winners be responsible for setting the Hunt the next year: so that the rest of us can at least pretend to be in with a shout… As DASH is an international event, this obviously isn’t possible, but I do feel that there’s something that needs to be examined here. (I’m not particularly objecting to talented people doing well, of course. But perhaps figuring out how to spread the talent might be worth investigating. If only for the educational opportunities.)

      • I think I was groping towards the horribly socialist notion that if you’ve got a single team that consistently does well (or, worse, wins all the time), then that’s generally bad for the sport*. Not only do other teams feel inferior (no matter how incorrect that feeling is), but that successful team are not necessarily being pushed either. I have merely been speculating on possible ways to ameliorate that: one of which was whether there was perhaps some way that a winning team could become something like “mentors” in a subsequent year, rather than simply competing as themselves again, such that their experience could be put to use in helping newer players learn from experience, or something like that. I’m not sure this is a viable proposal (or even a sensible one), just something that occurred to me.

        *knowing perfectly well that this isn’t a sport. 😛


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