DASH 7 predictions reviewed

A rotated crystal ballThe accountability department decrees that when there is a DASH 7 predictions post, there should be a prediction review post. The “rehashing old content for a relatively quick post” department agrees. So, how did the predictions do? The graphic above may well set the tone. The predictions are numbered; the inset dots review their accuracy.

  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.
    • Point to the weather forecasters; happily, it stayed dry.
  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.
    • It is possible, but only once you had completed the hunt and seen your status turn to “Finished”. Cool!
  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!
    • Based on early data, correct; six of London’s fourteen teams finished in the top third, and huge congratulations to Misremembered Apple whose seventh place finish matches that UK record of The Magpie at DASH 5.
  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.
    • Evidently not this time! It’s exciting to learn there are more world-class solvers out there in the UK; fingers crossed, even more of them start to come to events regularly.
  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.
    • Haven’t heard any complaints in this regard; silent praise is high praise.
  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?
    • It did indeed reach King’s Cross station, and it reached Platform 9¾ a little more closely than intended.
  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.
    • Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Leslie Knope. Nopetopus.
  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.
    • Also a miss – one additional code (ternary; its second appearance in two years probably qualifies it as a usual suspect) and it was used.
  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.
    • Not so much this year. ((Edited to add: However, see below – apparently one puzzle could be cracked this way in a stunning piece of ingenuity.))
  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.
    • This wasn’t really a prediction, but people did indeed say “Hi!” and it made my day.
  11. Don’t forget to look out for this image along the way in the exclusive competition!

Rather more misses than hits this year. Better luck next time!


  1. There’s a hilarity to finding the image, and the subsequent posing for a picture, that I fear would only be lost by explaining it.

  2. This is hilarious. We still don’t know who’s responsible for next year’s hunt, but I’ll be sure to point them to this as motivation to think outside the box. 🙂

    • If you can guess it in 2 minutes, do it! Pardon the analogy to Harry Potter, but it’s like a game of quidditch: You can play and keep scoring, but ultimately you win when you find the snitch. If you can skip a lot of steps to find that snitch, why not? That’s why in some hunts (mystery hunt, SUMS, CISRA, MUMS, I think), you don’t even have to solve every puzzle to win. You just have to solve enough of the puzzles pre-meta to solve the meta.


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