The 1979 book Masquerade established the genre of the Armchair Treasure Hunt: a treasure hunt where a document contains all the clues to solve a series of clues that (typically) points to a location, – in the grandest hunts, a physical item has been buried at that location. People still set such hunts – for instance, the final chapter of The Cloud Quest was published last month; rumour had it, a few years ago, that there were still dozens of books with prize competitions being published each year. While treasure hunts have longer histories still (any excuse to link to the story of the Treasure Hunt Riots!) Masquerade is still the most famous.
The genre still has many devotees, with the Armchair Treasure Hunt Club being a prominent virtual gathering-point for them. The site tracks open armchair treasure hunts, some open to the public, others intended for club members alone. The club also has an annual meeting, open to all and sundry rather than just to its membership. The invitation describes how the day will run. This site shan’t repeat it, for fear that even a simple transcription might somehow obliterate a pre-clue hidden within the invitation. Players will arrange themselves into six or so teams, investigate the Cathedral and more, share a buffet lunch in a pub and then solve a hunt in the afternoon. A full day’s play, including food, for £25 per player sounds like a good deal, and this is certainly the right company in which to enjoy the event.
The club also has an announcement from Steve Miller of Pyro Puzzles about his mechnical puzzle projects, as previously discussed. Steve recently exhibited his wares and ran a hunt at the Nine Worlds convention in London – making the event even cooler still!