Riddles and Answers

Featured

There are many websites where treasure hunt organizers can find ready made riddles and answers. There are so many in fact, that the choice can be a little overwhelming. Some up front planning can save a lot of time wading though pages of riddles that aren’t really suitable.

We will link off to some riddle lists at the end of this post but here are some of the points that you should consider before you go there.

  1. Cost – We don’t know of any simple riddle lists that charge for access but you might still want to consider trading off a little cash to save some time. Treasure hunt generators such as RiddleMe.com are really worth a look if your end goal is to create a treasure hunt.
  2. Format – You will frequently find that site authors will make you work for the riddles – even if it is just to click on a link to expose the answer. This is all well and good if you are just poking around trying to solve the odd riddle but if you need to collect a heap of them – quickly! Then this can become a real hinderance.
  3. Number of Riddles – You can waste a lot of time clicking through sites that only have two or three riddles. Ideally, you want one huge list all on the one site.
  4. Quality – You might think that there is no good, objective means of evaluating riddles… well what do you think of this?

    Contribute a single riddle and gain access to our list of riddles. For free! We collect all those single riddles and add them to our ever-growing list of riddles. We also keep count of how often each one is selected for download and use that as a measure of how good it is. You can use this to sort the good ones to the top.


  5. License – This is especially important if you are going to be using the riddles publicly or commercially. There are many sources that use a Creative Commons license which usually allows you to do whatever you would like with the riddles as long as you credit the source.
  6. Age of the Players – You will need to take the age of your players into consideration. On the one hand, you do not want to be using riddles that are either too easy or hard for the age group and on the other, you should not be using inappropriate content for children.
  7. Interests of the Players – If you can assume a certain base level of knowledge about a subject, riddles and answers that are related could be more interesting for the players.
  8. Time Available for the Treasure Hunt – This one is going to be a really tricky issue for anyone organizing a treasure hunt on a tight schedule. There is just know way of predicting how long it will take players to solve riddles. Some sources group riddles by difficulty but you might also like to do some testing with people who are not going to be taking part in the treasure hunt.
    RiddleMe.com
  9. Occasion – Finding riddles to fit an occaision (birthday, Valentines day, etc) can add that extra something to your hunt. Some sources specialize in specific occasions while others will categorize them this way.
  10. Location of the Treasure Hunt – If you would like to incorporate landmarks in the area that you will be holding your treasure hunt, you will probably want to be able to search by keywords such as ‘fountain’ and ‘bedroom’ for example.
  11. Mode of Transport – Think about whether players will be on foot or in their cars. Will this influence the riddles and answers that you will use?

Now that you know what you are looking for, head over to our directory and check out the Riddles and Answers category where you will find loads of sites that list riddles.

Treasure Hunt Riddles

Featured

Joker's Mask Representing Treasure Hunt RiddlesSo what ARE those things that we need to solve to before moving on to the next stage of a treasure hunt? Do a quick Internet search and you will see them referred to as riddles, puzzles, clues and more. We like to say ‘Treasure Hunt Riddles’ and that appears to be a very commonly search for term in Google but there is obviously no consensus out there.

Riddles are Puzzles

The previous statement may sound like a bit of a riddle itself. The thing is though, that riddles are actually types of puzzles. Wikipedia places riddles in the puzzle hierarchy under ‘Guessing Games’ which is one of seven main puzzle types listed there. The common theme is that they are all things that are difficult to understand.

Riddles are puzzles that have a deeper, hidden meaning and can be either statements or questions. They always have a solution or answer which is unusual for statements. Although many riddles rhyme, this is not a requirement.

Going further down the pecking order, riddles can be either enigmas (requiring logic) or conundra (based on puns).

Clues do not fit into the puzzle hierarchy with riddles, enigma and conundra. They can be described as information or a thing that helps to understand or find something else. Despite being almost antonyms for puzzles, clues do seem to fit in this context. The trick is to think of ‘Treasure Hunt Riddles’ as keeping the treasure hidden whereas ‘Treasure Hunt Clues’ help you to find the treasure which is hidden physically in some great hiding spot.

Now that we understand a little more about the terminology here, take a look at Riddles and Answers for some tips on how to find lots of treasure hunt riddles that you can use in your own treasure hunts.

Scavenger Hunt Riddles

Before we get started finding you some killer scavenger hunt riddles, you might want to take a look at . It will help you understand the difference between a scavenger hunt and a treasure hunt. In a nutshell, a scavenger hunt involves a list of things that participants need to collect. A treasure hunt on the other hand, is a series of riddles that lead participants to an ultimate goal – the treasure! So strictly speaking, scavenger hunts don’t require riddles.

If you just won’t sleep right without some riddles to spice up your scavenger hunt, you should bear in mind that the answers to scavenger hunt riddles are always things. In contrast, treasure hunt riddles can have locations, directions and even people for example as answers. Participants in a scavenger hunt should however be able to collect (if only in digital form) the things that are the answers to the riddles. This of course rules out fridges, houses, trees and the like.

Be aware that even without using scavenger hunt riddles riddles, participants will often make creative interpretations. You might want to give them some indication of how much leeway they have so that you don’t just end up with a pile of pictures cut out of a magazine!

By far your best bet is to head over to . Contribute a single riddle and you will have access to all of the riddles that past visitors contributed. It is the fastest growing repository of scavenger hunt riddles on the internet!

You can also try the directory of our directory which includes lots of sites out on the internet that host lists of riddles and answers.

And last but not least, we always recommend that anyone organizing either a scavenger or treasure hunt should check out Riddle Me. You can really save some time if you are prepared to make a small investment.

Personalised Party Invitations

Personalised party invitations can make a great impression but if you are not careful, they can also require a lot of hard work and stress. Also, designing and printing your own cards can involve costs for software, paper and ink. Save yourself the effort and order them online!

Generally, sites that offer this service will have an in-browser designer that you can use to add your own text and photos. You will also be able to preview your work before you finalize the order.

Shutterfly have plenty of designs for under $1 each and so does tinyprints. These are two of the main brands of a group of sites that provide personalised card printing services. Here are some of the others in the group – each targets a different segment of the population. It may be worth your while clicking through them all to find the one that most closely fits your needs as you will have a bigger selection of suitable designs to choose from.

http://www.treat.com/
http://www.tinyprints.com/
http://www.shutterfly.com/
http://www.fidipidi.com/
http://secure.checksinthemail.com/
http://www.weddingpaperdivas.com/
http://www.iprint.com/

Expressionary is also a good option with personalised party invitations costing around $16 for a set of 50. Over at CardStore you can get a pirate themed card for about $2.29 each.

You will need to allow between 3 and 14 days for delivery once you have completed the design and placed the order online. This will depend on the type of postage and whether the cards will be sent internationally.

Also, don’t forget to allow time for organizing images that you can use in the cards. Getting others to send them to you can take time if you don’t keep on their case and if you have to take some new shots, you might need a day or two to track down the star of the day.

Make sure that you have personalised party invitations for your next event and get it off to a flying start.

Treasure Hunt Ads

You might associate treasure hunts with children’s games however treasure hunt ads are becoming more common online which probably indicates that there is more at stake.

We use Market Samurai for all of our search engine optimization work and plugged in the term “Treasure Hunt”. The result was that there are 16,700,000 web pages indexed within the Bing search engine and that the term is searched for 307 times a day within Google.

Market Samurai also has a pretty nifty metric which they call Adwords Value. It is a measure of the “Commerciality” of the keyword and is an indication of how much the top ranking page in Google could expect to earn by hosting Google AdSense advertisements. For “Treasure Hunt” this works out at $8.80 in Australian dollars – or a respectable $3,212 a year.

The top ranking is held by Treasure Hunt Coins at the moment. Despite the name, this does not have anything to do with the game but rather is a company that buys and sells gold, silver, jewelry… and coins!

Number two on Google is Treasure Hunt Ads which is all about bargain hunting.

Wikipedia makes an appearance at number three with some reference information about treasure hunt the game but then it is straight back over to the commercial side with FL Treasure Hunt at number 4. This is the unclaimed property site for the state of Florida which is followed by another unclaimed property site. Treasure hunt ads for the government-run unclaimed property sites are not so common but there are plenty of private sites that do indulge.

The Pennsylvania Lottery site is yet another non game treasure hunt site – it comes in at number 6 before finally we get to a site which is at least related to the game – Geocaching at spot 7 covers a treasure hunt variation that involves a GPS receiver.

Spot 8 and 9 are the unclaimed property sites for Iowa and Ohio respectively with Your Treasure Hunt scraping in at place 10 with used furniture.

So out of the top 10 ranking sites in Google, only 2 are related to the game. No wonder there are so many treasure hunt ads online these days!

Hiding Spots and Strategies for Choosing Them

Treasure hunts don’t necessarily require good hiding spots but they can add an interesting new element to the game. Not only do players need to solve the riddles, they will also need to search for them. Using the strategies covered below will help you select some killer hiding spots.

What can really throw players off the scent is if you go to a lot of effort or expense. They will rule some hiding spots out because of the perceived effort or cost that they represent. The classic hiding spot in a hollowed out book works so well because it requires the effort of hollowing out the book – and the cost of destroying the book.

A spot that has already been checked makes a great hiding spot. If you can find some means of swapping spots mid-search then this can be a really effective strategy.

Gradually introduce new techniques rather than showing all of your cards at once. Lets assume that you have acces to a ladder and can also waterproof the riddles before hiding them. Hiding the first riddle both out of reach and under water – an aquarium on top of a cupboard for example – would be a mistake. Better would be to use two separate hiding spots – one up high and one under water – both are good hiding spots in their own right and two are better than one.

Change the behavior of the object that you will hide. Write your riddles on pebbles and hide the first couple by placing them on the ground or on top of a table – get players used to looking for them sitting on top of something. Then use adhesive to stick one to the side of a cupboard. Add a hook to another and hang it from a twig in a tree. Strap a piece of wood to the next and float it on some water. Use a helium balloon to float one up to the ceiling.

Use protection to hide the object in a spot that would normally cause it damage. Waterproofing is one example. A little more extreme would be to make your riddle out of metal or ceramic and place it under the coals in a smoldering fire.

Searchers will be less likely to search in dirty areas and will assume that the hider will be less inclined to choose them as hiding places. Take advantage of this tendency and seek out such hiding spots. Drains, toilets, drip trays and mud patches would all fit the bill.

Disguise your riddles as ordinary objects and leave them in locations that you would normally expect to find those objects. Think spice jars, coke cans, books, DVD cases etc.

Use only the bare minimum of cover. Don’t close the door to the room in which the riddle is hidden. Leave the flour bag in which you hide your riddle mostly empty and use just enough flour to conceal it.

Finally, these two tips – based on experimental findings – are killers despite there not being any good explanation for them.

Choose hiding spots in bright areas and near windows – searchers are more likely to look in dark corners.

Go with your intuition and choose spots that feel like good hiding spots. Strangely enough, you are less likely to search in the same area that you would choose to hide something. As long as the players would also consider them good hiding spots, they will have trouble finding them!

Pirate Sayings

Angry pirate about to spurt a heap of pirate sayings.Having a list of pirate sayings up your sleeve can be a big advantage when organizing a treasure hunt. The vast majority of treasure hunts have a pirate theme and spicing up the riddles with the odd “Avast ye land lubbers!” can help to get players in the mood.

The secret to creating an authentic sounding pirate saying is twofold. The first is to obey some very simple rules.

  1. Drop ‘g’s from the ends of words. Use ‘Sailin’ not ‘Sailing’.
  2. Drop ‘v’s from the middle of words. Use ‘ne’er’ not ‘never’.
  3. Replace ‘am’ and ‘are’ with ‘be’. Use ‘I be’ and ’you be’ not ‘I am’ and ‘you are’.
  4. Replace ‘I’ and ‘my’ with ‘me’.
  5. Replace ‘you’ with ‘ye’, ‘yer’, or ‘ya’.
  6. Use ‘aye’ and ‘nay’ instead of ‘yes’ and ‘no.
  7. Drop ‘th’ from the ends of words. Use ‘wi” not ‘with’.
  8. Make excessive use of adjectives such as great, vast, grand and considerable.

You will find lots more tips and some pretty good demonstrations of how the pronunciation works here.

The second is to scatter typical pirate words throughout your riddle. There are many sites that include lists of these words and we have included some of the best in our directory under the Pirate Sayings category. Check them out and let us know if we have missed any good ones.

If you need some inspiration then check out the International Talk Like a Pirate Day site. You can get some of the background about the day on Wikipedia.

Don’t take it all too seriously though! It is likely that much of the language that we think of as typical for a pirate was not actually used by real pirates. Most of the credit for pirate sayings is given to Robert Newton as Long John Silver in Treasure Island.

Pirate Treasure Map

A pirate treasure map.To add some flair to your treasure hunt, be sure to have an authentic looking pirate treasure map. You may need to be creative to integrate the map with your riddles but the effort is worth it.

There is not a lot of historical evidence that pirates used treasure maps or even that they buried their treasure very often. The origin of the treasure map is probably related to Captain Kidd and developed in the imaginations of the population as they imagined that he had hidden his treasure before being captured and that somewhere there might be a map.

You will find lots of tips on the Internet for how to make your own pirate treasure map. They usually involve lots of crumpling, tearing and staining with either tea or coffe. Here is a really good example. Don’t forget an ‘X’ to mark the location of the treasure.

X marks the spot!

A really nice touch that will require some adult supervision is to burn the edges of the map. Also, write some clues in lemon juice and they will only be revealed when held up to a heat source such as a light bulb – invisible ink!

Check Yarr Maps for a really creative use of technology. The pirate themed maps that you will find there are real maps that you can find directions with etc. They are powered by Google.

If you don’t have a creative bone in your body then don’t despair – Amazon have lots of great pirate treasure maps!

How to organize a team building treasure hunt.

A team building treasure hunt can be a very worthwhile exercise. It will have team members working together on a series of problems and also includes competition between teams. A successful hunt can not be taken for granted, however the following tips should increase your chances.

  1. Don’t start the planning process too late. A poorly organized treasure hunt is a frustrating experience for all involved and getting it right takes time – allow a couple of weeks.
  2.  Keep an eye on the budget. There are a lot of moving parts in a treasure hunt and it happens frequently that organizers find that they have spent more than they planned on props etc. when they add it all up.
  3. Don’t have any hard timelines. You will not be able to predict how long it will take teams to complete the hunt and rushing them will reduce the value of the execise.
  4. Spend some time at the location before you start designing your team building treasure hunt and take notes of any landmarks that you can incorporate into the riddles.
  5. Judging how difficult to make the riddles is not easy. Have some backup plans ready. Have extra riddles that are a little more difficult ready to swap in if the teams are progressing too quickly. Alternatively, have one ready which will short circuit the rest of the hunt and lead the teams directly to the treasure if it is just getting too late.
  6. Consider using existing riddles rather than authoring your own. There are many sources on the internet with most listed in our directory under ‘Riddles and Answers’. Also, think about just purchasing tickets in an existing treasure hunt rather than organising your own.
  7. If your location is going to be away from the office – somewhere nice – then give everyone a chance to enjoy it. Don’t plan on your hunt taking up all of the available time. Punctuating the event with a meal (treasure hunt beforehand) can help to enforce this.
  8. Use technology. This can really reduce the organizational effort. Check here for some ideas.
  9. Leave time for a debrief so that the players get the most out of the event.

A common trap with team building activities is to confuse them with entertainment. Although entertaining, a team building treasure hunt does not represent a sacrifice in terms of team building.

SMS and Text Treasure Hunts

Text/SMS treasure hunts are springing up all over the globe. Teams receive riddles via Text/SMS from an automated service and send their solutions in response.

Usually, the treasure hunts are preconfigured which binds them to a specific area. Some form of scheduling is required in this case to prevent treasure hunts from becoming overcrowded. Generally only a limited list of cities is supported because of the effort involved in designing the treasure hunts.

An extra feature offered by TextClues removes these limitations. They allow organizers to configure treasure hunts themselves. Organizers can therefore target any city that they would like and because these treasure hunts are not shared there’s no risk of overcrowding. Scaling treasure hunts down to ‘one on one’ (one organizer and one player) also becomes possible. Could this become the next valentine’s day craze?

A given company’s service will be restricted to those countries in which it has an arrangement with an SMS gateway.

Online Treasure Hunts

You probably associate treasure hunts with lots of running around outside. There is another form of treasure hunt that does not require quite so much exertion. Online treasure hunt participants can solve all of the riddles and find their way to the treasure without ever leaving the comfort of their mouse pad.

These treasure hunts are hosted on a website which provides participants with riddles and checks their solutions before providing them with the next. The riddles usually require that participants go out onto the Internet and visit other sites to solve the riddles – often using search engines to find their way.

Often, online treasure hunts are funded through affiliate marketing arrangements where a commission is paid for every participant that is sent to a site. In some cases, the site requires that participants perform some action such as signing up for a newsletter.

Less creative sites actually require that players click on advertisements before they can start the hunt. The hunt itself is not always recognizable as a treasure hunt. In some cases, riddles are replaced by simple games.