Chapter 5 Winner Chris Cunningham in Houston

November 25th, 2015

We had a wonderful time in Houston with Chris from Toronto Ontario, Canada. He had a great time on the USS Texas Battleship and searching some of Houston’s most historic places. Chris had the opportunity to see his prize waiting for him from the top of The San Jacinto Monument which is the world’s tallest masonry column.

Chris’ calm manner while working under pressure was impressive. He did an outstanding job of solving the codes and ciphers on his quest for his eagle.

Have a look at his video as he claims his prize!!!!

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Chapter 5 – Chris Cunningham and the solution

July 22nd, 2015

Dear Questors,

Congratulations Chris!!


We were able to spend a little time with Chris Cunningham over the phone to find out what his experience has been solving Chapter 5. Have a listen to Ron and Chris’ conversation.

As Ron says in the video, the Houston hunt is being planned for October of this year.  It’s just too hot to go to Houston any time sooner! We will keep you posted as we get closer to that time.

And here is Chris’ take on how to solve Chapter 5 – and, of course, the solution.

Solving Chapter 5

While the solution now seems logical and straightforward, it actually took me quite some time to wrap my head around this one. By consistently rereading and reinterpreting the clues, I was finally able to piece it together.

As with Chapter 4, the winning sequence is found in the question section at the end of the chapter.

To find the first 10 digits, start at the beginning of Question 3 and subtract 5 from each number. Duplicates, and zero or negative results are discarded.

The second half of the solution is found using Question 12. Start at the end of the decoded question and work backwards. Convert all of the letters to numbers and add 5 to each one. Make sure to discard any results that are over 20(T) and under 26 (Z), but for any number greater than 26 (Z) begin again at 1(A), I.e. 29 becomes 3 (C).

The correct key order is:

15,03,13,18,10,17,20,07,02,08,14,01,19,11,06,12,04,09,16,05

Here are a handful of clues that lead me to the answer:

  • “the chapter number will play a critical role” (5 is important)
  • “Riddle me this and riddle me that” (Use the chapter questions)
  • “not the things that you can see but the things that you can’t see which will make the difference” (Use the decoded questions)
  • “+1-1=0 +2-2=0. Follow the logical sequence” (Use -5 and +5)
  • “The simplest backward -forward algorithm could help make you a real treasure hunter on this one” (-5 then +5)
  • “The senior brother is 10 years older than the junior” (The difference between -5 and +5 is 10)
  • “you will have to do less to start” ((Use -5 for the first half)
  • “pour more on to get to the finish” (Use +5 for the second half)
  • “If the east is least and west is best keep this in mind when tracking the sun as it sets on the prize.” (Start forward -5 then backwards +5)
  • “the “Filthy 13″ may be able to help you” (The Dirty Dozen – Use Question 12)
  • “The sum of what you are looking for adds up to 15″ (Question 3 and Question 12)
  • “zero or less make sure not to use it.” (Discard results that are zero or less)
  • “the number you find is too high – do not use it in order to make this solution fly” (Don’t use letters over T/20)
  • “If it’s under “A” throw it away, if it’s greater that “Z” use what’s over.” (Fairly self explanatory)

Chris Cunningham

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Congratulations Chris!!


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Chapter 5 Winner!

July 7th, 2015

Chapter 5 Winner

Dear Questors,

Chris Cunningham from Toronto, Ontario has submitted the correct answer for Chapter 5.

We hope to be able to connect with him next week to find out how he came up with his solution and will reveal the final solution at that time.

Congratulations Chris!!

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Video of Chapter 4 Event in Phoenix, AZ with Annika Wolff

January 23rd, 2015

Dear Questors,

We have finished putting together the video of Annika’s adventure in Phoenix, AZ and would love to share it with you. She did so many things that we found we couldn’t fit it all on to one video so we’ve split it in two. Make sure you watch both segments!!!!

Again, we want to congratulate Annika for her fantastic win!
We also want to thank the questors who took us up on our offer to come out and be part of Annika’s hunt for her silver eagle.

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Chapter 4 Winner

October 1st, 2014

Dear Questors,

We are so happy that we have a winner for Chapter 4!!  Annika Wolff from the UK has correctly submitted the winning sequence.

We had a bit of fun with Annika when we phoned her to tell her she had won Chapter 4.  Take a look:

I’m sure you are all wanting to know the final sequence so Annika is telling you exactly what it is and how she came up with it.

From Annika:

The ’solving’

I’ve been treasure-hunting for years and am part of a great community at The Armchair Treasure Hunt club. As soon as the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt was starting it was advertised all over the club forum, and so I placed my order just as soon as I could. When the book arrived I was excited to get stuck in, but life got busy and I suppose I didn’t really believe I could win such a worldwide hunt. I could barely believe it when Chapter 1 was won by my friend Roger, from the club. I didn’t know the chapter 2 winner, Gisela, but she also joined our club and from there became a good friend of mine. As a result of knowing two Eagle winners I have seen –  and touched and held – their eagles at a couple of treasure hunting events and so I began to think ‘these eagles are amazing, and they are REAL and if my friends can do this, then so can I’. But Heather just pipped me to chapter 3 and that’s when my real determination kicked in for chapter 4.

Chapter 4 seemed simple to begin with. There were really clear pointers in the chapter to ’start at the Needle’, or at least ’start at the N’. Numbers were obviously very important. There were a lot of numbers in the chapter, more than were needed for the narrative. The father’s map was notes and numbers. But what threw me for a long time was the narrative also contained an idea of weaving and ‘three’. Starting at various Needles, or various N’s, I began weaving my way around that chapter in skips of 2’s and 3’s and I also tried applying skipping caesar to the text, it seemed quite logical, but my submissions were all rejected.

As the facebook clues came in, I was categorising them, they told me:

  • 14 was important – valentines day clue, canadian thanksgiving/’twice as lucky’ (2 x lucky 7) clue. I took this to mean that N was important because 14 = N and I was still obsessed by needles.
  • Questions were important – riddle me this, judge a man by his questions, the Kryptos clue, the dichotomy is found by looking at two questions. I took this to mean the questions in the chapter for the longest time (more on that later!)
  • Two - we are told ‘two is important’ and that it took the Peralta family two times to figure out the stones. I didn’t really understand this until I realised where the sequences lay.
  • A cipher – there were many clues to the cipher: to take the answer from the book, to use all of the alphabet, to ‘clip’. At first I was just baffled – but there was really only one interpretation. I have to give credit to my brother, who is my regular treasure-hunting sounding board over the years, for mentioning this to me. He said perhaps you just use 1-20 like normal and then when you get to U you start at 1 again, so U becomes 1, V becomes 2 etc. Then some letters have a mapping to two numbers. It was so logical and fit the clues so I stopped considering it could be anything else, which I think helped me a lot.

There were other clues that I couldn’t categorise so easily, but each gave me some ideas, some of which have turned out to be correct. For example, ‘backwards in its own way’ said to me there was something funny about how the solution was found, like instead of turning letters into numbers we did it the other way round, which did sort of turn out to be the case at least in some sense! There were also a lot of key placements. As more of these came I actually stopped submitting solutions, as I couldn’t find anything that fit all the keys. I didn’t stop working on the hunt – each time a clue came I pounced on it and tried something new – but for a long time I was just really, really stuck.

Until…. 2 weeks ago. Two weeks ago a clue came out which pointed us to ‘turquoise’. This is the answer to a question in the book. Question 14. It all became crashingly obvious! My cipher -  applied without any skipping or needles – to Question 14 gave a sequence that fit the key placements and the clues perfectly.  So ‘Questions’ and ‘fourteen’ and my cipher method could have given me this so long ago if I had really thought.

What was interesting was that you could almost fit the key placements just by carrying on in Question 14. But then there were the ‘two additional numbers on a hunt of their own’. I had thought there might be two Caesar ciphers to apply at one point (these being ‘additional’ numbers). But in fact, it fit the notion better of two question numbers. The ‘this’ that happened five times could only be the cipher questions at the end of the chapter. Also this being chapter 4, FOUR was important. Using a cipher question meant that there were really two layers of text for each question. This made sense of the ‘two’ clues. Already one cipher question was used – so I needed another. The race was really on because from the Facebook postings I knew several people had a first ten, so if mine were right I had stiff competition.

For the last two weeks I was obsessively submitting sequence after sequence based on going forwards and backwards on both cipher text and plain text for questions 3, 6, 8 and 20, or putting plaintext and cipher text above and below each other and alternating. This was difficult for Question 8, where there wasn’t a direct mapping. But I kept coming back to question 8 because there were clues about ‘code-talkers’ and this was the code-talkers question.

I favoured sequences where key placements were ‘mostly’ right. I couldn’t really find ones where they were totally correct but we had been told that there were a couple of things throwing us off, so I kept submitting anyway. I favoured sequences where there were three leftovers at the end, because this is what a Joy clue had told us, about three stragglers. We already had possible keys for position 18 and most solutions I came up with meant two were used and there was only one candidate, so I could just try the remaining two in both orders as instructed by the clue.

The solution

In the end, the solution was so straightforward and logical! Using the cipher method, read first from Question 14 – as it is in the book. Then read from Question 8 – as it is in the book. This solution fit every single clue given, except to my thinking it had a funny key placement in position 15.  Now I realise my possible mistake – the clue says ‘the 15th letter in the answer you seek’. So maybe it wasn’t a key placement after all, but a clue to locate the right piece of text. The 15th letter of the deciphered question 8 could fit the bill. The winning sequence is:

3,8,1,20,2,12,5,19,13,9,

14,10,4,6,7,15,11,17,18,16

I was so shocked to get the call. It was a Friday and the latest clue had just come out and I was panicking that this clue fit my thinking – but I had thought of another possible approach. To read first the Q8 plain text and then continue into the code-talkers. It was another pretty viable solution. I convinced myself that since I hadn’t had a phone call and since there was a new clue, my previous attempts were wrong. I was literally ‘in the middle of the hunt’ when the phone call came. I nearly fell off my chair in shock!!

We are excited to fly Annika over to Phoenix to claim her Eagle! We will be taking Annika on a treasure hunt through the Phoenix area on November the 19th.  If you would like to join us please contact us for information on where to meet.  (greatesthunt@yahoo.com)  We’d love to see you!

We’d also like to congratulate Brian Hollenbeck from Kansas USA for submitting the correct answer 2 l/2 hours after Annika! The coolest part was that he only bought the book two months ago and was doing it with his kids. Way to go Brian!!

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New clues coming out soon!

September 11th, 2013

We hope everyone had a wonderful summer! Did you enjoy the videos for Chapter 2 and 3? It was great fun for us to relive the adventures.

Many people have been commenting on when the next clue is coming out.  Well we are excited to announce the next clue will be coming out on Friday September 27.  We are looking forward to seeing who the next winner for the treasure hunt will be.

Sincerely,

Ron Shore

Ron Shore

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Chapter 3 Video

August 23rd, 2013

We are so excited! Here is our 3rd episode of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt.  The hunt was set in the City of Angels, Los Angeles.  The show is about 30 minutes long and shows our winner, Heather Cunningham, going through the best sights and sounds of this magnificent city.  Terry, one of our Questors took up the invitation to join us on the day of the hunt and helped us with this amazing day.  It was an extra special trip because the winners from Chapters 1, 2 and 3 were all there to help with and present Heather with some of the clues and the prize for chapter 3 valued at $38,000.  We would like to thank the Hollywood Bowl, Madame Tussaud’s Museum, The Griffiths Observatory, and the TCL Chinese Theatre (Formerly Grauman’s) for giving us access to all of the different parts of the hunt which made it so special.

Chapter 3 Winner Heather Cunningham
Chapter 3 Winner Heather Cunningham

We hope you enjoy watching the episode as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you.


Sincerely,

Ron Shore

Ron Shore

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Chapter 2 Video

August 8th, 2013

We hope everyone had a wonderful summer! Did you enjoy the videos for Chapter 2 and 3? It was great fun for us to relive the adventures.

Many people have been commenting on when the next clue is coming out.  Well we are excited to announce the next clue will be coming out on Friday September 27.  We are looking forward to seeing who the next winner for the treasure hunt will be.


The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt Chapter 2 Winner Gisela Reid
The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt Chapter 2 Winner Gisela Reid

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Chapter 1 Video

June 23rd, 2013

We are so excited! We finally have the video back  and can show you the treasure hunt that our Chapter 1 winner Roger Lintott from London England went on. Seattle was an awesome place and proved to be quite an adventure for our first winner. The length is about 32 minutes and it shows some of the many sights of Seattle. Sit back relax and go on an adventure through Seattle.

The treasure hunt will be having a Summer break and so the June 21st clue will be the last clue until September.

We are still looking for a benefactor to buy the Golden Eagle. If someone helps us find a buyer for it there is a substantial finders fee. Please see the video below.

Hope you have an awesome summer and enjoy the video of Roger on his Treasure Hunt in Seattle.


The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt-Chapter 1 with Roger Lintott
The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt-Chapter 1 with Roger Lintott

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Heather finds her way through Los Angeles in search of her Silver Eagle!

March 14th, 2013

Here are a few pictures of Heather Cunningham as she finds her way through Los Angeles in search of Chapter 3’s Silver Eagle.

We are currently putting some videos together and will post them as soon as they are ready.

Heather finding her Silver Eagle in Los Angeles

Ron and Leanne want to give a huge thank you to Roger for doing so much of the pre-planning for both Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 events.  Roger, you are an amazing treasure hunter.  Thank you for giving so much of your time in helping create 2 fantastic events!

Thanks also to Gisela who really helped in organizing Chapter 3’s hunt the day before and Terry, who came out to watch and help on hunt day!  We really appreciate everyone’s willingness to jump in and be part of a great day. We couldn’t have done it without everyone pitching in.

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