Below are the answers to the 2022 Cville Puzzle Hunt puzzles. Jump directly to a specific puzzle by using these links.
- Puzzle 1: CODE Building courtyard
- Puzzle 2: Champion Brewing
- Puzzle 3: New Dominion Bookshop
- Puzzle 4: Freedom of Speech Wall
- Puzzle 5: IX Art Park Stage
- End Game
We would love to hear what stumped you! If you have any questions or feedback, email us here.
Before the Hunt began, participants were given a map with possible answers on the back and a copy of Best of Cville Magazine.
Hunters were told that the answers to the five initial puzzles will always be a number. If they get the right number, then it will appear on the Possible Answers page. A correct number will also correspond to a clue that hunters will need for the End Game.
Hunters were give these five initial puzzle coordinates:
D – 4 > D – 5
M – 8
J – 4
M – 4
H – 15
Puzzle 1: CODE Building courtyard (coordinates D4 > D5)
In the courtyard of the Code building, was a poster on an easel with “@TraceyPath” written on it. The font was reminiscent of the TikTok font. “Tik Tok” by Kesha was playing on a speaker.
All of this was to indicate that players should go to the TikTok Handle @TraceyPath. Here they saw a short video of travel influencer Tracey Path describing her perfect afternoon in Charlottesville. She mentioned: The Soul Food Joint for fried chicken, the Front Porch for a Banjo lesson, Chap’s for ice cream, shopping at Alakazam Toys and Gifts, and live music at The Garage. If hunters used their map to trace the path of Tracey Path, they noticed that it made a 4 which corresponded to the clue: First and Last
Puzzle 2: Champion Brewing Company (coordinate M-8)
Outside of Champion Brewing, hunters came across a poster with a series of pop culture ghosts laid out like a phone keypad. There was a second poster with a series of 3 ghosts, 3 more ghosts followed by 4 ghosts like a phone number.
If hunters called the number they heard a voicemail message for Carol and Reed, Cville’s best paranormal investigators. The voicemail said:
Hello, you’ve reached Carol and Reed, Charlottesville’s best paranormal investigators. Sorry we missed you call. Check out our ad in the the best of Cville Magazine. If you’ve got a ghostly problem, then look to us for the solution! You’re in good hands!– Carol and Reed, paranormal investigators
Hunters who eventually found Carol and Reed’s ad on page 120 saw that the message from the voicemail appeared again in the ad: “If you have a ghostly problem, look to us for the solution. You’re in good hands.” If hunters looked to Carol and Reed (and their good hands), they noticed that Carol and Reed were giving the answer with their fingers.
The answer was 3435 and it corresponded to the clue:
Puzzle 3: New Dominion Bookshop (coordinate J-4)
Outside of the bookshop, hunters found a poster on an easel and a handout explaining how to play Were Dull. The instructions contained a lot of homophones
Hunters solved the Were Dull as they would a normal Wordle. The answer was TUTUS. A homophone that would turn TUTUS into a number is two twos. 22 is the answer which corresponds to the clues Y = The
Puzzle 4: Freedom of Speech Wall (coordinate M-4)
Next to the Free Speech wall, hunters discovered a poster on an easel with a QR code. This pointed them to the podcast “This Week In Virginia History.” (This is a real podcast hosted by WTJU’s Nathan Moore. Check it out!)
At the beginning of the podcast, the host, Nathan Moore, encourages listeners to stay tuned for a message from sponsor The Dewberry Sub Shop. He says: “if you’re feeling directionless and wondering what to eat, you’ll find the answer at The Dewberry Sub Shop.” Hunters listened to a short podcast about the two men who discovered that yellow fever is transmitted through mosquito bites. At the end of the podcast Nathan tells hunters that the Dewberry Sub Shop is having a special Yellow Fever Sale. Hunters will need to order the four secret menu items in order to get the prize.
The Dewberry Sub Shop is not real, but hunters should have noticed an out-of-place submarine on the map. If they went to this location (the unfinished Dewberry Hotel), two volunteers dressed as sub shop employees were handing out sub shop menus.
Hunters likely noticed that the first three menu items had specific colors in their name (green tomatoes, black beans, yellowfin tuna). The reference to a Yellow Fever Sale in the podcast was meant to tell hunters to look for menu items that were the color yellow. If hunters chose the 4 yellow items on the menu (yellowfin tuna, mustard, corn on the cob, lemonade) and added the prices, then they got 1853 which corresponds to the clue: “The fifth is plural.“
Puzzle 5: IX Main Stage (coordinate H-15)
A volunteer dressed as an artist was painting on stage. Meanwhile two speakers were playing two different songs simultaneously. One speaker was playing “Yellow Submarine” and the other speaker was playing “Blue Moon.”
The artist would occasionally pause and say things like:
- “When I’m painting, sometimes I don’t know where to go next.”
- “I let the music tell me where to go.”
- “I let the colors guide me.”
- “When I’m feeling directionless, I let the music inspire me.”
- “The music helps guide me, but sometimes I get a little mixed up.”
- “The music really moves me. I hope it moves you too.”
- “When I’m feeling lost, I let the colors give me direction.”
- “When I encounter a problem, I let the music guide me to a solution.”
These lines should have made the hunters focus on music, colors, and direction/movement. If you mix yellow (submarine) and blue (moon), you get green. If hunters looked at their map, they noticed one bright green item, which also happened to be a golf putting green with a blank flag.
If hunters went to this location (McGuffey Art Center), they saw a volunteer dressed as a golfer holding a golf flag with the number 54 on it. This corresponded to the clue No Odor
The End Game
At this point hunters who successfully solved the initial puzzles had the clues:
First and last
Y = The
The fifth is plural
For the End Game, hunters were told that unlike the five initial puzzles, the answer to the End Game is NOT a number. Instead it is a series of tasks that a team has to complete in order to win. For the End Game clues, the puzzle master brought out two characters from the hunt, each holding a large poster with their name written on it. The characters were the Tik Tok travel influencer and the artist. The character names were:
Tracey Path and Theodor Van Gogh
If hunters use the first and last names, turn the Y in a ‘the’ and take the odor out, they get:
Trace the path the van gogh
If they turn the 5th word into a plural, they get:
Trace the path the vans gogh
Hunters should have noticed that there were lots of vans on the map, but the last clue tells them to use “Red only” (read is a homophone for red – a call back to the Were Dull puzzle).
Trace the path the vans go – red only
If hunters trace the path of the red vans, they notice that it makes an X on the map.
If hunters went to the center of the X, they saw a poster with an empty pea pod, an arm in a cast, an alarm clock and two postage stamps. Hunters were meant to decode this as “podcast timestamps.”
If hunters went back to the “This Week in Virginia History” podcast, scrolled to the correct time stamps and listened for exactly one second, they heard:
Text . . . a picture of the . . . big butt . . . and you . . . to Carol and Reed
Hunters had to race back to IX Art Park to take a selfie with the Big Butt sculpture.
Hunters then needed to text their picture to the phone number for Carol and Reed, the paranormal investigators. If they did this, then they received a text back that said: “Sorry we don’t recognize this number. Prove you’re not a bot by adding up the number answers to the first 5 puzzles.”
4 + 22 + 54 + 1853 + 3435 = 5368
The first team to text 5368 (after submitting their Big Butt selfie at 4:00) to Carol and Reed was crowned our winner!