Mastermind Hunt: San Francisco – Inner Space Edition Answers 2019
Here are the answers and solutions to the 2019 Mastermind Hunt San Francisco. Thank you all for participating in this year’s event. As always, we are looking to make our treasure hunts more user-friendly, enjoyable and challenging. Any comments you may have are welcomed. If there are clues you particularly enjoyed, ones that stumped your team, or if you would like to share an experience from your sleuthing, we'd love to hear about it! Mastermind Treasure Hunts thanks you for participating in the Mastermind Hunt: San Francisco – Inner Space Edition. Enjoy the solutions! Both the Regular and Expert Divisions are shown here.
1. Puzzle Answer: Big Gulp
Hunt Answer: WWHD
Starting location: Howard and Embarcadero Streets
This puzzle is a matter of figuring out what letter might change one word to another simply by saying out loud a letter name in front of the given word.
In this case, B in front of Leaf spells BELIEF
I + deal = IDEAL
G + gnome = GENOME
G + ode = GEODE
U + night = UNITE
L + swear = ELSEWHERE
P + pull = PEOPLE
The added letters spell BIG GULP.
On the southwest corner of this intersection there are a series of six brass markers set into the sidewalk. All of them commemorate William Davis Merry Howard. One of them quotes a friend of his, who refers to Howard as a bold operator. His name, William William Heath Davis, has the initials WWHD. Dropping the 2nd W left the letters WHD.
Using the letters of WHD, we asked teams to come up with a creative three-word phrase describing a fictional medical condition or ailment.
You all came up with some awesome phrases – some of which we can’t repeat, but we really enjoyed them! Some we liked were: Wannabe Hipster Dysphoria, Whimsical Heffalump Disorder, Weirdly Hot Diarrhea, and Weeping Hair Dysentery. Our favorite, was Witheringly Handsome Disorder, submitted by team Om Nom Nom. They were awarded free passes to a Mastermind Event. Congratulations!!
2. Puzzle Answer: Space Invaders
Hunt Answer: Allergic
Starting location: Emerald Park
The words formed by surrounding the given images are:
M ANT IS
B ICE PS
AM BUS H
OC CUP Y
AL PIN E
U TOP IA
IN MAT E
VA CAN T
B EGG AR
AB OAR D
EU LOG Y
RA PIE R
S CAR CE
The letters in the pink squares spell out SPACE INVADERS
Across from Emerald Park on Harrison Street there is a dog park with a washing area. There is a low grey concrete wall with three signs. On one of them it says “We had to sell the kids. The dogs were allergic.”
3. Answer: Kind
Hunt Answer: No Ceiling
Starting location: The Green Papaya at 825 Mission
The answers to the heart clues are:
CROSS; GOLD; RED; KNEE; SOUL; LION; DARKNESS; ANGEL; STILL; GLASS; PURPLE; KING.
After crossing these words from the adjacent grid, the blacked-out pattern of the crossed-out words left a pattern of letters that read KIND.
Across the street from the Green Papaya is a huge mural of a girl showing some muscle. The mural is called No Ceiling.
4. Puzzle Answer: Hit a Gruff Patch
Hunt Answer: Neck Trek
Starting location: Natoma and New Montgomery
The rhymes are:
A: Laundry Quandary; Tin Chin
B: Bees Sneeze; Athena Patina
C: Smitten Kitten; Middle Fiddle
D: Doll Brawl; Director Defector
E: Raptor Chapter; Unique Technique
F: Cottage Wattage; Hawaiian Orion
G: Numb Thumb; Terrible Parable
H: Pooh Brew; Insanity Profanity
The greyed-out areas reading upwards say HIT A GRUFF PATCH
Natoma and New Montgomery are the two intersecting N streets. Here on the side of the Academy of Art building is a stylized image of Spock from Star Trek. The two words that rhyme are Trek and Neck (a body part not shown in the mural).
5. Puzzle Answer: Salad
Hunt Answer: Somalia
Starting location: Klockars’ Blacksmith Shop at 443 Folsom
The rules of transformation are:
1. Change the first letter to S
2. Remove the last letter
3. Move the 3rd letter back two places in the alphabet
4. Add an A in the 4th position
Applying these rules to CANDY the word SALAD emerges.
On a plaque at Klockars the word below MO, FIN is TOOLS. Taking TOOLS and applying the four rules gives the word SOMAL. Adding an IA gives the country SOMALIA
6. Puzzle Answer: Tissue Paper
Hunt Answer: Bearded
Starting location: Hills Bros statue. Embarcadero between Folsom and Harrison
The answers to the words containing CLOT are:
CHARLOTTE; CILANTRO; STOCKPILE; CLOISTER; COLUMNIST; OBSTACLE; PROTOCOL; FLOWCHART; OCTUPLETS; COASTLINE; TROPICAL
The anagrams are: HEART; RAIN; SPIKE; RISE; MINUS; BASE; POOR; WHARF; UPSET; ANISE; PAIR
The letters in the correct greyed squares gave the words TISSUE PAPER.
Examining the plaque on the Hills Bros statue reveals one word that contains the letters of C L O T – Sculptor. The word almost entirely below it is BEARDED.
7. Puzzle Answer: Fusion
Hunt Answer: YOST
Starting location: Southeast corner of 3rd and Market
Each of the puzzle clues had two parts – the second just repeating the same three letters found in the first.
1. ATL; ATLATL
2. TAR; TARTAR
3. AYE; AYE-AYE
4. BOO; BOOBOO
5. TUT; TUT TUT
6. TOM; TOM-TOM
The number in parentheses refers to the letter in that numbered position in the word (e.g. the third letter in ATLATL is L). The letters generated the word LAYOUT. Shifting the letters back six places gives the word FUSION.
At this location, the Local Edition, there are several typewriters visible in the windows. One sits on a desk apart from the others. This model is made by YOST.
8. Puzzle Answer: Regenerative Breaking
Hunt Answer: Magik Tie
Starting location: Bush and Market Streets, Mechanics Monument Plaza
There are a number of ways to extract the robots, but only one that gets the damaged robot out within the first 8 steps. Here are the possibilities. The first is the solution:
Q C D AJ Z L TM A M U Q FS NX U Y Q
Q C D AJ FS Z Q M U TM Q L Y U A NX
C D AJ Z FS Q M U TM Q L Y Q A NX U
C D AJ Z FS Q M U TM Q L Y Q A U NX
C D AJ Z FS Q M U TM Q L Q Y U A NX
C D AJ Z FS Q M U TM Q L Q A NX U Y
C D AJ Z FS Q Q M U TM Q L Y U A NX
C D AJ FS Z Q Q M U TM Q L Y U A NX
Forwarding each letter or letters alphabetically by the number indicated by the plus (+) sign arrives at the solution: REGENERATIVE BREAKING
(Q+1=R; C+2=E; D+3=G; AJ+4=EN; etc…)
Once at this location, the spot where the photo was taken is between the First Republic Bank flagpoles and some concrete tables covered in historic photos of the Mechanics Plaza. On the one closest to where the photo was taken there is a photo of the monument where in the background there is a painted advertisement for H. M. Heineman Sons Manufacturers MAGIK TIE with the tag line – You Can’t Wrinkle It.
9. Puzzle Answer: Blockbuster
Hunt Answer: Vital
Starting location: 3rd and Folsom Streets
After untwisting the circles, the correct words are:
QUIRK; GUSTY; BROTH; SLIDE; CHOIR; BRACE
The letters in the colored regions spell out: BLOCK BUSTER
On the Northwest corner of this intersection there is a marker to San Francisco’s Hellenic Heritage. The word that comes before Economic is Vital.
10. Puzzle Answer: Stray Chatter
Hunt Answer: Echo
Starting location: The alleyway behind Town Hall on Howard Street
Here is a correct solution to the brain puzzle:
Starting in any node and writing down every 5th letter gave the looped answer. If you happened to start in the optimal position you would get STRAY CHATTER, STRAY CHATTER, STRAY CHATTER. Starting anywhere else would have resulted in an offset answer, but you would eventually arrive at STRAY CHATTER.
In the alleyway alongside Town Hall off of Fremont there is a poem etched into the granite walk. (This used to be on a granite wall before the building next door went up.) A reading of the poem reveals that an echo wandered through here.
11. Puzzle Answer: Supporting Cast
Hunt Answer: Eve
Starting location: 540 Howard
Once all of the bones are in place, the letters transferred into their respective colored boxes at the bottom spell out SPPRTNGCST. Adding the needed vowels gives the answer SUPPORTING CAST.
Walking from 540 Howard where there is some appropriate art for this hunt, you will soon pass under the transbay terminal overpass where the photo of Salesforce Tower was taken. At this spot on the south side of the street is the name Eve in brass embedded in the entryway of Katie O’Brien’s pub.
12. Puzzle Answer: Needlepoints
Hunt Answer: Painted
Starting location: The Butterfly Garden in Yerba Buena Gardens
Once the tic tac toe logic puzzle is worked out, and the second of the paired Xs are punched out the resulting punch card can be laid over the top of the rhyming puzzle. The letters that show through the holes spell out NEEDLEPOINTS.
The photo of St Patrick’s Cathedral was taken from Yerba Buena Gardens right across the street from the starting location. There are four tiles decorated with images of native butterflies. One of the tiles has a West Coast Lady and also a Painted Lady.