Treasure League: The Magic Lamp | Wrap-Up

In June, we played our shortest round ever. In July, we endured our first spoiled round. And in August, with the prize money doubled, the Treasure League came through with another first: the longest round ever played, at 28 days. 

For most of the month, clues posed 3 possible directions to choose from. Only one path would take you to the hidden magic lamp. And since there are no wishes until the lamp is in hand, players were left to rely on puzzle solving, exploration, and teamwork to get things done.

In the long-awaited end, it was Team Library who discovered the lamp where it was hidden all month, in a small nook on the fourth landing down from the top of the McHugh Bluff stairs in Crescent Heights. For beating out the competition, they've won this month's $600 prize and as many wishes as they can rub out of that lamp. This is Team Library's second win this season, after they took home the templar dagger in April.

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The Clues

Here are the directional clues, with the correct choices in bold text:

1) 
17 Avenue Southwest & 4 Street Southwest

2)
1. Within 2 blocks, east or west, a business with an animal's name. OX BAR
2. Within 2 blocks north or south, a business with a colourful name.
3. Within a 1-block radius, a business with a man's name.

3)
1. Continuing in the same direction, the 1st park you pass on your right.
2. Continuing in the same direction, the 1st bridge or overpass you cross.
3. Continuing in the same direction, the 1st train tracks you cross.

4)
1. Go north until the next neighbourhood boundary.
2. Go south until the next neighbourhood boundary.
3. Go west until the next neighbourhood boundary.

5)
1. Within 2 blocks, go to the NW corner of a school.
2. Within 2 blocks, go to the front doors of a hotel.
3. Within 2 blocks, go to the  SW corner of a hospital.

6)
1. Within 4 blocks, an intersection with identical Street and Avenue numbers.
2. Within 4 blocks, a public park with the initials RP.
3. Within 4 blocks, public art with the initials TPC.

7)
1. Continuing in the same direction, reach water.
2. Move east or west to the nearest major road.
3. Cross the nearest bridge.

8)
1. Go east until the road turns south.
2. Go west until you reach the next bridge.
3. Go south until there is a golf course on your right.

10)
1. Go west until you reach a green space on your right.
2. Go west until you reach a bridge.
3. Continue until you can cross south, over water.

11)
1. Go south until the road ends.
2. Do nothing — stay exactly where you are.
3. Go north until you reach a provincial highway.

12)
1. Go east until there is a school on your right.
2. Search the nearest green space.
3. Go west until the road is parallel with a river.

13)
1. Within four blocks, find a piece of public art with the initials C.A.
2. Go north to the first avenue evenly divisible by 10.
3. Continue in the same direction to the first street evenly divisible by 10.

14)
1. Go three blocks east.
2. Go three blocks north, to a park.
3. Go three blocks west, to a place with the initials S.A.P.

16)
1. Go south one block to a church.
2. Go east to the first street evenly divisible by 6
3. Go north to the nearest green space.

17)
1. Go north to the nearest green space.
2. Continue east to D.T.
3. Go south one block to a church.

18)
1. Move two blocks west.
2. Move two blocks north.
3. Move two blocks south.

19)
1. Search the immediate area.
2. Continue north until you reach a park.
3. Go west until there's a green space on your right.

20)
1. Follow a path north to twin benches, then go west until you reach a playground.
2. Go east to the third intersection, then go south until you reach stairs.  
3. Go west until you enter a green space, then go east until you reach water.

23)
1. Go along, looking up.
2. Go down, looking under.
3. Go around, looking inside.


The Mathpocalypse

In between the directional clues above (you'll notice the missing numbers) were clues meant to affirm that you were on the right track.  Clue 9 had the genie announce:

You’ve made 7 choices numbered 1, 2, or 3. Add up the numbers you chose. If you get 13, it’s possible you’re on the right track. 

These two style of clues continued until Clue 22, when — since players following the correct route were already at the the stairs — we added a playful wrinkle. 

21)
“You’ve now made 17 choices numbered 1, 2, or 3. Add up the numbers you chose. If they total 31, the treasure is nearby.” 
22)
“You’ve now made 17 choices numbered 1, 2, or 3. Eight times, the correct choice was 1."

Clue 22 contains two discrete statements that are both true. There were 17 clues with three choices. Eight times, the correct choice had been 1 — but only if you include Clue #1, which wasn't accounted for in the "17 clues" or any clue count up until that point. It was intended to make players go "Wait, where did the extra 1 come from? Oh, Clue 1!" and carry on.

Instead, this wrinkle triggered a 48-hour mathpocalypse of teams writing in with lengthy reams of equations, some asserting that it was mathematically impossible to locate the treasure. Trying to invalidate the math actually replaced searching for the treasure for some teams.

Unfortunately, there were no corrections to offer, because the it was wordplay, not math, to blame. But, since the panic was so widespread, we did release a bonus clue that let people know they could ignore Clue 22 and get back to the task at hand. It was, after all, just meant to help validate that they were searching the right place.

While most of you are searching paths,
Some are idle, caged by maths! 

Make no mistake: there’s no mistake,
Although equations seem to break.

If wordplay got the best of you,
You can ignore Clue 22.

Anders

Calgary, AB, T2S 3E7, Canada

Propaganda machinist, part-time adventurer, and creator of fine amusements.