Puzzlehunts: DASH LAX 2013

In 2013, I traveled to Los Angeles for DASH, the multi-city puzzlehunt. I'd used this as an excuse to travel to NYC and STL in past years. Once again, this was also an excuse to visit an interesting place. I spent a few days before and after just being a tourist. I was now a tourist with a secret agenda, however. I was seeking puzzly locations for the not-yet-opened Order of the Octothorpe online puzzlehunt.

General Tourism

Thus, my notes from this time are somewhat sketchy and not that interesting. There's a theme of "Visited interesting-in-general place X. Saw the interesting part in half an hour. Spent the next hour-and-a-half snapping photos of one part that wasn't so interesting but seemed like someone could turn it into a puzzle."

I got there by Megabus, which was fine. It took a little longer than flying. (I hoped it might take less time, since I wouldn't need to allow time for TSA security theater and airport-civilization transport time; but the bus ride was probably still an hour longer.)

I stayed at the Bevonshire Lodge, a fine establishment across the street from Pan Pacific Park, where DASH started. I ate most meals in the Third and Fairfax Farmer's Market, a nearby food court. (DASH ended around here, and thus from my fellow GC folks I heard about the best food stall therein: Banana Leaf Singapore Malaysian.) Once I had breakfast in Du-Par's, the 24-hour diner next to the Market area; one quick trip to the bathroom later, I made a note to never go back. One of the DASH puzzle sites was at Du-Par's; I let someone else monitor that site. (Just as well, since that site monitor got asked to leave.)

I visited CalTech, [redacted], UCLA, and [redacted]. Myles Nye had donated a location-based puzzle to the Octothorpean game based on some observations he'd made in the [redacted] neighborhood a few years before. I went there to see which of those observations still held true; the answer: about half. Cities change.

I went to LACMA just to see art, not for puzzles. Thus, I got to see "Levitated Mass," LACMA's new big rock. I got to walk under it, something like entering the LA MTA Red Line's Vermont/Beverly station. I guess Levitated Mass' rock is bigger than the Vermont/Beverly rock, but both rocks were big enough such that my sense of scale couldn't take them in. Fortunately, the rest of LACMA was more fun.


DASH LA 2013 was a lot of fun!

I got to hang out with GC Corrine(sp? Corin? I dunno.) at one puzzle site. She's Jonathan McCue's cousin, and was figuring out what to do about school and getting started with life-after-school and all that. She'd lived in Santa Rosa for a while, going to college there, thus giving more of a hint as to Smoking GNU connections.

I talked with Dan Webster at another site. He's a computer programmer, over at LiveNation. LiveNation used to be a web company that could interface with TicketMaster. And since everybody wants to buy their tickets via the web, LiveNation eventually grew and acquired TicketMaster. But TicketMaster has been around a long time. Back in the 90s, it made sense to use a PDP-11 machine for computer-y stuff; nowadays, PDP-11 programmers aren't so thick on the ground. So the new company finds itself working in a sort of timeline of technologies, convincing new-style systems and old-school systems to talk to each other.

After these visits, I site-monitored Clue 6 (the cubical crossword) for a while in a parking garage at The Grove, a fancy shopping mall. A security guard noticed us, and after some polite back-and-forth, asked me to leave. (Dan, negotiating with the garage concierge (yes, garage concierge), found out that "scavenger hunt" was not a good phrase to use when explaining puzzlehunts at The Grove parking garage. Once the concierge heard that, we were definitely on our way out.)

But site-monitoring outside the garage was nice and shady.

Some of GC getting ready: Corrine(sp?), View of the amphitheater before the game View of the amphitheater before the game On the left: Jasters hanging with team T View of the amphitheater before the game Brave GC member Corrine(sp?) watching ov The Gipper solving puzzle 3 at the Pan P Team SASS (I think) solving puzzle 3 at Team Transfinite Jest solving the cubica LA GC Head Dan Webster takes a call I forget which team this is, but they mu Outside the garage, teams continue solvi Jose Fel and Co solving the cubical cros Transfinite Gesture solving the cubical I don't remember who this team is, eithe Team Kangsta Krew solving the cubical cr The game ended at the community room ups LA GC Dan Webster got sunburned until hi Estimating from this sample of GC after


I visited the Hotel Bonaventure. It's a site in the not-so-great puzzlehunt movie "Midnight Madness." I hadn't planned to visit it—in the movie, it just seems like some generic hotel. But going from point A to point B, I realized I was standing right next to it, and poked my head in. It's actually pretty architecturally interesting on the inside. I bet the movie folks wanted to include more interesting curving-elevated-passage vistas but couldn't bring it off for whatever reason. So I was glad I poked my head in, to see what I'd missed in the movie.

In Midnight Madness, this seems to be th But that's only because there weren't ma


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