Article from magazine The Sketch July 23, 1924. Hat tip to Bruce Lin for finding this after I'd given up.

Society Treasure Hunts: The Trail and the Chase.

by Olivia Wyndham

Every attempt to keep the last Treasure Hunt of the season out of the papers failed completely. The idea of avoiding publicity was a losing fight from the start; but now that it is all over honour is satisfied, and I can add my say in the matter.

I have long wanted to argue with the gentleman who wrote to the paper saying, "Does not the Society of Bright Young People realise that the whole of life is a treasure hunt, etc." or words to that effect. In fact, I am afraid he was trying to infer that we were wasting our time, energy, and brains, and were not good citizens.

To begin with, who dared to say that we called ourselves "The Society of Bright Young People"? Naturally, we like to think that we are of average intelligence, but we also fondly hope that we have an average sense of humour. As one of the original Treasure Hunters, I can vouch that not one of us is capable of coining such a ridiculous phrase.

The Educational Value of the Game.

As to the question of whether it is a waste of time and energy, that is rather a subtle point. It does seem a pity that such "gay young sparks" should not be pressed into the service of the State; but as the State, in most cases, seems so disinclined to make use of them, they might as well sharpen their wits while amusing themselves. Neither brains nor energy can by put in cold storage, and only produced on an occasion that is considered really worthy, quite apart from the fact that it is an extremely pompous outlook on life to pretend that an exquisite game is an unworthy occupation.

The more I think of it, the more I see in its favour from the "useful citizen" point of view. It is so educational. Not, perhaps, educational in a way that will help you in business; but that is also said of the Public Schools, and they are an honourable institution!

If it had not been for Treasure Hunting, I should never have known that after 2 a.m. the sentries outside Buckingham Palace are allowed to wear caps. Not exactly boudoir caps, but something considerably more comfortable than a bearskin. Neither should I have met Walter Oxley, the lion of the pavement artists' world, who does all the pictures that are exhibited on boards, and lets them out in turn. That marking-ink on tape will bake nicely in a cake, whereas pen, pencil, or paint would run, is an obscure piece of cookery knowledge that only a Treasure Hunt could have revealed to the ordinary person. Also the intelligence and sweetness of every type of Londoner is a delight to have discovered. They do not despise a game, and welcome you with open arms as soon as they realise that you are not trying to sell them something, or advertise them in any way. Some do not even need an explanation. A certain cobbler in a mews approached on the matter, and his only comment as soon as he heard the words "Treasure Hunt" was "Oh, yes; what a good place for a clue!"

A Typical Trail.

I do not know which is the greater fun—laying a trail or following one. When laying one, it is very hard to judge how difficult or easy your clues are going to appear to others, who do not know your process of thought. All codes must be such as can be deciphered with a little thought and common-sense by anyone, and when inventing them you must mentally see the line of thought by which Treasure Hunters must travel to be able to decipher them.

For instance, in the following code you will see twenty-five squares, and mention of a twenty-sixth. As ciphers are generally based on numbers or letters, the mention of twenty-six indicates the alphabet. Having got that, the next step is to fill up the squares with the alphabet, omitting the "z," the twenty-sixth. The letters below must be the key, the capital letter corresponding with the capital letter on the left of the diagram, and the small letter with the small letter on top. You draw a line along from the capital letter, and downwards from the small letter, and where the lines cross, you get one of the letters necessary for spelling the word you want. The numbers below are the numbers of the house and floor.

l i n e s

Note: The 26th is unnecessary.

"In, Ls, En, Es, Il, Ns, En,

 Le, Ee, Es, En, Ls, Ls, Es.

 In front of which put 9(II)

 If the Master is not at home, he
 will tell you where to go."

A Clue by Detectophone.

By this means you get the address where you will find the next clue, and a slight hint as to its nature. The couples were shown into a room singly and in order of their arrival, and there they had to look about and see what they could find. Hidden in the room was a detectophone, with one of the trail layers in a room some way off, monotonously reciting ninety times without a pause, so that all the hunters had a chance of hearing it: "I notice that you are patrons of art; do not neglect the less academic school at Palmers Street." At Palmers Street they found a picture on the pavement of St. George and the dragon, the rod of Æsculapius, and the portrait of a well-known figure near St. George's Hospital. There they were given the following clue.

Reference A.B.C.
Page 37. Leave London at 9.
Page 452. Leave London at 9.10.
At the confluence in London of these two
destinations, bite a little happy bun.

Having found and bitten a "happy bun," their next destination was discovered written on a piece of tape cookied inside it. Here they found the last clue but one.

The dictionary definition of a number of words has been given. Take the first letter.
1. The term used to denote the 16 ancient Greek or Ionic characters as they were first brought from Phœnicia.
2. Chanting choirs of cathedrals. [editor's note: sic in magazine; this should read "Chant in choirs…" as noted in 2024 by CherimoyaZest]
3. Two united, growing in pairs or twins.
4. In astronomy rising or eastern.
5. The scale of musical notes.
6. A cabalistic word formerly used as a charm.
7. A register of deaths.
8. Literary theft.
9. The fifth sign of the Zodiac.
10. Contrast opposition of opinions.
11. Swelling on the exterior surface of a spherical form.
12. To root out, to destroy totally.

“A L”

This spells Cadogan Place, at the garden gate of which they were handed the last clue—

I stand among ye summer flowers
And tell ye passing of ye hours
When winter steals ye flowers away
I tell ye passing of ye day—
indicating the sundial, where the treasure was hidden.

This is representative of all afternoon Treasure Hunts. The night ones have simpler clues, but cover longer distances, and are really more fun.