So I wanted to do something a little different this Valentine’s Day. I’ve been wanting to do a puzzle adventure with Ravenchase Adventures for quite some time. Scheduling being what it is, we’ve missed several opportunities. However, I realized that they were holding a Valentine’s theme event in Philadelphia on Saturday, and I decided that we needed to make room in our schedule to sign up.
So I surprised Jean with the tickets. Well, not really surprised, since part of the scheduling included getting a baby sitter and coordinating not going to other events that weekend, so I kinda had to spoil the surprise a little earlier than yesterday.
Ravenchase has a variety of kinds of adventures, and this is going to be an outside walking one. The weather today is incredible, and I wish it would be 50 degrees tomorrow. More likely, it’s going to be mid 30s. So we’ll just make sure to bundle up.
We got our first clue last night! The way they start their adventures is that they send you the first clue to decipher, and it contains the location where you are supposed to meet.
I’m happy to report that we successfully decoded the clues (in about 25 minutes) and know where we are supposed to start.
The Polybius one was actually the hardest because we didn’t follow the clue exactly, and wound up filling the grid incorrectly. Once we reread it a few times, we were on our way.
It’s funny, because when we solved the Caesar one, which should have been the easiest as a simple ROT cipher, the first word didn’t make any sense. Luckily we chose to decrypt the entire thing because it was so short and realized that the rest of the plaintext *did* make sense. In the end, we determined that the problem in the beginning was really a error in the encrypting, and when I contacted the coordinators they confirmed that for us. (it was one letter wrong, but it was an abbreviation, so it wasn’t obvious)
It’s a shame that the opening puzzle had an error in it, but I’m confident that the rest of the puzzles will work as expected. I just want to make sure I’m not second guessing our answers on Saturday thinking there is an error with the puzzle.
If you want to learn more about cryptography, there is a very good set of articles on Topics in Cryptography on Wikipedia.
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the game tomorrow. Our team, Team Celtic Lovers, has done our mental calisthenics and we’re ready to rock and roll!