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June 1, 2012

11:03
A.M.

2012 Post Hunt: Are you ready?

Total Responses: 79

About the hosts

About the host

Dave Barry

Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.

Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as the basis for the CBS TV sitcom "Dave's World," in which Harry Anderson played a much taller version of Dave.

Gene Weingarten

Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2008 and 2010.

Tom Shroder

Tom Shroder has been an award-winning journalist for more than 30 years. As editor of The Washington Post Magazine, he edited multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning features. He's also edited humor columns by Dave Barry, Gene Weingarten and Tony Kornheiser, as well as conceived and launched the internationally syndicated comic strip, Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson.

About the topic

Our crazy day of brainteasers returns for its fifth year! Get ready to join us Sunday, June 3 in downtown Washington for the 2012 Post Hunt. Before the action started, Hunt creators Gene Weingarten, Tom Shroder and Dave Barry took reader questions and comments about the madness in store.

New to the game? The Hunt transforms downtown D.C. into a gigantic game board for a race to solve puzzles. It is a vision to behold: Thousands of people swarming the streets, faces scrunched in concentration, staring at maps, as they try to figure out where the Porta-Potties are. Here's an introduction, and you can also check out videos from past puzzles.
Q.

Gene Weingarten :

Good morning!   This is Gene.  

Tom and Dave and I have been engaged in a ferocious ontological debate over whether a certain element of this Hunt is the single most devious and diabolical Endgame thing we have ever done in the storied quarter-century of Hunts.    We think so, but aren't sure because -- this is completely true -- none of us could remember the details of any past endgames  with any degree of accuracy.   Tom, who, at 58 is the youngest of us, seemed to recall "something involving where we made believe ... oh no, never mind.  That was something else."   This was the closest any of us came to a solid memory.

In short, you are all in good hands.  

We'll start with questions now, but first one clarification.  The Hunt's main stage, where it all begins and ends, is in Franklin Square Park, which is formed by the borders of 13th and 14th St NW, and I and K Streets.   It is properly located on the Hunt Map, but the description is imprecise in some places in the printed magazine.      

Dave, who is traveling, sneaked in this morning and answered a bunch of early questions.  He may or may not be able to re-join us live.  

Okay.  So.  Let's do it. 

A.
Amanda McGrath :

Oh, and some things you might need:

How to play

Upload your photos here!

This year's Hunt illustrations are awesome (plus, check out all 5 Post Hunt magazine covers)

Also, there is track work on Metro this weekend, be advised.

Full Post Hunt Coverage

... OK, now we can start.

– June 01, 2012 11:01 AM
Q.

Tinker, Tater, Hunter, Spy

During your past 53 years of constructing Hunt puzzles, have you spent more time tinkering with them to make them easier, or tinkering with them to make them more difficult? Or has this changed over the years?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Every year we try to avoid the near-disaster of the previous year.   So we go in cycles.   Sometimes, they are too easy.   Sometimes, too hard.     We try to vary our incompetence, for your hunting pleasure. 

– June 01, 2012 11:02 AM
Q.

Winner Winner

Based on past Hunts, what do you think the Post Hunt 2012 winning team will look like? Go ahead and predict -- how many men, how many women? Government employees, students, or flabby old guys?
A.
Dave Barry :

One will be a curvaceous woman dressed in black; one will be wearing an American-flag-themed costume; one will be wearing a flying suit made of... No, wait, that's the Avengers.

– June 01, 2012 11:02 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

There will be at least one Jew on the winning team.  There always is.   Be sure to get yourself a Jew by Hunt day. 

– June 01, 2012 11:02 AM
Q.

Shenanigans

One of my favorite past times is "photobombing" tourists' photos here in DC. Can each of you post a picture of you photobombing the other 2 with a new and interesting face that I can copy Sunday? My dream is to be able to make a comment like this at some point during the day "I went for a full Weingarten but had to settle for a Barry because the photographer was getting suspicious."
A.
Amanda McGrath :

Any Post Hunt photobombing should be immediately uploaded here.

– June 01, 2012 11:03 AM
Q.

Pubic Service Announcement

You should probably warn people that Metro trains run VERY slowly on the weekends, due to construction and repair. If you're taking a train to Franklin Square Park on Sunday, ALLOW EXTRA TIME. (Two or three hours should do it.)
A.
Amanda McGrath :

Yes, there is track work this weekend. Details here

– June 01, 2012 11:05 AM
A.
Dave Barry :

A couple of years ago, two guys transported a live six-foot nurse shark on the downtown Miami People Mover. So don't go feeling sorry for yourselves about the construction.

– June 01, 2012 11:05 AM
Q.

202 or Something?

So, D.C. still has the same area code, right? And they're still not a state?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

This really has nothing to do with The Hunt, but I am weirded out by modernity, dagnabbit, specifically how an area code no longer gives you any clue where a person is from.  My daughter, who lives in Washington D.C. and works in Gaithersburg, has an Ithaca, N.Y. phone number. 

Also, people who ride their bicycles on the sidewalk should be hornswoggled. 

Okay, I just looked up hornswoggled and discovered, to my astonishment, that it doesn't mean beat up or whipped.  It means hoaxed.   I have been misusing this word my whole life. 

But the Hunt will be great!   It's in good hands.

– June 01, 2012 11:05 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

What was your question? Oh right, two, oh two.

– June 01, 2012 11:05 AM
Q.

Does anyone over 40 stand a chance this year?

OK, just how much walking -- and, more importantly, running -- will be necessary to win this year's hunt?
A.
Dave Barry :

The Hunt is not strenuous! You'll be perfectly fine as long as you're in reasonable physical condition and have completed a marathon in the past two weeks.

– June 01, 2012 11:05 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Well, there IS some walking, but nothing that Gene won't be able to do, and his knees are made of pudding.

– June 01, 2012 11:05 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

At one point we will make you do squat-thrusts, though. 

– June 01, 2012 11:05 AM
Q.

Packing list

Running shoes Notepad Scissors Pens Smartphone Pickled red herring Anything else?
A.
Dave Barry :

Commas.

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

I don't want to give anything away, but it MIGHT be helpful if one of your team members has memorized pi to the 847th digit.

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Jews.   

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
Q.

Wasted brain cells at the Post Hunt

Are there going to be any puzzles that involve flying sheep? I got a refundable ticket to DC just in case there are. -- Jimmy, Tucson, AZ
A.
Dave Barry :

If you think it's easy to attach propellers to those things, then you do not know much about aerodynamics.

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

The puzzle doesn't actually involve the flying sheep. It is built around what drops FROM the flying sheep.

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

For most of my adult life, I thought a "veal" was a baby sheep.  

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
Q.

Twitter

Dave, how come you don't tweet more? And Gene, how did you score a "fake" twitter feed before Dave (other than the fact that, you know, you asked for it) (literally)?
A.
Amanda McGrath :

And why are you not following Post Hunt?! @PostHunt

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

As you point out, I asked for it.  

– June 01, 2012 11:06 AM
Q.

post hunt theme

Is there a theme, or motif, we will see in this year's hunt? Like that year it was all about presidents? (maybe this year it could be birth certificates and unicorns...)
A.
Dave Barry :

Yes. The official hunt theme this year is: "Ketchup -- You Do NOT Need to Refrigerate It."

– June 01, 2012 11:07 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Themes? We don't need no stinkin' themes!

– June 01, 2012 11:07 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Actually, every year the theme is the same:  Tom Was Wrong About Everything And Had to Be Overruled. 

– June 01, 2012 11:07 AM
Q.

No Whey!

The National Dairy Council is one of your sponsors, but unfortunately I am lactose intolerant. Does this mean that the Post Hunt will make me gassy and flatulent?
A.
Dave Barry :

It definitely has that effect on Weingarten.

– June 01, 2012 11:07 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Now that I think of it, the Hunt theme for this year is "gassy and flatulent."

– June 01, 2012 11:07 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

"Gassy and flatulent" is redundant.  It's like saying "concupiscent and horny." 

– June 01, 2012 11:07 AM
Q.

Gouda Nuff

Is it true that you begged the National Dairy Council to be a Post Hunt 2012 sponsor, just so you could go around saying, "What a friend we have in cheeses"?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Thank you. 

I should point out that brie, like catsup, should be served room temperature.   

– June 01, 2012 11:08 AM
Q.

World Records

We already know that the Washington Post hunt is the sneakiest, cruellist, filthiest puzzle event in the U.S. But is it the biggest?
A.
Dave Barry :

No. That would be U.S. tax code.

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
Q.

Homemaking Hunter

My 6-year-old son just LOVES to put ketchup on everything -- hot dogs, french fries, breast milk, you name it! So I usually buy Ketchup in a Drum at our local Costco. My question is, can I freeze the leftover ketchup?
A.
Dave Barry :

Don't make me track you down and kill you.

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

I recently discovered that originally, in China, catsup was made with fish.    

It's "catsup," by the way, as I believe we established last year in this space. 

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

The thing I jus LOVE about the catsup/breast milk combination is that lovely pink coloration.

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

It's like a combination of female exudate! 

I probably shouldn't say that.  I take this one back.  Hunt producer, let's make sure to kill this answer. 

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

I'm sure we're all grateful to Gene for sharing that thought with us!

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
Q.

Ewwww

Have any Post Hunt puzzle ideas ever been nixed for being too disgusting?
A.
Dave Barry :

We had one where there were going to be two giant dead insects, and the answer was going to be John and George. Maybe we'll still use that. So please forget this when you're done reading it.

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

There will actually BE one puzzle this year that we had to fight to keep from getting nixed as "too disgusting." See if you can guess which one it is!

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

And see if you can guess whose idea it was!  

– June 01, 2012 11:09 AM
Q.

Puzzles

The Post Hunt puzzles are always so intricate. Are they constructed in an atmosphere of helpful, supportive, synergistic teamwork?
A.
Dave Barry :

It's more of an atmosphere of Weingarten-emitted flatulence.

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

The truth is that once, more than a quarter century ago, Dave  seriously proposed that we try to conduct our brain-storming sessions in an all-positive-feedback mode. What a moron!

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Tom is always wrong.  I cannot emphasize that enough. 

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
Q.

Department of Commerce

Usually there are vendors at the Post Hunt, selling products or handing out promo materials. Will anyone this year be offering those cute "Adolf" stuffed bunnies from the comic strip "Barney & Clyde"? Because I sure would like one.
A.
Dave Barry :

I don't have an answer to that, so I will take this opportunity to reiterate the fact that there is no need to refrigerate ketchup.

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

No Adolf, unfortunately, but I believe Ms. Fox will be offered in blow-up companion doll format.

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

As usual, Tom has spelled something wrong.   It is Ms. Foxx.   But we will NOT be offering her as a blowup doll.   The idea is preposterous.   The blowup doll will be Lucretia. 

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
Q.

Hey

Are you going to finish those fries?
A.
Dave Barry :

Yes, but first I am going to apply ketchup to them, if I can find some that has not been refrigerated by some idiot.

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
Q.

E=MC Franklin Squared

How well do you think Albert Einstein would've done in a Post Hunt?
A.
Dave Barry :

He came in fourth last year.

– June 01, 2012 11:10 AM
Q.

Etiquette Question

Would Miss Manners advise that it is proper to present a lavish tip to each of the Post Hunt founders?
A.
Dave Barry :

Duh.

– June 01, 2012 11:11 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Yes, of course, BUT IT WILL NOT HELP YOUR CHANCES.

– June 01, 2012 11:11 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Tom is lying.  Tips beget tips, if you know what I mean.    This reminds me of the one time I was actually offered a bribe.  I went into an antique story in Albany and when they learned I was a reporter the woman told me that the store was in dire financial straits and if I wrote about the store I could keep the antique gold watch I was looking at.    She was pleading. 

Now you are probably wondering what I did.  

You want me to say that I didn't take the watch but I figured out a way to write about the store anyway.  

Yeah, I want me to say that, too.   But I was 23 and callow and freaked at being offered a bribe, and I put the watch down, walked out and didn't write about the store.  It closed not long after.   I just remembered this for the first time in almost 40 years and it is making me sad.  Thanks a LOT. 

 

– June 01, 2012 11:11 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

I'm sure we are all grateful to Gene for sharing that memory!

– June 01, 2012 11:11 AM
Q.

Are any of the Hunt puzzles going to poke fun at the Occupiers?

Since they took over Freedom Plaza, shouldn't Hunters mount a counterattack to take it back?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

True fact:  We are grateful to the occupiers.   Because they're all over Freedom Plaza we were forced to find another venue, and that led to some happy things.   

– June 01, 2012 11:13 AM
Q.

Team of one?

Is a team of one allowed?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Yes.   It will lose.    Einstein was a team of one, and only finished fourth. 

– June 01, 2012 11:13 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

As the great sages hath said, One is the loneliest number.

– June 01, 2012 11:20 AM
Q.

Sad

Please pardon my interrupting the Hunt theme, but my condolences to Dave Barry on the death of his sister-in-law, Kathi Kamen Goldmark -- the best friend of countless aspiring novelists and a compassionate source of support. I enjoyed her novel, as well as the writers' blog that she wrote with Sam, and will always admire her for founding the Rock Bottom Remainders band. She really made the world better, and seemed to have an exuberant, rollicking good time while doing so.
A.
Dave Barry :

Thanks. Kathi was an amazing person.

– June 01, 2012 11:14 AM
Q.

All About the Benjamins

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, what would he think of the Post Hunt?
A.
Dave Barry :

He'd think, "Whoa, I'm too old for this, being as how I am like 300."

– June 01, 2012 11:14 AM
Q.

Are there any South Florida references that DCers won't get?

Not that we need the help, of course. Since y'all have used DC references before, you should throw the locals a curve ball and make a reference that only Miami folks would understand.
A.
Gene Weingarten :

In one of the puzzles, you have to eat someone's face. 

– June 01, 2012 11:15 AM
A.
Dave Barry :

Yo no soy marinero.

– June 01, 2012 11:15 AM
Q.

Sore Feet

There is usually A LOT of walking in the Post Hunt. This year, the Hunt is located near the Capital Segway company on Eye Street. Could we rent Segways on Sunday and ride them around, like dorks?
A.
Dave Barry :

Unfortunately, Segways are not permitted in the Oval Office, which is where you will have to go for the final... Wait, I shouldn't be giving this away. Never mind.

– June 01, 2012 11:15 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Hunt Rules, Vol. I, Page 357, Paragraph 12, Section 8, Subsection 19: You do not need to go into ANY buildings to solve Hunt puzzles. Just saying.

– June 01, 2012 11:15 AM
Q.

Weather

The weather will (fortunately) be good for Sunday's Post Hunt. But sometimes it's really hot and humid. Do you think the Florida contestants have an advantage when it's hot because they're used to it?
A.
Dave Barry :

Perhaps. but that is balanced out by the fact that downtown Washington makes them nervous, as it is relatively free of gunfire and cannibalism.

– June 01, 2012 11:15 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Wait. Did you actually SAY OUT LOUD (in writing) that the weather would be good Sunday? ARE YOU INSANE?

– June 01, 2012 11:15 AM
Q.

Celebrities

Will any semi-famous Washington Post employees work at the Hunt again this year, such as the lovely and talented Hank Stuever?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Not Hank this year, but we have a repeat foursome of Caitlin Gibson, Rachel Manteuffel, Dan Zak and Tim Jucovy.     Their puzzle is completely bizarre.   

– June 01, 2012 11:16 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Maybe if Hunters repeatedly chant, "We Want Hank" he will agree to come back next year.

– June 01, 2012 11:16 AM
Q.

Sunday Morning

What's the best breakfast to have before heading out to the Post Hunt? Granola and yogurt; sausage and hash browns; or pancakes with syrup and sprinkles?
A.
Dave Barry :

A nice room-temperature bowl of ketchup.

– June 01, 2012 11:16 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

If you are having a bagel, and use either peanut butter or mayonnaise on it, you will be disqualified.  

– June 01, 2012 11:16 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

A big bowl of humility.

– June 01, 2012 11:16 AM
Q.

Ughhhh

I just want sympathy. I'm missing the Hunt this year and I'm SO SAD ABOUT IT. I've missed it once before and my friends tried calling me to get help with a clue and I was totally useless because I was trying to figure out what the significance of giant, fake statues was for the Hunt. Anyway I'm just all kinds of bummed out about it and to make it worse, I'm sure the weather will be terrible in D.C. on the day of the Hunt and I'll be stuck in beautiful, sunny, Southern California. Gross.
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Even worse, we are all going to be talking about you behind your back. 

– June 01, 2012 11:16 AM
A.
Dave Barry :

Is this Angelina Jolie?

– June 01, 2012 11:16 AM
Q.

Preparation

How many beers were harmed in the making of Post Hunt 2012?
A.
Dave Barry :

Those were consenting beers.

– June 01, 2012 11:17 AM
Q.

how many people at post hunt?

How many people are expected this year? Based on current trends, my estimate is about 40 million...
A.
Dave Barry :

I'm guessing you work for the federal government.

– June 01, 2012 11:17 AM
Q.

Restaurants

Will any restaurants in the area be open on Sunday? Because our group tends to get powerful hungry after walking around a lot. Sincerely, the Donner Party
A.
Dave Barry :

There will be an all-of-you-you-can-eat buffet.

– June 01, 2012 11:17 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

This is one of those rare occassions when I feel I should give an answer that imparts some actual information.

– June 01, 2012 11:17 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Tom misspelled occasions. 

I'd like to remind you, seriously, that this is one of the greatest editors in America.   He has stunning problems with double consonants.   The rule I have urged him to follow is that when in doubt, decide which is right and then do the other.  

– June 01, 2012 11:17 AM
Q.

Tom's voice

Please let Tom do the talking. He's got a seriously sexy voice. I don't care if he says libarian or inneresting or whatever. Just let the man talk. Please. Oh puh-leeze. Oh, and maybe also please could he wear a tight-fitting shirt?
A.
Dave Barry :

Whatever you say, Madame Secretary of State.

– June 01, 2012 11:18 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Just for you, I won't wear my bald wig.

– June 01, 2012 11:18 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

He says "vunerable."  He denies this -- he has denied it repeatedly -- but he is lying and I will prove it.   When I have it on tape it is going on the Internet.   

– June 01, 2012 11:18 AM
Q.

2012 Post Hunt

When did you start working on this year's Post Hunt?
A.
Dave Barry :

July 3, 1947.

– June 01, 2012 11:18 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

What Dave means is: "Sometime after lunch today."

– June 01, 2012 11:18 AM
Q.

Can't we all get along?

In the spirit of bi partisanship& togetherness, can we all agree NEVER to have a gut wearing a Dodgers uniform holding a pink umbrella in all future Post Hunts?
A.
Amanda McGrath :
– June 01, 2012 11:19 AM
Q.

Car Talk

After the Post Hunt, where do we go to get our parking validated?
A.
Tom Shroder :

I believe they'll do that for you at the city impound lot.

– June 01, 2012 11:20 AM
Q.

Just one question:

What the hell's the matter with you people?
A.
Tom Shroder :

We were over-indulged as children. Also as adolescents, young adults, "mature" adults and geezers.

– June 01, 2012 11:21 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

The previous answer entailed no decision on double consonants, and thus was spelled impeccably. 

– June 01, 2012 11:21 AM
Q.

Location

Any good reason why we're not at Freedom Plaza this year, or did you get bored of the same location after 3+ years?
A.
Amanda McGrath :
– June 01, 2012 11:21 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

We are stimulated by new venues. You DON'T want to mess with us when we are stimulated.

– June 01, 2012 11:24 AM
Q.

Hunt History

Has anyone ever won the Post Hunt (or Herald Hunt) more than once?
A.
Tom Shroder :

Yes. One team won the Hunt, I believe, three times, and would have gone on to win more, if they hadn't been torn to shreds by an angry mob of thousands.

– June 01, 2012 11:21 AM
Q.

Kids

Are participants under the age of 18 allowed to participate? Or will they be reprimanded if they do? Would really love an answer to this question as it is unclear. Thanks!
A.
Dave Barry :

They're welcome to participate in everything but the Heroin Challenge.

– June 01, 2012 11:22 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

As we have been pointing out since the Truman Administration, sometimes kids will point out solutions their rocket-scientist parents completely miss because they are WAY too obvious.

– June 01, 2012 11:22 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

As we have pointed out at least since the Truman administration, kids often see things their rocket-scientist parents completely miss.

– June 01, 2012 11:22 AM
Q.

Preparation

What is the best way to prepare for the Post Hunt? One of my teammates says "Yoga, meditation, and gingko biloba." Another one solves math problems in her head while jogging 4 miles a day. What do you think?
A.
Tom Shroder :

Dave also uses that "solving math problems in his head" technique, but I don't think it's for doing well in the Hunt.

– June 01, 2012 11:22 AM
Q.

Final Puzzle and Running

While you don't have to hurry for the first 5 puzzles, the endgame has always been a frantic mess of running. I've been training and exercising just for the endgame state so I can beat everyone there, but on behalf of the other hunters any chance there will be less of a frenzied mob this year?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

We expect no Endgame mobs this year.   This is not an easy Hunt. 

– June 01, 2012 11:23 AM
Q.

WHOA

What you just said ... was that a clue? It WAS, wasn't it?
A.
Tom Shroder :

No, but what YOU just said is.

– June 01, 2012 11:24 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

By the way,  it is unnecessary to translate my column into German, so don't do it in advance.   

– June 01, 2012 11:24 AM
Q.

Post Hunt Teams

We had Dale Hunter on our team as Enforcer, but he bugged out on us. Do you think Stephen Strasburg's pitching skills might come in handy?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

He is unavailable, as he is a Clue.  

– June 01, 2012 11:24 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

I think Gene is thinking of the puzzle in which Hunters must stand dead still while Henry Rodriguez tries to knock an apple off their heads with a 99 mph fast ball.

– June 01, 2012 11:24 AM
Q.

Vocabulary Question

POST HUNT is to FUN as POOP is to [what]?
A.
Dave Barry :

 A FUNNY CAPITALIZED ANSWER.

– June 01, 2012 11:24 AM
Q.

Important!

Is the Post Hunt kosher? I need to know.
A.
Dave Barry :

Yes, except for the Bacon Challenge.

– June 01, 2012 11:25 AM
Q.

Techno Hunt

Do you think Siri could solve a Post Hunt?
A.
Dave Barry :

Little-known fact: Siri's voice is actually done by Snooki. Please put this on the Internet.

– June 01, 2012 11:25 AM
Q.

Cellphones

You said to bring a cellphone with texting capabilities, but I don't hold with them newfangled gadgets. Could I bring a typewriter and an ear trumpet instead?
A.
Dave Barry :

Is this Vice President Biden?

– June 01, 2012 11:25 AM
Q.

Feeling Dumb Already

Where does this year's Post Hunt rate on the scale of difficulty?
A.
Tom Shroder :

On the Mohs scale of hardness it ranks somewhere between topaz and corundum.

– June 01, 2012 11:26 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

The three Creators are actually in some disagreement on this.   I think it is particularly hard.  Tom expects a winner in a dozen minutes or so.   

– June 01, 2012 11:26 AM
Q.

After 28 years...

...my time has come to place in a Hunt. Right, guys? I mean, I do have a better chance this year, don't I? Given all my previous experience?
A.
Tom Shroder :

Not that this has anything to do with your question, but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

– June 01, 2012 11:26 AM
Q.

Early Post Hunt Hint?

So will any of the clues be hiding in Gene's moustache this year?
A.
Tom Shroder :

We have a signed contract with this years Hunt sponsors that prevents us from making any jokes involving Gene's mustache. There may also be some DC criminal code proscriptions.

– June 01, 2012 11:26 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Tom is jealous.   He has begged me for my mustache so he can glue it to his head. 

– June 01, 2012 11:26 AM
A.
Dave Barry :

Ew.

– June 01, 2012 11:26 AM
Q.

Was Dave influenced by Big Dan Ingram?

Dave, I've been a fan of yours for a long time, and read your blog every day. I'm a few months older than you, and also come from the New York area. (lawn-GUY-land) Was your sense of humor influenced by the whacky humor of Big Dan Ingram on WABC radio? Mine has been. (Although I never heard Big Dan say "booger".)
A.
Gene Weingarten :

I still remember "DAAA-aaan Ingram." 

Also the greatest jingle ever:

Who's everybody listen to when the day is through-oo?

Who is the DJ, the big fat Daddy Cool?

Baba Lou, baba lou a-yay

Baba Lou, baba lou a-yay

Baba Lou, baba lou a-yay

The Big Bob Lewis Show! 

(can anyone find this audio and send it in?)

 

– June 01, 2012 11:29 AM
Q.

Puzzles

The approach and they way you had to think about last year's puzzles was a shift from 2010's puzzle. How are the puzzles going to be different in approach other than the fact that they are litterally different puzzles?
A.
Tom Shroder :
– June 01, 2012 11:29 AM
Q.

Sneakiest Ever

One Post Hunt founder who shall remain nameless (WEINGARTEN) has boasted that the 2012 Hunt will be particularly sneaky, devious, sly, sadistic, underhanded, and perverse. He has hinted that it would make Machiavelli whimper, "No fair, you guys!" Is this true?
A.
Dave Barry :

Pretty much nothing Gene says is true. Anything Tom says is true, but probably mispronounced.

– June 01, 2012 11:30 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

As I believe we have mentioned, none of us actually remember any previous Hunts, or even this one, so it is unlikely that Gene can say with an accuracy whether this is or is not the sneakiest Hunt ever.

– June 01, 2012 11:30 AM
Q.

What, no Grid this year?!?

Did any of the three of you fight to get it back? Did you come up with any other new ideas for this year's Hunt?
A.
Dave Barry :

The grid was Gene's idea, and we don't want to talk about it.

– June 01, 2012 11:30 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

It was actually Tom's idea.  But I liked it.  

– June 01, 2012 11:30 AM
Q.

Italy roving college student

Our daughter has done the Post Hunt with us every year since you started but this year she is in Italy singing with her college choir. Any suggestions for how we can make her feel included? Answering this question might do the trick.
A.
Tom Shroder :

Sure. Send her money.

– June 01, 2012 11:30 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Sure. Send her money.

– June 01, 2012 11:30 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Sure. Send her money.

– June 01, 2012 11:30 AM
Q.

Qualifications

I've heard that to win the Post Hunt, you have to possess the brains of Stephen Hawking and the athletic stamina of Usain Bolt. Unfortunately, our team has the brains of Bristol Palin and the athletic stamina of Fat Elvis. Do we still have a chance?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

I would just like to point out that Usain Bolt, by virtue of being a sprinter, HAS no stamina.   He is all fast-twitch.  You or I could probably beat him in the mile. 

– June 01, 2012 11:31 AM
Q.

CapitAl punishment

I heard that the Hunt has been outlawed in several states for being inhumane. What are your thoughts in this?
A.
Dave Barry :

Nothing in the Hunt is illegal, except perhaps the Incest Challenge.

– June 01, 2012 11:32 AM
Q.

Post Hunt Phone Clues

There seems to be some controversy (in a recent Post chat) over whether Tom Shroder has a sexy voice or a semi-literate one. You should end this argument by asking your friend David Von Drehle to record the Hunt phone clues. Anyone who can keep people interested in a C-SPAN speech called "1862 and the 37th U.S. Congress" obviously has the sexiest, most mellifluous voice in the universe.
A.
Tom Shroder :

Yes, DVD is our answer to John Hamm.

– June 01, 2012 11:33 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

When I was a kid, I thought "John Hamm" was a baby cow. 

– June 01, 2012 11:33 AM
Q.

What if he just swallowed the goldfish?

What the fudge does it mean if some dead President burned a goldfish? Is that a clue and I am then supposed to go some place in the DC area to find another clue, or is that a code for something? How does one interpret a lame clue into a location? How exactly does this hunt work?
A.
Dave Barry :

We have no earthly idea.

– June 01, 2012 11:33 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Amanda, can you link to the Hunt instructions, which I believe are already online?

– June 01, 2012 11:33 AM
Q.

DUDE

On Sunday, will any drugstores in the area be open? Not for drugs, I mean. For bottled water, snacks, etc.
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Yes, but we will also be giving out drugs ourselves.  

– June 01, 2012 11:33 AM
A.
Dave Barry :

Many drugstores sell ketchup. You will find it on the grocery shelves, not in the refrigerator.

– June 01, 2012 11:33 AM
Q.

Not prepared

No, I am not ready for The Hunt. What am I supposed to wear? I am supposed to wear clothes, right?
A.
Dave Barry :

Is this former Rep. Weiner?

– June 01, 2012 11:34 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Recently, Gene and I played a brief game of ping-pong, which left him wheezing and sweating. When I told him he needed to go to the gym, he said, "What should I wear?" Turns out he doesn't OWN a pair of shorts.

– June 01, 2012 11:34 AM
Q.

Greetings

This is Benjamin Franklin. You kids get off my lawn!
A.
Dave Barry :

Sure! Here, hold this kite string.

– June 01, 2012 11:34 AM
Q.

Post Hunt

Would this be a good bonding activity for a crotchety dad and his ill-tempered daughter?
A.
Dave Barry :

It will give you an opportunity to truly hate each other.

– June 01, 2012 11:35 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

The Hunt has always been a bondage-friendly event.

– June 01, 2012 11:35 AM
Q.

people who ride their bicycles on the sidewalk should be hornswoggled.

What should be done to people who ride their bicycles on the sidewalk while pulling a grocery shopping cart beside it? Because, random dude who did this, where was I supposed to walk my dogs? In the street with the cars?
A.
Gene Weingarten :

This is like asking what should be done to people who murder other people while jaywalking.     The first crime makes the second irrelevant.  

If you are an adult and you are habitually riding on the sidewalk, you need to be publicly humiliated.   I yell at them: "Get a tricycle" unless they are large muscular people.

– June 01, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

It's better if we match

My team wanted to create matching t-shirts for this year's Hunt, but we couldn't get it organized. Do we still stand a chance of winning?
A.
Dave Barry :

FACT: 82 percent of all winning Hunt teams wore matching underwear.

– June 01, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

Strategery

Do my chances of winning improve if I show up with a raging hangover?
A.
Dave Barry :

It works for us.

– June 01, 2012 11:38 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Einstein was high on crack when he finished fourth. 

– June 01, 2012 11:38 AM
Q.

Condimentality

I understand that you shouldn't keep ketchup in the refrigerator. But what about mustard?
A.
Dave Barry :

Please.

– June 01, 2012 11:39 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

As I understand it, mustard used to be made from fish.   

– June 01, 2012 11:39 AM
Q.

Evacuation

Will there be Porta-Potties this year? Or should we carry a plastic bottle?
A.
Dave Barry :

It doesn't have to be plastic.

– June 01, 2012 11:39 AM
Q.

Hey Tom!

Tom, Gene was kind enough to share with us the secret method to extracting clues from you during the Hunt: "It will be of enormous value to you -- hint, hint -- if during the Hunt you walk up to Tom and smear some saliva in his hair." (Gene Weingarten, May 02, 2012 12:25 PM)  My question is: does this work for all three of you, or do Gene and Dave require different bodily fluids to activate their willingness to share? I ask because we won't have much time, and it would be a real shame to waste it on trial-and-error experimentation.   -Team Stoopid

A.
Tom Shroder :

First you have to FIND my hair.

– June 01, 2012 11:40 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :
– June 01, 2012 11:40 AM
Q.

Presentation

Dave, Tom and Gene. Will you all have your hair professionally washed and styled before the Post Hunt on Sunday?
A.
Tom Shroder :

What hair?

– June 01, 2012 11:40 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Tom is VERY sensitive about having a head that looks like a thumb.   

– June 01, 2012 11:40 AM
Q.

Prizes

If our team wins, can we get some discount bordatella and leptospirosis vaccines for our dogs? I'll bet you know a good veterinarian who can help us out (hint hint).
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Molly is actual a critical-care specialist.  She don't give no stinkin' injections.   She works almost exclusively with animals with dramatic problems, like having been cut in half.  

– June 01, 2012 11:42 AM
Q.

Are bicycles allowed?

I left catsoup out on the counter and it started smelling really funky. Also, the neighbors are complaining about missing cats.
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Sometimes, if a cat is too far gone, Molly will make catsoup out of it.  

– June 01, 2012 11:42 AM
Q.

Dave is traveling right now?!

Dave, are you on my flight right now? Where are you seated?
A.
Dave Barry :

I am in fact on an airplane at this moment, attempting to travel by air from Orlando to Miami. Nobody has ever done this.

– June 01, 2012 11:43 AM
Q.

CWG says awesome weather on Sunday!

Can the Hunt cope?
A.
Dave Barry :

Clearly it's time for another earthquake.

– June 01, 2012 11:43 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

You know what would be cool?  A mud slide.   

– June 01, 2012 11:43 AM
Q.

Post Hunt Challenges

Journalists are not supposed to be any good at math. So why are the Post Hunt puzzle answers ALWAYS a number?
A.
Tom Shroder :

There's got to be a reason, but it doesn't add up, does it?

– June 01, 2012 11:45 AM
Q.

Influencing Tomorrow's Leaders

My 11 year old will routinely tell classmates "the answer is always a number". Even in PE.
A.
Tom Shroder :

Well, the answer IS always a number.

– June 01, 2012 11:45 AM
A.
Tom Shroder :

Well, the answer IS always a number.

– June 01, 2012 11:45 AM
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Well, the answer IS always a number.      I just thought I'd add that. 

– June 01, 2012 11:45 AM
Q.

Mustard used to be fish

As I understand it, we all used to be fish. Until we became zygotes.
A.
Gene Weingarten :

Okay, we seem to have gotten to the end of the sane questions.    I'm declaring us down.  

Thank you all, and we hope to see some 15,000 of you out there on Sunday! 

– June 01, 2012 11:46 AM
Q.

 

A.
Host: