Foolish Roolz:

SNAP 2: Fools Rush In

Welcome, foolish fools! The time to rush in is close at hand. By now, you should know when this wonderful event is to take place, so now it's time to let you know the where, what, and how (the who and why should be obvious!).


...will it be?

SNAP 2: Fools Rush In will be held in and around the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The starting location is Evanston Plaza (view in bird's eye mode for best results), located (strangely enough) at the Southern end of Evanston Ave., right along the canal.

...can I park?

U-Park lots are available near the start location (street-side parking along Northlake is also controlled by U-Park), for various fees. The all-day rate is typically $10; you may be able to play some games by paying for a couple of hours before the thing rolls over to the evening rate, but YMMV. Carpooling is strongly encouraged!

Street-side parking is generally limited to 2 hours in the commercial zones. If you're willing to hike a bit, you can often find free parking zones further away (north in the residential zones, on the south side of the Fremont Bridge, in Idaho, etc.).

Warning! One of our beta teams found out the hard way that the prominent "Public Parking" lot immediately to the east of the start location closes at 4PM Saturday and doesn't reopen until Monday morning. If you decide to park in a gated lot, do so at your own peril!


...should I bring?

You will definitely need something to write on (pad of paper and/or clipboard) and something to write with (pen, pencil). If you want to bring other materials (crayons, transparencies, small animals, etc.), you may, but you're unlikely to need them.

Each team must also have at least one cell phone. Confirm your contact numbers when you check in at the start, so we may contact you to distribute important information.

Rain is entirely possible - it is spring in Seattle, after all! It may be wet, cold, and windy at some of the locations, so dress warmly and try to stay dry. An umbrella would be an excellent thing to have along, so you can keep your puzzles dry as well.

In addition to staying dry, you'll want to remain comfortable and happy. The event runs continuously from just after lunchtime to 6:00 p.m., so you'll certainly want to eat beforehand. Some beverages and light snacks (Disclaimer: food selection may or may not be based on the data you provided in your applications!) will be available at the wrap-up.

Fools Rush In is to be performed entirely on foot - no wheeled vehicles of any kind. Wear shoes you'll be comfortable walking in for the duration. Your dogs will thank you.

...shouldn't I bring?

You probably don't want to lug around a ton of solving aids. We'll be providing a cheat sheet of relevant data at the opening; every type of encoding scheme you'll need will be included (along with a few you won't need - got to keep you on your toes!). If you think you need to use something tricky that isn't on the sheet, you're likely mistaken. Some amount of common knowledge is assumed - we expect teams to know the days of the week, but not to be able to enumerate the Greek pantheon. (Disclaimer: the days of the week and the Greek pantheon may or may not appear as part of the event)

We'll also be providing a street-level map of the area, with several points of interest clearly marked.

...may I NOT bring?

Computers and Internet access devices are forbidden. If your cell phone doubles as an Internet device, you may use the phone, but not the data features.

In the unlikely case where you're asked to solve a relatively-simple trivia question (like, say, "What's the capital of Eritrea?"), and nobody on your team knows the answer, you're allowed to phone a friend. (Disclaimer: any trivia questions will be closer to the "What color is the sky?" level of difficulty. Answer: gray) I get if I win?

The awe and respect of your peers. And the responsibility for hosting the next SNAP. (Disclaimer: you do not need to win a SNAP event in order to host)


...much time do I get?

You will have 5 hours to solve 12 puzzles. At the end of 5 hours, you will be directed to the end location. I know when I've solved a puzzle?

Each puzzle will result in a single-word answer or short phrase. The puzzle may give you the answer directly, or provide a clue phrase with a definite answer (see the short section regarding trivia questions just above). If you're familiar with Microsoft PuzzleHunt or the MIT Mystery Hunt, you already know how this answer style works.

To receive credit for solving a puzzle, you must confirm the answer with the on-site staff member (usually the person who handed you the puzzle). There's no penalty for an incorrect guess, but we reserve the right to delay responses if you start spamming the poor volunteers. I win?

Be the team that solves the most puzzles using the fewest hints. In the event of a tie, the team that crosses the finish line first will be the winner.

At each location, you'll be handed a puzzle and three envelopes containing hints. Each puzzle you solve improves your score; each envelope you open detracts from your score. The cost of each envelope is printed on the outside, so you can decide whether it's worth opening. The third envelope is the "I'm not having fun" container, and simply provides you with the answer so you may move on. Only the most expensive envelope that you open is charged to your score. Envelopes must be returned intact to keep them from counting against you.

It's up to you to determine your solving strategy. Manage your time and hints wisely, and don't forget to factor in travel time!

When... the event again?

Just in case you missed the earlier announcement, SNAP 2: Fools Rush In will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2006. Team check-in is open from 12:15 through 12:30 p.m. There will be roughly 30 minutes for announcements and questions, and puzzling will start as close to 1:00 p.m. as is foolishly possible. You will then have five hours to complete the course, which puts the end time right about at 6:00 p.m.

Hoo ha ha!

As always, send email to if you have further questions or concerns.