Several HH members made their way to Highfield Park in St Albans on Saturday 12th August for the club’s first Clued-O event. The format was based on the Clued-O event that my mum, Dawn Figg, had already successfully organised for Pendle Forest Orienteers. The basic concept will be familiar to anyone who has ever played the murder mystery board game Cluedo, in which players compete to be the first to find the correct combination of suspect, weapon and crime scene. For the orienteering version, the format used the normal Highfield orienteering map with several controls marked to be visited in any order, much like a score event.
Five of the controls marked were potential ‘crime scenes’, with items found at the scene, and were identified as such in the control descriptions. The remaining fifteen provided clues, either in the form of witness statements or prop weapons with fingerprints, which could be matched to those provided with the list of potential suspects printed on the back of the map. The winner would be the first to return to the start/finish and present the correct solution, including the weapon, suspect and scene. For those lucky (or fast!) enough to visit them, three particular controls would very clearly give the solution, but alternatively the witness statements and evidence could be used to get the right solution by elimination, like a logic puzzle. Runners did not necessarily need to visit all the controls to get the correct solution, and neither was there a strict time limit. All but one of the items found at the ‘crime scene’ controls were red herrings, being things that you would normally expect to find there rather than actual evidence, such as a plant pot at the allotments.
Highfield was in some ways the perfect area for Clued-O, varied without being technically challenging and having a number of interesting sites to use for the ‘crime scene’ controls. However, the road crossings would have made it difficult for juniors to take part, so I decided to make the housing estates and the woodland at the south end of the area out of bounds and have only one road crossing near the start. This did mean that some of the controls were a bit closer together than I would have liked, and that it wasn’t possible for runners to quickly do a full circuit of the area, although hopefully this encouraged those who took part to look at the clues and be more strategic rather than just trying to get all of the controls as quickly as possible. A few runners even found the bonus ‘evidence’ control number 15, which was not shown on the main map but could be found by going to the maze ‘crime scene’ control, where there was also a map of the maze itself showing the location of control 15.
Results for our top detectives, who figured out the correct solution of Viv, with the sandwich, in the Mediterranean Garden are as follows:
- Alex Fielding – 28 minutes
- Nesbit family – 36 minutes
- David Hodson – 47 minutes
- Viv Hodson/Adam Leaf – 48 minutes
- Karen Cleveland Marwick – 57 minutes
- Soulsby family – 59 minutes
- Ian Byford – 62 minutes
There were also valiant attempts from Stu Levene, Kevin Fielding, Kevin Parkes, Neil Gostick, Jenny Gostick, Penny Parkes and the Raftery family.
For details of the solution clues, please see Danny’s matrix