How the clues in the game work

The Seattle Times
July 4, 1999

By Paul Andrews

How do clues in "The Game" work? Here's an example:

Teams moving through Central Park received an envelope containing instructions for "a unique form of hand-to-hand combat." Two sets of instructions were included: One for a frontal attack, the other for a rear attack. As a hint, the clue advised drawing the human body from front and rear views, and then to "visualize the fighting patterns."

For the first type of frontal attack, instructions were:

"Strike the philtrum, then the crown of the head. Retreat. Return, then strike the left temple, then the chin, then the right temple."

Several other sets of instructions, for upper body, arms and torso and leg-sweep feint, were included.

Teams drawing out the attack movements were presented with a series of shapes: v, l and x. Substituting an "i" for the "l" and doing some creative thinking gave teams their first hint: These were Roman numerals.

Going through the attack sequence in the order advised gave the following numerals: iv, 0, iv, vi, 0, vii, vii for the frontal attack and vii, iii, v, viii, ix, i, iii for the rear. Translated into Arabic numerals, the numbers read 4046077 and 7358913.

But what did the numbers mean? Local phone numbers, maybe? Again, the clue itself held a hint, ending with the admonition: "Grow. Practice. Study."

The first letters, GPS, pointed to the solution: The global positioning system. By plugging in the two sets of numbers to a GPS receiver, teams learned their next location:

The latitude: 40 degrees, 46 minutes, .077 seconds, and the longitude: 73 degrees, 58 minutes and .913 seconds. That's the location of the Central Park landmark Columbus Circle.

At the circle, teams found a mime handing out pink balloons. The inscription on the balloons told all.

"Got game?" it read.

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