Geek All Over London!

Yesterday I ran all over London, letting the geek out every step of the way. I was participating in LOTNA’s London Conundrum, a puzzle game set all over the city. Most of the puzzles were trivia, but some were word searches and mazes in handy London Conundrum Puzzle Books, here shown off by Conundrum Organizer Kelly.

Kelly holding a Conundrum Puzzle BookThe day started with a picnic in Regents Park where we made more World of Warcraft allusions than I could count, including, but not limited to, how awesome it would be if real life had a minimap so I can find the little café hidden in the park without getting lost. But as the WoW jokes died down we were split into groups. Mine was the best, of course.

My team part

And so began the hunt! We were given clever little puzzles in order to find out where to go at each phase. They were little squares of paper with cut-out holes that, if held up correctly against another little square of paper with the names of science fiction characters and story titles listed on it, would reveal a jumble of letters. By spinning the puzzle around we would eventually find the right jumble of letters that, when arranged into words, would match up with quadrants on a map, which was a just slightly larger square of paper. The last step would be to take the paper with the holes punched into it and place it over the map. One of the holes would be in the designated quadrant and reveal our next destination. Oh, and while the little square of paper with holes in it could be flipped every way and even turned over in relation to the other little paper with names on it, it was always placed in the same orientation over the map. The little square of paper with cutout holes had the LOTNA logo, Lotty, drawn on it, and the map’s border was actually a continuation of the logo. The two images had to line up.

Confused yet? I was.

But we managed to figure it out and head to many cool destinations. Our activities included just sitting around to solve a puzzle book with questions like “What was Captain Mal’s nick name?” (Meanwhile we were only shown a picture of the captain, so we had to guess who the character pictured was. Luckily, I went through a period of Firefly obsession, so this one was easy – Captain Tight Pants!) Other times it was spelling “Harry Potter” with our bodies in front of King’s Cross’s Platform 9 ¾ . We even acted out a scene from Dr. Who by the Millennium Bridge. Being the American, I played President Nixon. Gender blind casting, but not accent blind. But even amidst all this geekery, I still managed to take some great snapshots of amazing London landmarks.

The Eye and Houses of Parliament

On our way to the London Eye for one of the Puzzles

Big Ben

Big Ben

In the end, my team won! I wish it was due to our amazing trivia knowledge, and while that wasn’t so bad, the other teams actually got tired and wound up just skipping the puzzles in favor of the pub. Some might call this intelligence. But I’ll still be proud of making it through the London Conundrum!


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