It's been a while since I gave you a good old-fashioned puzzle to solve, so I'm remedying that today.
In each clue below, remove one letter. Then, scramble (or unscramble?) the remaining letters to form a new word or phrase. If you've done it right, the items in the resulting list will share something in common, and the removed letters will spell, in order, a word that's related to the list.
Perhaps you were at Klyde Warren Park. Or the Arboretum. Or a restaurant, like Hat Creek. And you heard the name of your hometown being hollered across the lawn. Is this about me? Does someone recognize me from high school? And then you see the kid. The kid responding “what, mom?” It’s happened again. You’ve seen another case of a kid named for a Texas town! They’re all over DFW. And they can rep any hometown. Which is why we now present the top 17 kid names inspired by Dallas-area towns.
By the way, if you’re looking for Lucas, Celeste, Lillian, Aubrey, Anna, or Melissa, they’re not here because whether it’s true or not, they sound more “people names that inspired Texas town names” than the other way around. But don't assume the parents weren't inspired by a sign off the highway. Ready for a little road trip? Here we go!
Ah, sweet little Addison. Like the spot that inspired her, she's gotten a lot cooler than she used to be, and she's really into food. Unlike the town, the food is mostly Goldfish and fruit snacks.
This kid had a belt buckle on his diapers, and his face is recreated -- quite well! -- in tattoo form on his dad's thigh.
Yep, he's clever, like a coyote, though it usually manifests in mischief. So, like the coyote. Do not accept any packages from ACME.
Celina is number one in her dance class, even though they don't actually rank the dancers at her age. She just decided it.
Ever been at the State Fair, enjoying some funnel cake, and a kid walks by tugging a sheep on a rope? That's Forney.
You can find Cash reading Mo Willems at The Wild Detectives, wearing an Old 97's shirt and Honest Company diapers. He has a better haircut than you.
Don't assume you know anything about little Rowlett. He brews his own tea and his favorite show is The Good Fight.
Boyd, in about 4 years, you're gonna be QB whether you like it or not.
Whitt could do that thing where you slap your fingers on the top of a can of dip before he turned seven. He loves Big Red.
Brock is already wearing a Vineyard Vines Polo and a Patagonia vest. Can currently be found knocking over the younger kids at the Arboretum Children's Garden.
Parker is an Instagram influencer with over 12,000 followers, about 2000 for every year she's been alive. She exclusively wears yellow.
Ever since Cooper realized that his name meant barrelmaker, he's done everything he can to live up to his name. Go Cooper go!
Weston is so mean. Just the meanest, and everyone loves her.
Murphy is the most laid-back kid you'll ever meet. Catch him at the sandbox at The Lot, just pouring sand on his toes.
Despite what her name implies, Godley is a little hellion. She loves bottle rockets and steals gum from Dollar General. Banned from the Perot.
Garrett is several decades younger than you and still managed to whip you in Fortnite.
Merilee finished the DFW Scavenger Hunt in record time, and then went to give the other teams hints, and not even in a condescending way. Super cool kid.
It's #TheresThatThursday for May, and we're revealing where you could locate all our #WheresThatWednesday posts for the month! Wanna play? Join us on Instagram @dfwscavengerhunt!
On May 8, we gave you a fairly easy one. @femalenco quickly identified the Texas Star, the iconic ferris wheel at the fairgrounds. Can't wait to grab a Corny Dog and hop on board this fall!
May 15's photo featured a towering statue that no one was able to identify. He's standing in DFW China Town, the thrilling shopping center in Richardson full of Asian art, shopping, and oh, the restaurants. So much good food.
@shewouldshouldn0tbenamed recognized the May 15 post as the Fort Worth Water Gardens, a stunning architectural feature in Downtown Cowtown that was famously featured in the film Logan's Run.
On May 22, a sign marked "Best" was too tricky, we admit, and bested all of y'all. We thought our emoji-filled hint would reveal that this was outside the Farmer's Market.
Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to be asked to participate in the Frisco StrEATS festival in the Frisco Rail District. We joined forces with our friends at Countdown 2 Escape to create a mini scavenger hunt that was perfect for the many, many families on site.
What a great time we had! This being North Texas, the day started with everyone worried about the weather. And rightly so! It had stormed all night and by breakfast time, it showed no sign of stopping. The event was scheduled to start at noon, and even at eleven the rain was still coming down. But then something happened, as it often does in our part of the world. It just stopped. As the old song says, out came the sun and dried up all the rain. We ended up with a lovely day! In the end, I think the rainy morning helped convince more people to get out of the house for the afternoon, sending lots of folks to the festival.
The festival was full of vendors, providing everything from funny shirts to fried dough, from CBD oil to olive oil. But the highlight for us, of course, was our booth. We shared our space with Countdown 2 Escape, and got to play several games of bingo with the ecstatic crowd.
Meanwhile, dozens of kids stopped by to try the mini hunt -- a page of clever clues directing them through the festival to discover a hidden code. Once they'd collected the answers and solve the puzzle, the lucky kids could proceed to a booth to claim their prize, courtesy of our sponsor Chris Robertson of Farmer's Insurance .
It was a real joy to watch kids scramble through the festival, putting their brains to the test. And it was just as fun to see them once they'd collected their prizes, bouncing rubber spiders and flapping fairy wings.
We had a blast at the festival and can't wait to return next year!
Mother’s Day is approaching quickly, and you might be panicking that you haven’t made plans. Here are a few suggestions on how best to mark the occasion in the DFW area. Whether you’re looking to treat your mom or the mother of your kids, here’s a motherlode of ideas on how to spend the day.
Take her to Brunch
It’s a fact, one thing all moms love is not having to cook. That goes double in the hours before noon, which means taking her to brunch is a great idea. Whether you’re chowing on chilaquiles at Meso Maya, chomping on chicken and waffles at Whistle Britches, or just imbibing bloody Marys at Boulevardier, filling mom’s stomach is a sure way to make her happy. You did make reservations, right?
Struggling about what gift to get mom? Why not let her pick one out for herself? Take her on a wild Dallas shopping spree. North Park Mall is hosting the Dallas Symphony on Sunday, so you can get some culture while you shop. Plus, lots of stores are offering fun deals and treats for the occasion (including champagne and candy). The Galleria, Bishop Arts, and Downtown Plano offer great options as well. Just bring your credit card – you’re treating mom!
You know what mom would like more than anything else? A family photo. For once in your life, throw on a nice pair of pants, comb your hair, and gather the family for a decent picture. You don’t even need to hire a professional photographer. Recruit a friend with portrait mode on their phone, hit up the Arboretum or (the closest wildflower patch), load up on Zyrtec, and get the family pic! It’s a great way to capture a moment… and a memory.
Mom has spent a lot of days covered in pureed green beans, diaper cream, and much worse. Why not cover her in mud instead? Treat her to a spa day and let her trade Kids Bop for meditative melodies, a brillo pad for a body scrub, and “AAAAH!”s for aaaahs. Sometimes the best gift is relaxation.
Send her on a Scavenger Hunt!
There’s no better way to get to know your community than with a scavenger hunt. If your mom is the adventurous type, the curious type, or the competitive type, she’ll love the chance to test her wits. We’ve already covered how to design your own scavenger hunt, but we’re happy to host a hunt for you. Check out our hunts in Dallas and Plano to discover a great way to entertain mom and the rest of the family.
Great news, Frisco folks! We’re coming to your festival! Saturday, May 11, marks the Frisco StrEATS Gourmet Food Truck and Music Festival, and we’ll be there. The Rail District will be playing host to a bunch of food trucks, vendors, and entertainment, and we’ll be playing along as well. We’ve joined forces with our good buddies at Countdown 2 Escape to present a kid-friendly scavenger hunt that will get you out and exploring the entire festival.
And just because it’s kid-friendly doesn’t mean it’s for kids only. Anyone who completes the full hunt can claim their prize, plus get sweet discounts from local vendors like Countdown 2 Escape, Crafted, Bittersweet Ivy, Crossfit Lowe, and us of course.
Besides the scavenger hunt, there will be so much more fun at this free event, from music and entertainment to gardens for both beer and wine. Many local vendors will be on site as well to satisfy your shopping cravings. There’s a huge kids area with facepainting, Mother’s Day crafting, and a trampoline. Oh, and did we mention puppies? Best of all, the event will benefit Frisco Family Services and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Collin County.Come out, have some yummy food, track down a few clues, and say hi!
Every band gets into music somehow. But these bands really got into music!
Add the name of a band to the blank space in each clue to create a lyric from a song. For bonus points, name the song and the artist that performed it!
1. Because your _____ is on my list of the best things in life.
2. Ain’t that _____ on the radio, stereo?
3. ’Cause I’m as _____ as a bird now, and this bird you’ll never change.
4. I keep on hoping we’ll eat _____ by the ocean.
5. So turn off the lights and close _____.
6. That girl is _____. Never trust a big butt and smile.
7. On the boats and on the planes they’re coming to _____.
8. People all over the world, join hands, start a love _____.
9. DC, San Antone and the Liberty Town, _____ and Baton Rouge.
Scroll doooooowwwwn for the answers!
Love puzzles and games? Book a puzzle night for your friends or coworkers!
1. KISS (Kiss On My List, Hall & Oates)
2. Mr. Mister (Hey Soul Sister, Train)
3. Free (Free Bird, Lynyrd Skynyrd)
4. Cake (Cake By the Ocean, DNCE)
5. The Doors (Gin and Juice, Snoop Dogg)
6. Poison (Poison, Bell Biv DeVoe)
7. America (America, Neil Diamond)
8. Train (Love Train, The O’Jays)
9. Boston (The Heart of Rock & Roll, Huey Lewis)
Over on our Instagram account, that's @dfwscavengerhunt, donchaknow), we play a game every Wednesday called #WheresThatWednesday, in which we challenge our followers to identify where in Dallas a cool photo was taken. This month, we launched our new feature, #TheresThatThursday, in which we reveal the answers while also giving a little more insight into the locations. If you're already following us on Instagram (thank you!), you might've seen this, but we're reposting it on the blog because some of these places are just so neat!
On March 13, you tried to ID where this frame could be found. @mmadison214 figured out that it’s from the Dallas Arboretum. Specifically, this structure can be found in the area known as A Woman’s Garden. Known as the Majestic Allee, it’s a very popular spot for photography, and offers a spectacular view of White Rock Lake.
March 27 was the date when a mysterious shape curled into your feed. What seemed like a cobra rising from the water was in fact just a small piece of Fair Park Lagoon, as noted by @dfwfrugalliving. A massive structure that winds through the water outside the old museum, the sculpture invites both tourists and turtles alike to perch. As designed by artist Patricia Johanson, the piece almost seems alive, which, among the fish and the reeds, is entirely the point.
We gave you a stumper on April 3, as the image of an orb made entirely of collars was too tricky for anyone to note. In fact, the piece can be found in Hall Arts Plaza. While this sculpture is not part of the Arts District Heist, a few of its neighbors sure are.
On April 10, a collection of crisscrossing beams seemed to suggest stables or cattle pens. @runkevinrundotcom thought he recognized the Fort Worth Stockyards, and we say, close enough. In fact, this one is a pic of the Cowtown Cattle Pen Maze at Stockyards Station, where you’re more likely to find lost humans than cattle. The labyrinth spans 5,400 and escape is a tricky challenge for those who enter.
April 17 brought a familiar image of the Old Red Courthouse, but there was something… flatter about it. In fact, this illustrated piece is part of a much larger collection of iconic Dallas buildings that can be seen in the Children’s area of the Perot Museum. Nobody got this tricky one!
.Yesterday on April 24 we showed you a tree full of yellow chairs. @robsaccenti thought it might be a “Chairy Tree,” and boy was he close, as @justmeinbigd nudged him. This shot shows just a fraction of the hundreds of chairs at the Chairy Orchard in Denton, a delightful project hosted by two neighbors. Absolutely worth a visit.
If you like learning more about the cool places to see in the DFW area, try a scavenger hunt with us! Featuring surprising locales and unexpected treats, it's a fun way to learn about North Texas! See you next month for another edition of There's That Thursday!
Whether you’re trying to throw a scavenger hunt for a birthday party, a work event, or just for fun, you’ve selected one of the most fun, challenging activities to get brains and feet moving! As the founder of DFW Scavenger Hunt, I’ve designed quite a few scavenger hunts in Dallas, so trust me when I say they’re as fun to build as they are to solve. As fun as the process is, doing it right takes a lot of work. I put together a few tips on how to build your own scavenger hunt.
Go For a Walk
To get started, you’ll need to decide exactly where you want to host your hunt. Pick an area that’s pedestrian friendly, full of interesting art and architecture, and relatively contained. Google Street View can be helpful to start, but eventually, you’re going to need to get up, grab your camera and your notebook, and go for a walk.
On the course is where you’ll find the unexpected surprises that make a hunt unique. Look up. Look down. What’s that cool gargoyle on the tippy top of that building? What’s that inscription on the sidewalk? Walk up close to buildings, read the words on signs. And don’t just rely on sight, either! Maybe there’s a way to incorporate sound. Or smell? Let your creativity run free! Bonus: besides the close-up experience, walking will give you an idea of how strenuous the hunt will be for the participants. If you’re getting tired, imagine how they’ll feel.
Pick a Theme
A great scavenger hunt tells a story. Finding a thread for your hunt will make for a more engaging activity. Consider how the location – or the occasion – could inspire you. For example, our hunt through the sculptures and murals of the Dallas Arts District sends players on a chase after a nefarious art thief. When we host hunts in December, we tell players the story of some North Pole elves in search of the perfect gift. It doesn’t take much to apply a layer of storytelling to your hunt. Find ways to apply your theme to the introductions, the games’ instructions, and the illustrations.
Mix up the Activities
Simple scavenger hunts usually present a list of tasks to complete or items to collect. Then at the end, the team with the most boxes ticked off wins the game. That’s fine, but challenge yourself to go further. Instead of a straightforward catalog of items to track down, get innovative. Create cryptic clues that lead your players to the next spot. Why say “statue” when you can say “silent sentinel”? Let a team know they’re “on a roll” to guide them to a bakery (or a tire shop)! Use common puzzler’s tools, like anagrams, ciphers, and rebuses. Consider Morse code, foreign languages, even simple synonyms as ways to offer hints without giving too much away.
While you’re at it, play with ways to present your clues, too. Get inspired by poetry, riddles, and visual elements. Our Arts District Scavenger Hunt includes a game consisting only of rhyming clues, while our Plano hunt includes a section that’s structured like a math equation. Take photos of the area, then present them in a clever way as you challenge teams to locate their origin. Extreme close-ups, weird angles, even filters can add an extra level of challenge.
It’s also important to include activities that require no walking at all. How about a word puzzle or a trivia game? A few pages like this will give different members of the group the chance to showcase their particular skills, while simultaneously giving teams a chance to rest their feet. Remember, creating a diverse game allows everyone to use their strengths, optimizing the opportunities for team building.
Know Your Audience
Different groups will respond to different types of puzzles. You’ll need to pay attention to their likes, interests, and values to ensure you’re creating a puzzle that they respond to. Challenge different sets of skills, like problem-solving, knowledge, observation. A good mix will please everyone while fostering collaboration.
Knowing your audience doesn’t just apply to the types of clues and challenges, it refers to the content itself. For example, if you’re building a scavenger hunt for kids, make sure you’re speaking their language. Your clever clue about Eleanor of Aquitaine will probably not get the appreciation it deserves if your group is made of middle-schoolers. Meanwhile, that reference to the Fortnite Fandangle Emote just might mystify a most adults. If you’ve got a mixed group of participants, that presents an ideal scenario.
You can create a diverse puzzle that lets each participant use his or her particular knowledge base. Make sure that the questions you’re asking, the clues you’re giving, and the story your telling aren’t just things from your world. Strive for a diversity of content that will appeal to a lot of different groups. Other thoughts to consider: Does your audience share your sense of humor? Will they understand local references? How far are they comfortable walking?
Use What’s There
Hosting a scavenger hunt doesn’t mean you need to wake up early to hide trinkets all over a course. If you’ve found the right neighborhood, you can use the existing features and landmarks as clues and guideposts. Incorporate public sculpture, murals, and historical markers. They’re probably not going anywhere, and teams will enjoy learning more about the area. Avoid corporate signage, if you can. It’s way more fun to discover hidden local surprises than it is to visit that same old fast food restaurant.
Always keep track of your hunt! Don’t expect every clue to be evergreen. Construction projects move sculptures. Murals get vandalized. Trees bloom and block historical markers. You may even be surprised at how quickly businesses change. Our Plano scavenger hunt nearly included a hint leading to a local favorite shop, but just before we launched, the shop closed. Think: what will last? You’ll need to keep an eye on your course, and your game, to make sure everything is still legible, accessible, and most importantly, safe.
Remember that a scavenger hunt is supposed to be playtime. Sure, the challenge is fun, but make sure you haven’t created something that feels like work. Including an extra credit photo (or video!) hunt is a great way to encourage the players to cut loose. Dare them to reenact a famous movie scene, or pose like a statue along the course. Human pyramids, funny hats, swimming in fountains; how goofy are you – and they – willing to get? You may be surprised. Just keep it legal! Teams will get a kick out of posing together, and of course, it gives them content for their social media feeds. Do it for the ‘gram, y’know?
As I’ve said before, a great scavenger hunt isn’t just a series of ticked boxes. If the clues all work together to tell a story, so should the answers. There are simple ways to have the parts add up to a satisfying whole. Consider having each individual page of your hunt yield a clue, a clue that when taken together with all the others, leads to one united answer. Professional puzzle builders refer to this as a metapuzzle.
Say, for example, your puzzles yielded the words SNAP, CRACKLE, and POP. That might lead your players to the ultimate meta answer, RICE KRISPIES. Or perhaps each puzzle led to the clues AMERICA, CRUNCH, MORGAN, KIRK – in which case, your meta answer would be CAPTAIN, ‘cause those are all famous captains. There are several ways to prompt solvers to discover the metaclues, including asking them to note the first letter of each entry, or by giving them a list of possible answers and leaving the metaclue as an extra item in the list.
Include a Map
People like to know what they’re getting into. With a map, the players have an immediate sense of where they’ll need to go. It doesn’t have to be labeled in detail, but simply giving players the boundaries of the course will be an essential guide to their solving and their safety. Just take a screen grab from Google maps, add some borders in a program like Photoshop, and print. It’s up to you how much attention you call to the map. We’ve placed maps as the last page, only to see players never notice it. So we moved it to the first page, and watched them flip right past it. So you do what you can.
Test it. Test it Again. Then Test it Again!
Feel like you’re done? You aren’t done till you’ve tested it, multiple times. Testing with different groups is essential. There’s literally no way for you to know how difficult a hunt will be, because you already know the answers. Remember, just because you know the answer to a question doesn’t mean it’s easy. There’s a reason credit cards ask you for your mother’s maiden name: it’s easy for you to answer, but really hard for almost everyone else on earth! You’ve got a unique set of knowledge that will probably overlap with someone else, but understanding the size of that overlap will be key. As you build, recognize that your perspective is one of billions.
Remember that there will be people of distinct ages, backgrounds, and cultures participating, so try to test with as diverse a group as possible, too. Draw from your friends, but try to go outside your circle. Besides just testing for solvability, ask your testers to offer their notes on the puzzle’s content. Was there anything included that could be considered offensive? Was there jargon, slang, or hyper-local references that proved indecipherable? Test the logistics as well: How long did it take? Were all the directions clear? How strenuous was the walk? Did they get lost, or miss the course at all?
And of course, test for errors. Did you make any mistakes when creating? Are there typos? Do all the meta clue revealers work as they should? There’s nothing more frustrating for a solver than a clue that sure seems like it should work, but doesn’t.
One Last Thing
A final word of advice? Keep in mind that people would much rather solve a puzzle they deem too easy than struggle with one that’s too hard. Turns out, people like getting the answers. It makes them feel smart. The worst that happens is that they finish quickly and get to brag about it over refreshments. And isn’t making them happy what your goal was?
Enjoy creating, and enjoy the hunt! When the hunt happens, go with them. Take pictures. The groups will appreciate having the day documented, and so will you. Take notes – there’s no better way to learn what edits you need to make. Take time to enjoy yourself! Watch them try to decode your expression as they wrestle with a tough clue. If you’re feeling nice? Give ‘em a hint. Feeling not so nice? Just give ‘em an evil laugh.
Good luck, and happy hunting. If you need more inspiration, next time you're in the DFW area, check us out and try out one of our scavenger hunts!
Remember how Mrs. Doubtfire got her name from a newspaper headline? Robin Williams's character, desperate for an alias, searched the room till he spotted the article âPolice Doubt Fire was Accidental." And the rest is history. Weird, weird history. But did you know? There are many other famous people who coined their names after jamming two words together. In this week's puzzle, you'll determine who they are.
Each sentence below includes the first name of a famous figure and a blank where two words (that happen to sound spell that celebâs last name) can fit to make a complete sentence. Careful, because pronunciation may change! For example, in the first clue, you can put OLD MAN, as in GARY OLDMAN
1. Even when Gary is an ____, he will still maintain his youthful spirit.
2. Clint noticed that at lumberyards in the ______ was more expensive than in the
3. Jimmy knew the floor was slippery, so he took care not to _____ his rear end.
4. "What exactly can oat _____ for my diet?" wondered Marlon.
5. As a summer counselor, Neve's job was to ring the _____ every morning to wake
6. In hunting season, Ryan will just ____ a rifle over his shoulder and head out the
7. Isaac came home from Lowe's with a brand _____ of bricks to line the patio.
8. Robert had a lot of cars, but his favorite was his poppy _____ Mustang.
9. Norman's band was known to _____ past midnight.
10. Kristen liked to paint with thick soups and goulashes; she called it _____.
11. Michael was a little like Frankenstein because he had a _____ his neck.
If you like funny puzzles like this one, you'll have a great time trying more like this on your next scavenger hunt in Dallas. Find out more about what sort of hunts we offer and how we can even create custom puzzles just for you.
Scroll down for the answers!
1. OLD MAN
2. EAST WOOD
3. FALL ON
4. BRAN DO
5. CAMP BELL
6. GO SLING
7. NEW TON
8. RED FORD
9. ROCK WELL
10. STEW ART
11. BOLT ON