I've been thinking a lot about team building lately, both as a philosophy and a practice. What does it mean to "build a team?" Any manager understands that it's not as simple as throwing a bunch of folks with good resumes together. But most of the time, like it or not, that's the team you end up with.
How do you build a perfect team? You find a set of folks who complement each other -- in their skillset, in their personalities, in their work style. Oh, what's that? You don't get to build a team from scratch? You have to hire the CEO's nephew? That candidate for the open position got another offer? Oh, and there's that one fella on the team who's been around for years and isn't going anywhere?
So there's option two -- you shape your team into perfection. As anyone who's done a puzzle knows, (and we've done a lot of them) brute force isn't going to make those pieces fit. But there are ways to change the shape of the pieces, at least in this metaphor.
Actual change happens at a team level, not at an individual level. In order to create and preserve the balance of an effective team, this must happen all at once. It's under the pressure of a challenge that teams are truly molded. Call it the Play-Doh philosophy, emphasis on PLAY.
Now work isn't fun. That's why they call it work. That's why play, within the right framing, is so effective. It's weird! It's different! It's a relief! The kind of play we offer at DFW Scavenger Hunt is challenging! And call it sneaky, but it's also a learning experience. Solving these challenges leads to team bonding, and team bonding leads to team building. It's only natural.
Here's a challenge that illustrates how working together can prove far more fulfilling. So grab a couple of colleagues before you try it.
Each entry in the list is represents a member famous team, but the letters -- and the teammates -- have been scrambled. Unscramble the words in each column, then reunite the teams.
Scroll wayyyyy down for the answers!
BACON, LETTUCE AND TOMATO
LARRY, MOE AND CURLY
PETER, PAUL AND MARY
ALVIN, SIMON AND THEODORE
HUEY, LOUIE AND DEWEY
Perhaps you've seen the trailers for the new movie "Escape Room." Perhaps you've seen the movie! Either way, you're possibly wondering one of a few things:
Is there anything like that in Dallas?
How can I make sure I never do it?
Is there anything KINDA like that in Dallas but outside, and less, y'know, deadly?
I can sort of answer these questions. There are tons of escape rooms in town, and a lot of them are very fun. None, as far as I know of, are as terrifying as the one in the movie. And all of them are indoors.
The trailers for the movie terrify me, 'cause I'm pretty claustrophobic. Seriously, I start to panic if the zipper on my jacket gets stuck. And I know that escape rooms aren't actually locked, and no one is truly trapped, but I also recognize that there's a lot of folks like me who prefer to be outdoors.
Maybe it's not claustrophobia, maybe it's just that the weather is already turning nice and you just like the sunshine. Whatever the reason, what I've always liked about DFW Scavenger Hunt is that it gets me out into the world. I see enough walls at the office. Our hunts celebrate adventure and wide open spaces. You still get to solve puzzles and find clues, but instead of unlocking doors, you're unlocking your miiiind, man.
Give us a try next time you're interested in exploring the DFW area.
As a kid, and really as an adult, winter break meant lots of daytime TV. For a long time, that meant soap operas (Sonny and Carly 4eva) and game shows. Since we get plenty of drama in our real lives, daytime and otherwise, we at DFW Scavenger Hunt wanted to bring a little of that game show magic to North Texas. That's why we came up with Buzzered, an event that takes a little bit from a lot of different game shows to create a riotous event that's perfect for any occasion. Complete with scoring, audience participation, even a host plucked right off a Hollywood set (only handsomer, if that's possible?)
It'll test your wits, your reflexes, and your friendships, challenging you to perform crazy feats and answer wild questions. How high can you stack Starbursts? How's your Matthew McConaughey impression? Can you spell McConaughey? Can you sort the fake chip flavors from the real ones?
Those are just some of the questions you'll be faced with. In fairness, we want to answer a question for you. That is -- What's a unique option for a party in Dallas ? Buzzered!
Want to learn more or book an event? Check out Buzzered here and give us a buzz to set up your own game night!
As a tribute to our newest event, here's a game show quiz. It's a simple cryptogram list. Each letter has been swapped with another. When you've decoded the list, it'll be a list of well-known game shows.
XEL CZRNL RY ZRWEX
ALHK UZ TU ALHK
FELLK US SUZXMTL
KLX’Y PHGL H ALHK
Scroll down for the answers...
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
DEAL OR NO DEAL
WHEEL OF FORTUNE
LET'S MAKE A DEAL
Here’s a puzzle that’ll help you ring in the new year. Each answer will include the consecutive letters AULD, LANG, or SYNE.
For more puzzle fun, book a scavenger hunt or check out Buzzered!
1. To ring loudly, as bells might do on New Year's Eve.
2. A 2008 Charlie Kaufman movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
3. One of four sewer-dwelling turtles, or a Renaissance painter.
4. Business-speak for parts of a company working together.
5. Virginia community that's home to the CIA.
6. Piece of cooking equipment in the name of a shop in the Harry Potter books.
7. The quality of having a lot on one’s plate, and something your co-workers might mention frequently.
8. Terms like “yaas," "turnt," and "lit," or anything else you might cringe to hear your parents say.
Scroll down for the answers!
2. SYNECDOCHE NEW YORK
I'm having present panic. The kind that has you so stressed out that you just stop scrolling through gift guides and procrastinate by writing a blog instead. (Seriously though, stop recommending I buy people unicorn onesies!) My problem is that no one I buy gifts for really cares about stuff. They prefer experiences. So I always think about experience gifts. Then I end up going into Photoshop (or grabbing my kids' magic markers) and making up a fun card that says something about their cooking class or tickets to arena league football.
When it comes to experience gifts in Dallas, we have some options. Obviously my first recommendation is a good old scavenger hunt. We offer gift certificates and can even create custom scavenger hunts for gifts for you. If you like, I'll even show up to the hunt with a big red bow on my head, like one of those cars in the commercials. Seriously, though, we can work together to make a hunt that's all about your BFF. We can work their name into it, and fill it with references to their favorite things, places, and people. We can even feature their pictures throughout.
You know what else we can do? Custom puzzles. If you want us to create a custom puzzle for your secret Santa (wait, I guess it's the other way round?), get in touch and we'll craft a fun game that's all about them.
And speaking of puzzles...
Blunder the Mistletoe
Those nitpickers at the IMDb Goofs section are just like Santa — always watching, and they know when a film has been naughty. With them as a resource, I’ve made a list of film flubs from nine holiday-themed films. Using just these clues, Can you identify each movie?
1. While this film takes place in 1939, the Lone Ranger’s nephew’s horse, known as Victor, was not introduced until 1943.
2. The shot of Mary Lou Retton rehearsing her tumbling routine and saying “God bless us, every one” is repeated exactly later in the film.
3. Several shots of the judge show a lamp on his desk. When the mail is dumped in front of him, the lamp has disappeared.
4. As Howard is leaving his house to find the Turbo Man doll for Jamie, Ted advises him to put chains on his tires. Tire chains are illegal in Minnesota.
5. Gruber says “Schiess den Fenster” (“shoot the window”). The correct German term would have been “Zerschiess das Fenster”.
6. When Emily is eating the spaghetti for breakfast, you can see the amount of sauce on the pasta changes between shots.
7. When Sam is being chased by airport security, at the checkpoint, in some cuts a spring board can be seen for his leap over the guard.
8. When Kate phones the Chicago Police from France, she calls them on a payphone that is a BT model that wouldn’t be found in France.
9. When everyone is jumping into the pool during the dance, the same person jumps in twice.
It's been a wild year here at DFW Scavenger Hunt, and I gotta say I'm really grateful. We've gotten off to a great start, and have already met lots of satisfied solvers. I'm thankful to the people who gave us a try, to the people who tested our scavenger hunts to make sure they made sense, and to the people who believed this was a good idea to start with. We always knew people were looking for things to do in Dallas, and we were pretty sure they'd enjoy our option.
So tomorrow when I'm stuffing myself with, well, stuffing, I'm going to say an extra thanks. Speaking of thanks, here's a puzzle all about stuffing.
Mmmm, stuffing. Whatever ingredients you include, it’s delicious. Below are clues to 10 words that are stuffed, if you will, with the letters that spell certain ingredients. The clues and the entries are in random order. Can you fill in the blanks?
1. Levelheaded, especially in a crisis
2. Like a lumpy couch
3. Marsellus Wallace wanted his back
4. Oft-lisped vacation spot
5. Part of a Jobs uniform
6. Pip’s were great.
7. Real estate, mining, and entertainment
8. Synthetic fabric
9. 2011 film with a Wilson Phillips cameo
10. “You did it!”
_ N _ U _ T _ _ _ S
_ _ _ _ A P P _ _ L E
_ O N _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ I O N _
_ _ P E C _ A _ _ _ N _
_ O _ Y _ S T E R
_ _ _ _ L E _ E _ K
_ _ C _ _ _ _ R _ A B _ _
B A _ C _ _ O N _
_ R I _ _ C _ _ E
B R _ _ E _ _ A _ D _
Lotta folks in Dallas are pretty perturbed to discover that we were the runners-up in the big Amazon HQ sweepstakes. I get it. I was pretty excited by the posibilities. After all, big tech companies like that love team-building exercises, right? Always looking for things to do for employees, ways to build team morale, that sort of stuff, right? Selfishly, I was optimistic that bringing in a company like that would bring in big business for companies like mine. After all, people who are new in town are always looking for ways to explore Dallas, and that's the kind of stuff I offer.
But realistically, this is probably for the best. Especially for a company that offers pedestrian friendly activities, more traffic in Dallas probably wouldn't have been ideal. That's not to mention all the icky stuff we're learning the winning cities had to do in order to attract the business. Guess I'll have to stick to spending my money on Amazon instead.
Hey, who wants a puzzle?
In each blank below, you can insert the last name of a US president, so that when the
completed entry is split in two, you will have two common words. For example, in the
Add TAYLOR to form STAYLORD, or STAY/LORD.
As an additional hint, I’ve given you the years the president (or presidents) served.
1. TUN_____EL (1797-1801) OR (1825-1829)
2. HI_____NET (1829-1937)
3. HAP_____ASE (1804-1869)
4. PIRAN_____TERDAY (1877-1881)
5. HE_____DLE (1881-1885)
6. RUS_____ER (1909-1913)
7. ORC_____EST (1921-1923)
8. EC_____WEIGHT (1929-1933)
9. PROO_____EAL (1974-1977)
10. BOX_____MINAL (1977-1981)
11. CRA_____ER (1989-1993) OR (2001-2009)
12. SL_____ZING (2009-2017)
You know what my favorite Halloween song is? "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." Every year I make a game of when I see my first holiday-themed commercial. It's usually subtle -- a truck hauling a pine tree, or red ribbon framing a scene of people eating, like, waffles -- but it's there, and it's usually sometime in, oh, late summer. In Dallas, where it's still 80 degrees in November, it can be tough to wrap (heh) your head around it.
Having said that, it really is time to start thinking about holiday plans. Maybe you're looking at a bunch of relatives coming in and wondering how to entertain family in Dallas. Maybe you're a boss with employees expecting a holiday party here in DFW. Maybe you're looking for an unconventional gift for a fellow Dallasite. If you're considering Dallas Christmas activities, may I be so bold as to offer an option.
The DFW Scavenger Hunt offers a fun, outdoor, entertaining way to spend an afternoon with friends and family. That's right, it's outdoors. Tired of being cooped up in the house with all those crazy people? Bring them to hang out with us crazy people. We'll get a look at the lights, the decorations, and a few surprises too.
Of all the holiday activities in Dallas, ours is the one that's going to exercise your brain and your feet. If you like a little healthy competition, we've got that. If you're looking for family-friendly Dallas activities, we've can satisfy that need too.
Book a scavenger hunt with us today to find out how gifted you really are!
All right, here's an early puzzle to get you in the holiday spirit.
The answer to each clue below is a word that can be formed by taking the name of one of Santa’s nine best-known reindeer, removing a letter, then scrambling what’s left. For example, “Complainer” can be answered with CARPER, which is formed by removing the N from PRANCER and rearranging the rest. You will use a few reindeer more than once, and a few not at all. Good luck!
2. Wood used in a lot of furniture
3. Eastern European pancake
4. Destroy, as a document
5. Unmanned aircraft
6. Video-sharing network acquired by Twitter in 2012
7. Heavy book
8. Heron relative
10. Blood vessel
Happy Halloween! I can think of no better time to emerge from the shadows than today. For a lot of kids, Halloween is the first time they attempt something like a scavenger hunt. You've got a bunch of places to visit and a lot of items to collect. Sugary items, in this case. Just, all the sugar. And like most good scavenger hunters, you've got a costume. And the one with the most candy wins! (Technically it's the dentist who wins, but who's counting?)
When you book a scavenger hunt with us, you're probably not going to be looking for candy. You're hunting through Dallas' neighborhoods for clues to puzzles, trying to unlock a mystery. But there will definitely be tricks. And there will certainly be treats.
If you're trick or treating in the DFW area tonight, be safe, stay dry, and save me a Butterfinger. And then, if the thrill of the hunt has overtaken you, contact us to try your hand at another challenge.
Here's a Halloween-themed puzzle to tide you over.
I was working in the lab late one night when I accidentally created ten creatures by combining a mythical beast or monster with something else. For example, when I made a goatsucker who spends most of his time in Rio; I’d created the Chubacabrazillian. Can you help name the rest? The name of the monster can come first or second in the final answer.
1. This beast’s version of a Michael Buble song can be heard echoing throughout the Himalayas.
2. The ultimate collaboration in hip-hop is an album from Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Bigfoot himself.
4. When the moon is full, the lupine creature transforms, tearing his clothes and running through the night in his boxers.
5. All my rowdy hellions are coming over tonight to watch the game, but they’re less interested in points scored than time of possession.
6. Lurking deep in The Labyrinth of Crete hides a creature that subsists solely on supplemental tablets.
7. This creature is In The Club that includes half man, half horse, and half a dollar.