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Local puzzle enthusiasts are gearing up for the fourth annual Pleasantville Puzzle Hunt during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.
Participants of all ages set out to solve a series of puzzles that start with written clues and lead to various locations in the village that provide more clues, which are needed to eventually solve the puzzle.
The puzzle hunt was conceived in 2020 during the pandemic by its founders and puzzle creators Andy Goodman and Greg Nemec. Kat Nemec is the coordinator and heads up the puzzle design.
“We wanted to get people to reconnect in a safe way by walking around town similar to a treasure hunt and having the satisfaction of solving the puzzle,” Greg Nemec said.
The puzzle hunt starts when the packet becomes available on Friday, Nov. 24 after 10 a.m. and is accessed by e-mailing email@example.com or visiting Facebook.com/PvilleHunt. A limited number of puzzle packets are printed for distribution at the Pleasantville Recreation Center.
When folks solve the initial packet, which supplies the location for the next clue, they head outside. In the past, puzzle hunt clues throughout the village were found in store windows, on telephone poles, on rocks at the gazebo on Memorial Plaza and in the window of The Village Bookstore, among other places.
Last year’s clue hosts included Root2Rise NY, Soul Brewing, King’s Crown Wines & Spirits and the village.
Nemec said preparing for the hunt is a lot of work.
“It’s an insane amount of work and very complex. I honestly don’t know how Andy figures the puzzles out,” Nemec said.
Often the answers are related to three elements and could include a question, which would then be a component of the next step, according to Nemec. Last year a clue was to fold a specific page of a magazine that showed the gazebo, the location of the next clue.
The Pleasantville Puzzle Hunt Facebook page has 520 followers, which demonstrates the popularity of the now annual event in a few short years. An estimated 250 people participated last year. It involves community spirit, brain games and a tour through Pleasantville.
This year the hunt runs until Sunday, Nov. 26 at 4:30 p.m. by which time solved puzzle packets must be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After 5 p.m. on Sunday, a link to the answer pack will be available either on the Facebook page or by requesting it by e-mailing email@example.com.
Winners will be selected at random from all correct answers and notified. Prizes could be a board game or more puzzles and will be available for pickup at the Pleasantville Recreation Center during regular business hours.
“People just like doing the puzzle hunt and they get the same satisfaction as they do from solving a crossword puzzle, if not more,” Nemec said.
Abby is a local journalist who has reported on breaking news for more than 20 years. She currently covers community issues in The Examiner as a full-time reporter and has written for the paper since its inception in 2007. Read more from Abby’s editor-author bio here. Read Abbys’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/ab-lub2019/