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SRCH – Round Six Recap

The second-to-last round of SRCH by Starbucks was the most difficult yet, with several puzzles to piece together, anagrams to rearrange and codes to break – along with quite a few red herrings to trip you up as well. Even with those obstacles, 100 diligent SRCHers claimed all of the new Polaroid GL10 printers in less than 45 minutes.

The round started with a flip of the clue card revealing links to six different Tumblr photo albums. Each of the photo albums contained six different images, and each of the images was a puzzle piece that could be joined with others to form a larger image.


Five of the larger images were dead ends, but one finished puzzle showed a row of colorful houses situated at the intersection of “Alioop Dr” and “Go Bl”. That fanciful address was actually an anagram of POLAROID BLOG.


Clicking through to the blog revealed this comment by SRCH S.: 2-12-6 26-9-22 20-22-7-7-18-13-20 4-26-9-14-22-9 19-22-9-22 18-8 2-12-6-9 13-22-3-7- 24-15-6-22 20-12-12-20-15-22 19-24-9-8. This was a number substitution code that you had to break before moving on: 26 equaled A, 25 equaled B and so on down to 1 standing for Z. (Many of you seemed to be stumped at this step until SRCH tweeted a hint about using “reverse psychology”.)


Breaking the code revealed this phrase: YOU ARE GETTING WARMER HERE IS YOUR NEXT CLUE GOOGLE HCRS. (More reverse psychology!) If you followed those directions, you might have spotted an ad from Srch that asked if you were looking for something … clicking on the link took you to the winning page.


Congrats to the winners who overcame a difficult challenge. But keep in mind that it’s only a warm-up to the fiendishly difficult final round, which starts Friday, June 3 at 10 a.m. PDT. Are you up for the challenge and the chance to see Lady Gaga anywhere in North America? If so, we’ll see you then. Good luck!

comments (3)

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    • loebtmc
    • 6/2/2011 5:17 PM

    how did you join the pieces???

    • lffisher
    • 6/3/2011 4:58 AM

    I like how you wrote "you might have spotted an ad from Srch" because a huge number of us could not see the ad. Many people use Firefox, which blocked the ad. Many people use adblocker, which blocked the ad. I don't use either one, but still it didn't display the ad. Nice idea for this game, but again poor execution and poor testing on your developers. Stop wasting our time unless you can fix the bugs and design a challenge that is not platform or installation dependent!

    • hockeyking777
    • 6/3/2011 9:37 AM

    I like the idea of this hunt, but I find it strange that in the first 2 minutes of challenge 5 there was 11 winners. Might want to investigate that. I wouldn't be surpised if those 11 people also won challenges 1 - 4. Found a ******** way of searching for the winning page.

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