Chicago, IL

Event takes place at 10:00 AM on May 18.

What is this?

DASH (Different Area - Same Hunt) is a one-day, walking puzzle hunt that takes place in multiple cities across in the US on the same day (and roughly at the same time, too). Think a more relaxed The Amazing Race, but with a puzzle at every clue stop.

Sounds interesting... when and where are you doing this?

Glad you asked. DASH5 Chicago will take place on May 18th, 2013 and start at 10 am.  We might be starting somewhere in Chicago, IL (public transportation accessible), but that could change closer to the event.  Assume that we're starting somewhere in the Chicagoland area at the moment.

How long does this take?

It depends heavily on the experience of the team.  Typical teams should expect to take from 5-8 hours to complete the entire hunt, but expert teams typically finish in 2-3 hours.  If you want a quicker, more casual experience, we should be able to customize the experience for you. 

That's long. What if I want to take a break?

The great part about DASH is that your team's score is only based on puzzle-solving times.  Want to grab a quick lunch in-between clues? Be our guest.  Coffee stop? Sure. Liquid courage?  It's probably not going to help, but we're not going to stop you.

Wait... you said teams. I need friends? How many?

Teams are typically from 3 to 6 people, but there is no hard and fast rule on the number.  We've seen teams of two compete effectively against the elite teams!  Teams larger than six tend to preclude everyone from participating in the puzzle solving process.  If you have a group of more than six people, you are strongly encouraged to consider forming two teams. And if you're a loaner, e-mail us at whogamechicago [AT] gmail [DOT] com and we'll set you up with other puzzle-minded affictionados.

Is this going to cost me anything?

Yes.  The Windy City edition of DASH5 will cost $40 per team.   We're not trying to make money, just cover our expenses. Once you've registered on this website, we'll contact you shortly to collect payment through PayPal, Chase QuickPay or good old fashioned snail mail. Where else are you going to get a full day worth of fun for less than the cost of movie tickets?  (Plus, we'll be playing in actual 3D!)

This. Is. Awesome. Where do I sign up?

You're basically there! Send your browser to, and you'll be on the path to ADVENTURE!

What if a puzzle is too difficult? Can we get help?

Of course! You'll have the standard Ask the Audience, Phone a Friend, and 50/50 at your disposal.  Okay, that last sentence was a lie.  But hints are available! The DASH game control will be on site in each location to provide help in the event you get stuck.  Hint scoring systems have been devised that encourage teams that need a nudge to ask for hints to keep momentum flowing.  We want your puzzle solving experience to be a positive one, so we will be on hand to help.

We know we're going to come in first. What are we going to win?

Pick One: A) our undying love and affection, or B) hearty applause and back slaps all around.  In all honesty, no prizes will be given out, but DASH is never about the destination, it is about the journey.  If you are interested to see how your team performed against other teams around the country, nationwide results will be posted to the DASH website a week or so after the event.

DASH is outdoors? What if it rains?

We're playing.


Still playing.


Unless its name is Ditka, you shouldn't worry.  If it is, we encourage your team head to the nearest place with a TV and cheer loudly for Da Bulls.


We'll all take shelter.  Then we'll keep playing indoors.

Aliens? Bears? Alien bears?

We'll beat them with our collective wit and devestatingly good looks.  And jerky.

I've signed up! What should I be bringing?

  • Phone -- NEW! Your team is going to need one of those new-fangled talkie devices this year.  Rotary portables are also acceptable, as long as it can accept 3-way calling. 
  • Paper  -- Looseleaf or in notebooks, paper is the perfect medium to quickly jot down ideas, lists, etc. as you solve your clues.
  • Pencils/Pens/Sharpies -- You'll need something to write with; pencils and pens do the trick nicely.  Colored pencils can come in handy at times, and Sharpies are good when working on transparencies.
  • Stationery Supplies -- Things like scissors, tape and glue sticks often come in handy during DASH events when clue construction (or destruction) is required.
  • Writing Surface -- Clipboards are ideal when you are on the go.  Not every puzzle site will have tables for working.
  • Reference Material  -- Here it is a matter of personal choice on how prepared to be for DASH.  With smart phones, the need for lugging additional references is reduced, or obviated entirely.  That's what we think, anyway. If a puzzle really needs google, and you do not have a smartphone, Game Control will be more than happy to act as your personal google.  Just be careful what you search. :)
  • Food & Water -- There will be plenty of places along the way for you to stop and purchase a snack, but if you dont want to take the time to stop, you might wish to bring some sustinance with you.
  • Protection from the Elements -- See the section on weather above.
  • Good shoes -- 4 inch stillettos would not be considered good for DASH.  You'll be walking all over Chicago, so bring something comfortable and supportive!

And if I want to stay informed?

There's this site, There's also the DASH facebook page. Twitter and other forms of social media will be forthcoming.

Who are you people?

We're Chicago Game Control, otherwise known as the 2-headed monster of James Nelson and Wil Zambole.  James is back for round #3 running the Chicago game, while Wil is back for his second runaround as GM.  In a nutshell, James knows logistics better than UPS and runs the Chicago Puzzlehunt newsletter, while Wil is a professional puzzle writer that has appeared in Wired magazine.  James will lead you in the right direction, while Wil will bring the pain. 

Ok, not really.  But we're ready to put on a heck of an event for everyone.  Now lets get going!


Registration for DASH5 is now open.