University Hills X-Marks the Spot Selfie Treasure Hunt 2016

Update (July 18): Now that the final deadline has passed, here is a list of our winners!  (Also, a link to the solution is included below.  If you still want to try to solve the puzzle, don't click that link.  This page, though, is spoiler-free.)

The HRB activities committee thanks everyone who participated in this first-ever UH-wide treasure hunt. We had over 400 individual IP addresses download the hunt information. The 1st-place winner is the Kirkby family and the winners of the runner-up random drawing are David and Diana Eppstein. We congratulate everyone who solved the clues (or tried) and we appreciate the feedback we received on what we hope was an enjoyable, educational adventure.

We learned some lessons about how to organize and manage this kind of activity so it’s likely we will do it again at some point and make it even better. This hunt was created by HRB member Rich Haier (AKA, Treasure Master). If you would like to volunteer to create a new hunt or comment on this one, please contact him at:

In addition to the Kirkbys, who found the spot first, the following groups submitted selfies showing themselves at the correct spot (listed in chronological order of receipt):

Deborah & Sophie Shaka 
David and Diana Eppstein 
David Mobley Family 
Gina Bock, Anne Bock, Miriam Kae, and Lauren Vasquez
Julia Baldi, Gwen Sanders, Crista Lopes, Toby (dog)
Sylvia Middlebrooks, Eric Daniels, and Molly Schneider
Christie Chang and Sabine Kunrath 
Suetterlin-Tan family (Lucas, Christine, Toby, and Ming)

Their photos and others are included on the spoiler/solution page.


Update (July 9):  The $75 prize has been claimed, but we are introducing a $25 runner-up prize, with the winner to be selected at random from all correct solutions received prior to the July 17th noon deadline.  (Exception: the $75 winner is not eligible for the runner-up drawing.)

To enter the drawing, submit a selfie of yourself (or your group) at the specific treasure spot that can be found by solving the clues posted here:

This hunt is designed to engage adults but eighth graders who are focused and can tolerate a bit of purposeful ambiguity can solve it.


1. The Treasure Hunt is open only to residents of University Hills, including Los Lomas, Gabrielino, Santiago, and Alturas apartments.

2. Decipher all the clues and together they will lead you to an exact spot in UH. Nothing is buried at the spot so no digging is required. Just find the spot.

3. All the clues can be solved at home, but once you have them all, follow where they lead and go to the spot. Take a selfie that shows exactly where you are and email it to Include your name (and any team/family members you worked with), address, and phone number along with your solution to each clue. ONE entry per person (or family or team) is allowed.  We would like to post submitted photos on  If you do NOT wish your photo to be published, please let us know in your solution email.

4. The spot is NOT on the property of any homeowner or inside any enclosure or fenced area. It is NOT on the grounds of the Community Center or Chancellor’s Residence. It is NOT in a street, up a tree, or anywhere that could be dangerous for taking a selfie.

5. The deadline for finding the spot and submitting your entry is noon on Sunday July 17th, 2016.

6. The winners of the $75 first-place prize, the $25 runner-up drawing, and the honorable mentions (those who submitted correct solutions) will be posted on the HRB website on Monday July 18th

Happy hunting!