Da Vinci puzzles around city pubs
LORNA MARSH It is a world-wide phenomenon, topping best-seller lists and spawning scores of tours and treasure hunts. And now people can get a taste of the cryptic riddles that caught the imaginations of millions reading the Da Vinci Code during a unique Norfolk event that will pit puzzle-breakers against one another in a race against time.
It is a world-wide phenomenon, topping best-seller lists and spawning scores of tours and treasure hunts.
And now people can get a taste of the cryptic riddles that caught the imaginations of millions reading the Da Vinci Code during a unique Norfolk event that will pit puzzle-breakers against one another in a race against time.
Da Vinci Norwich involves teams of code-crackers collecting clues which will then lead them to various pubs around the city.
But it is a far cry from a crawl or quiz night, the puzzles are designed to emulate the level of difficulty found in Dan Brown's book and as such the novel event is intended to last for weeks.
Clues make use of various historic places in Norwich and reveal the location or names of the 37 participating pubs.
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An additional clue unique to each pub will also have to be gathered and solved.
Amateur sleuths will have to put hours of research into the clues but while they may not lead to the Holy Grail - the object of the hunt in the novel - the first individual or team to crack all the codes will win a cash prize.
The event is the brain child of Norwich man Giles Mccathie, who wanted a unique and fun way to raise money for the Childline charity.
He said he got the idea while racking his brains driving along the A140 after just having finished the book.
And while there may not be the dead bodies or murderous monks littering the novel, clues will involve historical figures and supernatural mysteries.
Mr Mccathie said he also hoped cracking the codes will provide as much entertainment for people as reading the book and that the event will bring the Norwich community closer together.
"Rather than just asking people to donate money I wanted to find a fun and engaging way to get them really involved.
"The book really grabbed people's imaginations. We all love the idea of a good mystery and Norwich has got so many historic pubs and areas that it lent itself really well to the idea.
"It's also about not just going out drinking, people can learn about Norwich and it's history and more about all the different pubs. And hopefully it will become a talking point in the community."
Mr Mccathie said he probably got as much enjoyment coming up with all the clues as he expects participants will breaking them.
The event kicks off on Monday with clues being sent out by email or post to those already signed up to the event at midnight on Sunday.
And it's not too late to join, the EDP has teamed up with Da Vinci Norwich to offer a taster clue also on Monday and budding cryptologists can get all the information and sign up at www.justgiving.com/davincinorwich.
It costs individuals or teams, which can be as large or small as required, £10 to register and there is a £100 prize for the first to send all the answers to an address given on registration. Pubs also made donations to Childline.
For those without access to the internet, registration can be done at any one of the participating pubs, look out for posters in the windows as the EDP can not give out the full list. Envelopes labelled Davinci Norwich and including £10 cash or cheque, made payable to Childline Fund, as well as an e-mail or postal address for clues to be sent to, can be handed in to bar staff.