The 28th annual University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt began at the stroke of midnight on Thursday with the traditional list release in Ida Noyes Hall. Since then, teams have competed in an air guitar tournament last night in Hutchinson Commons, a tea tasting/guessing contest, and a presidential debate, in which teams impersonated a president from history, featuring both “historically accurate answers to questions of your candidate's platform, as well as convincing impressions and accurate facial hair.”
Items to be completed on Day Two include an astronavigation tournament, a shadow puppet contest, and a cardboard medieval castle to be displayed on Eckhart quad, where teams will then attempt to destroy each other’s castles in true medieval fashion—by catapulting water balloons.
This year’s Scav road trip will take competitors to the Great White North, led by Justin Bieber’s “chimeric cousin, Justin Beaver.” En route to Canada, they will make stops in Michigan, where they must “torment the U of M NEEERRRDS!!! by marching all over their wave field,” and Niagara Falls.
As always, Scav runs until Sunday, when teams will display their items for Judgment.
Here are some highlights from this year’s list of 308 eclectic items.
Largest point totals:
Item #13: It sucks that the Mummer's Parade is always getting canceled. Let's make it more durable by combining it with another Philadelphia tradition: the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Your 'Fancy' Kinetic Sculpture Mummer ought to walk, not roll, but it need not be bipedal. Otherwise, it should adhere to the Derby's rules. Points for functionality and decoration. [175 points]
Item #49: Bring us an Animusic-style instrument that plays itself. Once activated, it should perform, unaided, a composition of no less than 90 seconds. While your device may have electronic components, it must not produce electronic music. [175 points, 50 bonus points if the music is played by multiple distinct mechanisms that join in gradually as it proceeds.]
Item #140: We've been told that books can transport us to faraway places. We'd like one that actually delivers on this promise. Construct a pop-up book large enough for us to explore the whimsical, and well-engineered structures within. Multiple pages would be nice, but we're really just after one fantastic centerfold. [150 points]
Item #32: Kurt Vonnegut warned us in Player Piano what was to come of having no engineering department. Somehow, I don't think he saw molecular engineering as the answer, so we've best prepare ourselves now. Send a team member to Bartlett Lounge at 4:30 p.m. on Friday to see who can best win their livelihood in the dystopian future to come. The point is to guess just from seeing. [15 points]
Item #61: Publicly, Dean Boyer's preferred mode of exercise may be bicycling, but deep down we think that he may have another passion. Convince him or another dean to lead members of your team on a Prancercise tour of the Quads. [9 points for assistant dean, 11 for a full dean, 14 for the man himself]
Item #66: I might be able to pull an all-nighter in the library one time during finals week, but what if I want tostay multiple nights in the Regz-Carlton? Good thing you have a prototype for a Murphy or Trundle bed that folds out of a Reg locker! [18 points]
Item #153: The illustrious Stanley R. Pierce sent University officials on a treasure hunt to find the money he donated to construct his namesake dormitory. Keep the dream alive by burying your senior class gift and presenting the Gift Committee with a treasure map leading to its whereabouts. Provide the Judge with a copy of said treasure map and proof of the Gift Committee's receipt of your donation. I'll have you know that legit treasure maps are written on scrolls and cover 10x10 block areas of the City of Chicago. [20.14 points]
Item #200: These Common App schools will let in any monster these days! Create a glossy admissions brochure for a college with standards, UC Sunnydale. [4 points]
Item #303: It’s time to submit your final proj for Selfie Culture and Society! How many reflective surfaces can you duckface into on campus? As with all Core assignments, collaboration is encouraged. [0.2 points per distinct source, max 8 points. Portable mirrors and spoons will receive no credit]
For the foodies:
Item #41: Did you know 'Narsil' is almost an anagram for 'Snail'? Bring us a blade made from the shards of several Snail menu items. Must be rigid. Must be delicious. [9.95 points]
Item #80: Of course you use a French press, you imperialist gaijin! A cup of delicious iced coffee and the Kyoto Drip you used to make it. [17 points]
Item #86: Ich bin ein Berliner? Nein! Ich bin ein Berliner essen einen Berliner. [1/6 points for a person eating a pastry, 6/1 points for a pastry eating a person]
Item #131: The free-standing, cut and slot, 100% gingerbread model of your team's mascot and cookie cutters you used to make it. [14 points]
Item #171: A foodstuff which you believe best represents H.R. 3263 (112th Congress), the Lake Thunderbird Efficient Use Act of 2012; H.R. 5883 (112th Congress), To designate the facility of the United States Postal Act Service located at 115 4th Avenue Southwest Ardmore, Oklahoma, as the "Specialist Michael E. Phillips Post Office"; or H.R. 4066 (108th Congress), Chickasaw National Recreation Area Land Exchange Act of 2004. [2 points]
Item #242: Taste the pizza mime. His face is a pizza. His hands are slices of pizza. Motioning silently. Serving itself. Taste the pizza mime. [2π points]
Item #191: I'm convinced that with a little Ron Howard narration and some chipper ukelele music, Breaking Bad could be just as funny as Arrested Development. I'm convinced it would take nothing else besides those two things. [11 points]
Item #196: So, I see you working your team tee, but you know what would really make me smize? A former ANTM contestant taking Scav-shirt chic to the next level with a fierce photo or Flixel. Feel free to make it flawsome, but say nooch to the hoochie coochie. [12 points]
Item #202: We all know that The Office and House of Cards are imports from across the Pond, but did you know Parks and Rec is too? Neither did I! And I won't believe it until I see the opening credits and a few minutes of Britrotted footage from the original 1980s version of the show. [7 points]
Item #230: One fully-illuminated page from The Book of Kel. [4 points, 0 points for the Book of Kenan]
Item #4: Last of his line no longer! A working CL4P-TP robot, decorated with war-paint and bullymong hair. May be made to any scale, but must be able to balance and move, perform dubstep, and feel alone. Must not be able to climb stairs. [35 experience points]
Item #40: A Pythagorean red Solo (TM) cup. [12 oz. points]
Item #116: The phone number of an established business organization that you have convinced to cut down on the volume of customer service calls by replacing `on hold' music with the sound balloons make when you rub them. (I should be able to look up this phone number using Google or Yelp.) [8 points]
Item #175: A Playmobil(R) diorama of Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. Whether you choose to base your model on the Warren Report version of the events or the House Select Committee on Assassinations report version is up to you! [6 points, 6 bonus points for a LEGO(R) model of the RFK assassination. 6 more bonus points for a Mega Bloks(R) recreation of the Chappaquiddick incident.]
Item #281: Other Magazines: The Swimsuit Edition. We suggest choosing from among the greats like The Economist, The Watchtower, or Cigar Aficionado. [6 points]
Item #308: A million dollars isn't cool! You know what's cool? A swamp booger. [20 points]
Read the full list here.