(This post has been updated with a response from Tom Shroder.)

Memo to: Gene Weingarten, Tom Shroder and Dave Barry

Re: Post Hunt 2013 Practice Puzzle

From: WP Magazine

Dear Gene, Tom and Dave:

You wimps. What happened to your sadistic wit?

Your Post Hunt 2013 practice puzzle was a wiffle ball. We posted it last week to announce that Sunday, June 2, is the date for this year’s Post Hunt. Elena Johnson, age 22, a change management analyst with Accenture from Arlington, sent the answer back to us in one hour and 40 minutes.

If the real brainteasers you unveil in downtown Washington on June 2 are that easy, we’ll bust the contest to the KidsPost pages. We want readers to sweat for that $2,000 prize.

Lest you, in your clearly infirm state, have forgotten the lame practice puzzle you came up with, we remind you:

A worker is carrying a big sign for a business that says EAT in giant letters, and “at Joe’s” in tiny letters. He carries it past a row of tents. The answer to this picture is one of these numbers:





The answer: Reducing that ad absurdum, you have EAT PAST TENTS. Which is a homophone for EAT PAST TENSE. Which would be ATE. So the correct answer is 8.

Now eat your spinach, review your work from the last five years of this game at washingtonpost.com/posthunt, and amaze us again.

The editors


Memo to: WP Magazine

Re: Post Hunt 2013 Practice Puzzle

From: Tom Shroder, former magazine editor and current co-creator of Post Hunt

It took her AN HOUR AND FORTY MINUTES to solve that?  Do the math: there are five hunt puzzles. The Hunt begins at noon. At that rate, Elena would solve all five puzzles at …… 8:20 pm. Which is great, except the Hunt is over by 4. So better get to work, do some more reps, and try to be a bit faster on June 2.