THEY searched high, they searched low and with nowhere else to go, treasurer hunters searching for the Golden Queenie in last year’s conundrum gave up.
Organisers have admitted the conundrum had the public foxed, so have generously put everyone out of their misery by revealing the answers to the questions.
‘In the past the Golden Queenie conundrum has generated a huge following and the 2011 one seemed to be the most sought after yet,’ said Tim Croft, organiser of the Queenie Festival under which the conundrum is run.
‘In previous years our cryptic clue master had been outwitted by keen local treasure hunters using vast amounts of local knowledge that had solved and unearthed the buried treasure in record time.
‘This time around the clues set were exceptionally tough, but we didn’t think unsolvable.
‘Unfortunately, nobody was lucky enough to locate it, although I think a few came very near!’
In their quest to find the Golden Queenie – worth £4,000 – last year many turned to the Queenie Festival website and Facebook to exchange clues, tips and even collaborated together, but it remained elusive.
The search for some even continued into 2012, when the most dedicated hunters remained active in their search. There were 13 clues, the answers to which went on a grid.
One letter or number from each answer would form a code that had to be sent by text to a mobile number – which could be found by answering the final 14th clue.
Hunters searched everywhere for the answer to this final tantalising ‘where a lamp shines from above onto the land so dry’. Some climbed hills, some even caught boats to the Calf – and yet it was right there, on a lamp-post in front of the Isle of Man Yacht Club in Port St Mary, close to the epicentre of the Queenie Festival celebrations.
Answers to the 2011 Golden Queenie Conundrum:
• 1, Spirits form in a distillery, Established in 1827 the sign outside the distillery is now gone but the date is on each bottle of Manx Spirit therefore established and contained within.
• 2, A glazed viewpoint nearby is the vitrified fortress on Cronk Summark or Primrose Hill. It is one of the few examples of a vitrified fortress.
• 3, The previous clue and the next three line up in a straight line. Cross over the Baltic Road a small lane that runs SE from Kirk Michael to Cabbal Pherick or St Patrick’s Chapel or Spooyt Vane Keeill. It is written that the priest cobbled his shoes not realizing that it was Sunday morning and when his parishioners arrived for the service he rushed in haste and slipped into the stream and drowned.
• 4, Next in line is the Devil’s Elbow or Nicky’s ‘Bow, it was the No 9 milestone on the old St John’s TT course.
• 5, And straight on again brings you to Peel Harbour, Nearby a place to feed, the café on Peel Breakwater is Sir William Hillary’s gift, the Lifeboat station, where the bell tolls, Alexander Graham Bell in fact. That is the phone box which is for emergency call only for those in need, and you can only call 999 from it.
• 6, 8 bells toll in St German’s Cathedral. Noo Carmane is the old name for St Germane and the bells ring for him on the 13th July.
• 7, Over the valley on Peel Hill is St Patricks Well or Chibbyr Noo Pherick St Patrick was keen to rid Mann of the old folklore and religions and it is said that when he struck the ground with his staff, a spring rose from the ground and that the water was poisonous to fairies.
• 8, Once more a straight line links the next points, From Peel Hill fly straight to where Sir William Oates preached, St Runius’ church at Marown where stylish gravestone by Archibald Knox marks the grave of Margaret Lace, daughter of John Clucas, who died aged 97
• 9, Head in a straight line to the Steam Packet Terminal where it is dry but steamy! Inside the Pillar Box is number 261.
• 10, Embarr the white horse of Manannan would be expected to be in the God’s lair or castle on South Barrule, 1585 ft above sea level and on the trig point at the summit the number cast in bronze is S5387
• 11, From South Barrule the end of the journey is clearly visible and a straight line connect the next points, flying on wings so straight, to the MAPS project (Manx Aviation Preservation Society) and the MAMM or Manx Aviation and Military Museum.
• 12, Carrying on the straight line, Tobacco Gullet is near Langness Lighthouse which flashes 240 times in an hour.
• 13, Again another straight line links the final clues. Vulcan is the God of Fire and Scarlett Point is an extinct Volcano so named after Vulcan.
• 14, If you carry the line, it ends at the boat park in front of the IOM Yacht Club, Port St Mary, where on a lamp stand that is where a lamp shines from above onto the land so dry, you would have found a phone number to text the code to which would have revealed the location of the Golden Shell.
As organisers are putting together the format for this year’s Queenie Festival, they have decided to officially fold up last year’s conundrum and launch the next one. It’s a rollover, they said!
The clues for this year’s conundrum will be available in the festival programme, priced £1, available at newsagents and shops island-wide from Saturday (June 2).
Hunters can get a head start and begin ahead of those who wait for the clues to be released generally in a few weeks’ time.
Is there a clue about the clues?
‘The clues are easier – they follow a theme and are all about people. Every answer is a person,’ said Tim.
‘It will take people all around the island. You will not be able to solve this sat at your PC, you need to get out and about.’
The Queenie Festival, now in its fourth year, will run from June 29 to July 1.
It will kick off with a party on Port Erin beach, sponsored by Sure Mobile from 6pm to 11pm on Friday, June 29.
Then the action will move to Port St Mary for a marine weekend including marine touch tanks, trawler races, cooking demonstrations by top London chefs, a seafood barbecue, live music, sea swimming and diving.
For more information, see www.queeniefestival.com.