Day 1 of Nancy Drew Convention, Weekend Puzzle #380 solution, and some interesting theories from Roo!
Hiya all you ATAC Members!
Frank and Joe still owe us that money!
While walking into Salem on the first day of this year’s Nancy Drew Convention (put on by Nancy Drew Fans), I couldn’t help but think about two of the original members of ATAC – Frank and Joe Hardy! One of the first buildings I passed was a fire station, and I saw the witch on their emblem, just like the Hardy Boys and Nancy talked about. I kept my eyes peeled and saw a few more emblems with witches during my visit. I know Greenwich, Connecticut once had a witch on their fire department emblem, but I’m on Nancy’s side and that the bet was about a police force emblem, and not just any first responders.
Peep a little more than a witch on the fire truck
As I ventured closer to the heart of the town, a fascinating pattern emerged. Many of the houses I passed were adorned with small signs, a tradition that turned out to be a distinctive “New England thing,” according to a local guide I asked named Jodi. These signs told you what year the house was built, who it was built for, and what they did.
Jealous of the title “Fancy Painter”
Have you ever wondered where the phrase “dead as a doornail” comes from? During the era when these houses were being constructed, the number of nails used in a project was considered a status symbol, reflecting one’s wealth. In Salem and other original settlements, homeowners would even decorate their front doors with extra nails to flaunt their prosperity. However, this display of affluence came with a downside as others began stealing the nails right out of door frames to construct their own homes. In response, homeowners devised a clever solution by bending back their nails, essentially ‘killing’ them. Once bent, these nails could not be removed for reuse, safeguarding their investment. Moments like these remind me of how learning can come from various sources – sometimes from a Nancy Drew Game and other times from the wisdom of a local. A fascinating glimpse into history, don’t you think?
Walking the town with Deidre
Since this first day was a “free day” until the Nancy Drew Convention Meet & Greet in the evening, I took full advantage of my empty schedule to get acclimated to the city, walking all around and taking everything in. I half expected Deirdre to sneak up behind me at any moment. I felt like I really was walking through Midnight in Salem on the hunt for clues, coffee, and cozying up with Hardy Boys! (sorry, Ned) I passed signs and flags advertising a month-long festival called “Haunted Happenings” and the town’s Jack-0-Lantern festival. This reminded me of the light post signs and all the Jack-o-Lanterns you can carve in MID. Did you know you get an award if you find all the hidden pumpkin locations and place jack-o-lanterns there!? It is my favorite reward in the whole game because I love all things pumpkins.
If you’ve carved all the pumpkins and completed that in-game challenge, be sure to try the real-life challenge of Her Interactives’ Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest. This contest is going on Now until Nov 1, enter the Nancy Drew Cosplay & Pumpkin Carving contests! There are 4 categories & YOU will vote on the winners You could win a free download of Mystery of the Seven Keys when it becomes available! Click here to learn more!
Have you discovered all 12 locations for pumpkins in MID?
While walking to my first activity for the week, I passed by the real Old Town Hall! I wonder if Teegan is in? Then I stopped at a shop and grabbed an Andes Mint Iced Coffee… for research purposes of course…
I am constantly in awe at how beautifully our games capture the spirit and essence of many real-life locations
Stepping into history
Finally, I arrived at the historic house of Judge Jonathan Corwin. This house is the only structure still standing from the time of the Salem Witch Trials. In those dark days, anyone accused of witchcraft was first brought to this house for questioning. What struck me immediately was the sheer size of the house; it was quite extraordinary for its time.
Within its walls, I found copies of documents from the notorious Salem witch trials that touched on many of the concepts and research we learned about in Midnight in Salem. The potential role of ergot poisoning, the stories from the Naumkeag, and the fundamentals of herbal remedies all felt familiar.
The exterior of the Corwin House bore a striking resemblance to the iconic Hathorne House, evoking a sense of real-life Nancy Drew déjà vu. This feeling was heightened when I learned that in the 1940s, the city faced a decision about the fate of the Corwin House. They grappled with the question of preserving this valuable piece of history or moving on from the shameful past in the midst of downtown development. Some advocated for its demolition, while others argued for its preservation. The house was carefully moved just 35 feet, allowing the main road to be widened.
Interior, exterior, and displays of herbs at Corwin House
Time to get my Bingo on!
12,345 steps later, it was time for the first event of my first-ever Nancy Drew Convention – the meet and greet! Everyone was invited to dress up as a witch and we officially checked in. The night was busy, filled with picking up the convention goodie bags, eating dessert to die for, playing a meet-and-greet bingo card-style game, crossing our fingers to win raffles, meeting so many fellow sleuths (shout out to Erin! She was the first fellow Nancy Drew Games fan to come up and say hi). Some of my personal favorite moments of the night were when I finally got to give some of my new friends Nancy Drew inspired friendship bracelets and even saw some original Nancy Drew book cover art! My heart was so full.
Photo Cred and BIG thanks go to Jim McNamara for putting together his display of Nancy cover and interior art that he has been collecting since 1986
And now, a message from Roo!
Last week, we had an amazing puzzle go out done by the puzzle master herself, Indy! If you haven’t solved it already, I recommend going back to last week’s blog post to put your master detective skills to the test!
Click to view answer
“Koko Kringles are red, Sonny’s hair is blue, Nancy Drives a roadster, take a second look at the poster.”
Some of you immediately figured out that this was related to the poster giveaway we did for our 34th post a couple of months ago and had some interesting theories that I wanted to share!
- Since the poster is 18×24’, there was a suggestion that the release date for game 34 would be 1/8/24, which I have to say is INCREDIBLY clever!
- Someone pointed out that there are a couple of really fun silhouettes on the poster, and some look familiar, and some are new … there was even a theory where one looks like Batman! I think that theory was my favorite. Nancy Drew x DC collab soon?
- You sleuths pointed out that there was an “H” somewhere on the poster and had a couple of ideas of what it could possibly mean: Hans? Hilda Swenson? Henrik Van Der Hune? There were probably others, but you’re asking the wrong amnesiac 😉
Let me know below which theory is your favorite! One may be more right than the others!
Congratulations again to everyone who won the contest, has one of the coveted posters, and helped send photos and videos to the rest of the Clue Crew so everyone could sleuth together. For all those who were not lucky enough to win, we have decided to put out a digital copy of the poster so you can zoom in and look for your own clues. Roo put a pretty interesting watermark on the poster, so the contest winners remain the only ones with the original poster. Our watermark may not be Togo, but you might like it just as much!
What secrets do you think this poster might hold?
What is your theory behind the secret clue in the poster? Share with us in the comment section below!