Clues: Amazing Race

Rating: Hard
Supplies: None

For the main post about clue based traps. See this post

This is a great hunt for all ages. It is actually very simple to adapt to your home. Be patient with the explanation because I promise it really is easy and very fun (at least this puzzle lover thinks so).

How it works:
- All the clues return a number. The kids use a decoder to turn the numbers into a letter.
They will then need to unscramble the letters to find Christmas.
The Decoder are two circles, one with letters the other with numbers. They sit on top each other and can be connected with a brad for easy spinning. The easiest version would be for 1 to equal ‘A’, 2 equals ’B’, and so forth. But you can set it at any combination.

Things to consider when adapting to your family: 
1. Where will the end be? Example: Garage, Tree House, Grandpa’s House
       a. For every unique letter, you will need a clue. Garage has only 4 unique letters, so requires 4 clues. Tree House has 7 unique letters, so you would create 7 clues.
2. One of the clues should include both a letter and a number. This clue is what sets the dial.
       a. Example – send them searching for a specific book in your home, and ask them what page number the first chapter starts and what letter it starts (or what is the 4th or 10th letter or word are depending on what letter you need).
       b. An easier one might be – what is Uncle Greg’s phone number. Use the 4th digit in the phone number and the 1st letter of his name.
       c. If you’ve got brilliant children who love puzzles, they can potentially figure out how to set the dial without the letter and number combo.
3. Order of the clues
       a. You can give the clues/numbers in the order of the word. Or you for a bit more of a challenge, make them unscramble at the end once they have all the letters.
       b. If the first few clues and letters make it too obvious where the end is, they may not need to even finish all the clues. 
4. It is very easy to get to the number you need. Let’s say the clue is how many stairs are in the house, and you have 15, but you need the number 20. Just have them do a little math. Like add 5, or divide by 3 and multiply by 4. 

Click here to download our free printable decoder!


1. How many frames are on the wall in the family room, den, and upstairs hall? 

2. How many forks are in the kitchen drawer?

3. How many stairs are in the house? The whole house! (include upstairs, downstairs, porches, coming in from the garage, etc)

4. How many books are in the library bag by the door?

5. How many windows are on the house? Divide by 3.  

6. What is the phone number to nearest Dominos Pizza. Add the first 3 numbers (excluding area code) and divide 2. What is the 4th letter of the street it is on? Use 2X.

7. What channel is the TV on? Divide the answer in number 3 by this answer.
(this requires them to figure out silently turning on the TV).

8. How many doors are in the house? (exterior and interior)

Set the decoder and use it to decode the above clues.
The "2x" next to a clue means the letter from that clue will be used twice.
Unscramble the letters to find Christmas! 

__ __ __    __ __ __ __ __

1. 18 Frames, Letter = A
2. 12 Forks, Letter = U
3. 26 Stairs, See clue 7 below. 26 divided by 13 = 2, Letter = K
4. 20 Books, Letter = C
5. 15 Windows divided by 3 = 5, Letter = N
6. 4+8+6 = 18 / 2 = 9, Dearborn = R (This set the decoder at 9=R, then all other numbers can be decoded)
7. Channel 13, use in clue 3 above. 
8. 11 Doors, Letter = T

A U K C N R R T  

C  A  RT  R  U  N  K 

In the car trunk you might have a wrapped gift with noisemakers they can use to wake you. Or maybe a key to a locked room holding all the presents. 

Interested in another clue based trap, check out The Grinch Who Stole Christmas here. 

Merry Trapping!