All Clued Up - 9 Clue Styles

Our Treasure Trail Writers are trained to write a mix of clues in the Treasure Trails that they create. Once the route is worked out to ensure that it takes in all the best bits of a town or village, then the next step is to craft the clues. To make a Treasure Trail fun and suitable for all the family, the clues are a mixture of some, or sometimes all, of the following types. Remember, we use permanent plaques, memorials and markers, so our clues are based around observation rather than general or prior knowledge of a place or area.

Hide and Seek

Clues are often easy to solve once you’ve found them, but can be hard to find in the first place!  A hidden clue is one that has to be searched for - amongst gravestones for example or in a mosaic or series of plaques.

Or it could be a clue such as this one “Ding dong, when you find the object that makes this sound, find a word close by that rhymes with box and note down what is immediately above it”!


There are quite often counting clues in amongst those in a Treasure Trail as well as simple additions and subtractions or even a bit of multiplication!  A favourite is to ask the clue solver to figure out how old a person was when he died! And if the plaque has the month they were born and died as well as the year, it can get quite complicated!

Physical instruction

All Clued Up - 9 Clue Styles - searching for clues

Clues with a physical instruction are fun because even the littlest ones on the Treasure Trail can get involved. “Look for a set of railings and count the number of upright poles. Now walk that number of paces from the end and then look around to identify the name of a tree.”


Clues using anagrams are very useful for the writer when creating names of places for the map in the Treasure Hunts or names of people for the suspect gallery in the Murder Mysteries. We don’t use anagrams for the Spy Mission though because there is no way of confirming that the solver has got it right! 

Spot the Difference

Sometimes a Treasure Trail writer will take a photo of a scene or an object and then either remove from or add something to the picture. The clue solver has to stand in a certain place and compare the photo to the real thing to identify what the difference is!


Many of our Treasure Trails’ clues are easy enough to find but much harder to decode. The plaque sited on a wall with a reasonable amount of information, may give rise to a clue along the lines of “If 3/3 is beef and 12/5 is cattle, what is 7/6?”.  This is a personal favourite as I love trying to find a plaque that yields up three or four ‘matching’ words.

Hidden words

All Clued Up - 9 Clue Styles - here's another clue...

We also write clues that require the solver to find the answer either within a longer word or more often than not, across two words -  A pair of pairs from 1900 is what you must track down next. One of those identified is concealing an innocent suspect's first name. Strike her from the gallery and move on”. The answer is a girl’s name concealed in Alfred Apperly. Can you find it?

What comes next

This is a useful clue type when there is a dearth of clue material and maybe only a phone number or series of letters on a wall - the clue solver has to work out what comes next in the series. First of course, they have to find the series!

Witty Wording

Its not really cryptic but it is fun wording that will lead solver’s to find the answer to this clue. “You’ll need to ‘spring’ into action and ‘tap’ into your powers of deduction to solve this. Age has taken its toll, but the source is still visible”.  Where do you think it was located?

Which are your favourite type of clues?