Lincoln Trail Mail

Welcome to your first Trail Mail challenge! To celebrate Lincolnshire Day on 1st October, we're heading to the county town of Lincoln to solve the first three clues.

This is the first instalment of the 2023 Trail Mail Challenge. For information on the prizes, the leader board and past puzzles, visit the main page here.

Your challenge

There are three clues set on the following image - one easy peasy, one mind twister and one brain buster. How many can you solve?

Top tip: Open the image in a new tab or save it to your device so you can zoom in.

Image: By Lincolnshire Poacher Plaque at Lincoln Castle by J.Hannan-Briggs, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Easy Peasy

How many animals are mentioned on the plaque?

Mind Twister

Treating each number on the plaque as single digits, add them all together (eg. 25 = 2 + 5 = 7). You’ll need this number for the next bit.

If “This” is 1 and “traditional” is 2, count across the text that many times. What word do you land on?  

Brain Buster

Using just the poem in white, if line 1 = 16, line 2 = 15 and line 3 = 17, what does line 4 equal?

Submit your answers

Think you've solved them? Submit your answers for the chance to join the leaderboard and maybe even win a prize!

Please use a codename that is unique to you and does not contain personal information (like your email address or full name), as this will be displayed on the leaderboard. Head to the main page for more information on the leaderboard and prizes.

There are six points up for grabs - one point for correctly solving the Easy Peasy clue, two for the Mind Twister and three for the Brain Buster. Make sure you enter your answers in the correct boxes, or they won't be counted.

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🔦 Spotlight location: Lincoln

Steep Hill towards Lincoln Cathedral

Welcome to Lincoln, an East Midlands city, and Lincolnshire county town, that's rich in history. Here you'll find cobbled streets, ancient walls, old buildings and superb landmarks - like the cathedral and castle - as well as a scenic waterfront. The city is bursting with new life, too, with vibrant markets and cultural events that make this a must-visit location.

On the Lincoln detective mystery Trail, you'll be investigating the Cathedral Quarter area of the city, with the chance to peek inside both the cathedral and castle as you patrol, or after you reveal 'whodunnit'.

Fab facts and twisting tales

Lincoln is a very old city - so old, in fact, that it hit a number of historical records. Back in the Roman times, it was the third-largest city in the UK, and its accolades grew from there. For over 200 years it was home to the tallest building in the WORLD (Lincoln Cathedral), has one of just four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, and can boast both the UK's oldest working canal and the oldest inland harbour.

But the city certainly isn't stuck in the past. In 1915, in a Lincoln hotel room, two men changed the face of military conflict forever with the invention of the tank. And in the future - hopefully in 2025 - Lincoln will become the home of the world's first robotic farm! The 'Robot Highways' project is being led by a consortium that includes the University of Lincoln and will be using a university campus as a staging ground for the project. Hopefully, this will be a leap toward sustainability and waste renewal in the food-production industry.