Answers: The 2023 Trail Mail Challenges

Well done on completing the 2023 Trail Mail Challenge! How did you do? Scroll down to see all the answers from the seven Trail Mail challenges.

If you're only looking to get the answers to one of the puzzles, and don't want spoilers for the others, please head to the main challenge page and click on the link to the relevant challenge to access the individual answers.

Trail Mail 01: Lincoln

Easy Peasy

Q: How many animals are mentioned on the plaque?

A: There are two animals mentioned on the plaque - hare and deer.

Mind Twister

Q: 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?  

A: You'd land on the word poachers. 2+6+1+8+7+7=31, and if you count from "This", the 31st word is poachers.

Brain Buster

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

A: Line 4 = 17. For this clue, you just want to count the vowels in each line.

Trail Mail 02: Caerleon

Easy Peasy

Q: Using the English alphabet (26 letters, A-Z), how many letters do NOT appear on the whole plaque?

A: Four letters don't appear - J, V, X and Z.

Mind Twister

Q: Find the longest word in Welsh and the longest word in English. What two letters do they share? The same two letters can be found together, in reverse alphabetical order, in only two other words on the plaque. What words are they?

A: Augusta and Standard. The longest Welsh word is Canolbwynt, and the longest English word is Headquarter. These share the letters AT, which can be found together in only Augusta and Standard.

Brain Buster

Q: Triangles – Welsh = 10; English - Latin = 15; (Welsh + English - Triangles) x Latin = ?

A: 14. Triangles = 28, Welsh = 18, English = 17 and Latin = 2. (18 + 17 - 28) x 2 = 14.

Trail Mail 03: Exeter

Easy Peasy

Q: Add together all the letters in the names of the first three women and remove that total from the year they died. What does that equal?

A: 1640. Temperance Lloyd = 15, Susannah Edwards = 15, Mary Trembles = 12. 15 + 15 + 12 = 42. 1682 - 42 = 1640.  

Mind Twister

Q: Only one of these four-letter words can’t be seen on the plaque: ITCH, CUTE, RAFT, LICE, LAND, BEEN, TREE, WARD, CELL. Which is it?


Brain Buster

Q: Line 1 = 2; Line 2 = 3; Line 3 = 7; Line 4 = ?

A: 5. To get this answer, you need to count up the number of closed spaces in the letters from that line - e, o, d etc. So, for line four: Susannah Edwards

Trail Mail 04: Portrush 

Easy Peasy

Q: How many letters in the top sign do not appear in the bottom sign?

A: Six letters don't appear on both signs - F, M, Q, U, V and W.

Mind Twister

Q: Note down all the numbers on the sign and treat each number individually. If 26 = Z, 25 = Y, etc., convert them into letters and write them in alphabetical order. What is the third letter?

A: F. The numbers are 271996. 2 = B, 7 = G, 1 = A, 9 = I, 9 = I, 6 = F. In alphabetical order, that's ABFGII.

Brain Buster

Q: Which school subject is hidden in the sign (no acronyms)?

A: Art. Can be found within Vehicular Traffic.

Trail Mail 05: Aboyne 

Easy Peasy

Q: The lion and the unicorn each have a word beneath their hoof/paw. What letter do these two words share?

A: E. The words are Nemo and Lacessit.

Mind Twister

Q: Remove all the words that can be seen in both the blue and red plaques, and all acronymsThen, list the remaining words in alphabetical order. What’s the fifth word?

A: Majesty: Aboyne, Duke, George, Her, Majesty, Of, Of, Prince, Queen, Rothesay, Strachan, Wales

Brain Buster

Q: ((Lions + Thistles - Crowns) x Flags) / Feathers = ?

A: Six. There are seven lions, eight thistles, six crowns, two flags and three feathers. ((7+8 – 6)x2) / 3 = 6

Trail Mail 06: Southwark 

Easy Peasy

Q: What do Mr Browning and Mr Astull both keep in their yards?

A: Timber.

Mind Twister

Q: A number of words in the poem use the archaic long s, which looks a bit like an f ( ſ ). List all these words in alphabetical order. What letter position is the ſ in within each word? Submit as numbers in that order.

A: 4132 - Roaſted, ſee, Taſte, Uſe

Brain Buster

Q: Fill in the blanks in this sequence: T a _ n t R _ H p g _ T w

A: a p R. This is the first initial of each line of text in the middle of the two stones. The ones missing from the sequence are a, plum, Rabbit.

Trail Mail 07: York 

Easy Peasy

Q: How many different colours can be seen on the flags? Add this to the number of lions on the coat of arms. Subtract that total from the year. What are you left with?

A: 1904. 5 colours + 5 lions = 10, 1914 - 10 = 1904

Mind Twister

Q: Which of the following words can’t be seen in the image? BOW, TREE, COUNT, MAST, HOAR, SAND, FROWN, HEIR, CAR, END


Brain Buster

Q: Line 1 = 0 dots, 1 dash; Line 2 = 4 dots, 6 dashes; Line 3 = 4 dots, 6 dashes; Line 7 = ? dots, ? dashes. Hint – something on this page will help…

A: 8, 6 - Morse code using just the red letters in each line.