Saturday, September 01, 2007

Puzzling Atheists #3:
A Goddamned Scavenger Hunt

I’ve been kind of hard on some of my fellow atheists lately, so I’ve decided to make it up to them by challenging you to a scavenger hunt through the Atheosphere. There’s no hurry; you can go on your search in one sitting or you can feel free to make your trip last for as long as you like. I’m not going to give you any direct links in this post — figuring out where to go is part of the puzzle — but I will tell you that you can find all the relevant sites just a click away on one or more of my blogrolls: “Nonbelieving Literati,” “Godforsaken Blogs,” and “Frequent Commenters.”

I’ve listed 20 items below, 17 of which you can find by following my not-so-simple directions. Cross off each item as you find it. The three items left over are things you’ll never see on any of the blogs you visit during your journey. Well, maybe you’ll see them, but you certainly won’t see the two-word phrase you can get by anagramming the letters in their names.

Here, in alphabetical order, is the list of items you’ll be looking for:

cut fencefingrandfathergrapes
kiltslinen lidmesanuts
rainratryeslinky Stonehenge

Directions to items:

  1. Find a frequent commenter who is not quite a heathen. Visit the commenter’s blog, and look at the picture. That’s the first item to cross off the list.

  2. Are atheists revolting? I don’t think so, but a nonbeliever who quoted the bible on August 28 may agree to disagree. Go to the appropriate blog post, read the quote, find an item on the list, and cross it off.

  3. On August 5, an atheist blogger had a great realization that a lot of people make idiotic comments. I’m particularly fond of the photo of George W. Bush in a dunce cap. But there’s an even cuter picture on the appropriate post, and it shows the next item to cross off the list.

  4. Recently, the reverend Spooner was looking for a new blog about spiritual exercising. He meant to go to “Ab Road of Light.” But you know reverend Spooner. Instead, he clicked on an atheist blog. You should click on it, too, and look for the July 21st post. The blogger digresses and tells a story which includes the item you should cross off your list.

  5. PhillyChief has hidden an item in the name of his blog. Find it, and cross it off the list.

  6. Go visit the hooker. It’s been a long time since you’ve seen her — not since April 22 to be exact. The last time you stopped by, she was holding an item in her right hand that made you whine. Cross it off the list.

  7. Care to learn about the Friendly Atheist? You should, if you want to find the next item to cross off the list.

  8. Three of my frequent commenters have the same first name. Select the third sentence in the third post written in the third month of the blog written by the third of those. There, you’ll find an item to cross off the list.

  9. You can never know enough about the author of Pharyngula. But don’t believe everything you read about him, at least not until you check for errors. The last person who did that added one of the items to the list. Find it and cross it off.

  10. Most of us in the Atheosphere don’t need to renew our skepticism every day. But those who do can visit the appropriate blog, the heading of which contains a word that sounds like an item you can cross off the list.

  11. Uh-oh. The reverend Spooner is back on his exercise kick again. He’s afraid the right side of his ass is not as tight as the left side, so he tried to google the key words “slack bun.” But, remember: he’s the reverend Spooner. When he arrived at the site he found, he clicked on a few tabs, but was shocked by what he considered pure decadence. "I can't believe I clicked on the height of Rome!" he muttered to himself. But of course, he wasn’t looking for an item to cross off his list. [NOTE: 09/07, 11:15 p.m. EDT -- This clue has been altered from its original wording to accommodate changes made by the blogger. Sorry.]

  12. Hard to believe, but some dame wrote an epistle on August 23, 2007. It’s a long missive, with dozens of items in it. Fortunately, if you flip through the post very quickly, you’ll see the item you need to cross off.

  13. Some stupid celebrity-worshippers stumbled on an atheist blog because they thought it was based on the ideas of the star of Pirates of the Caribbean. They refused to believe they had arrived at the wrong site, even though the picture of the blogger should have been a giveaway. Still, they wanted to make sure by looking at his profile. Had they been scavenging, they would have found an item to cross off the list.

  14. Remember those three guys with the same name? This time, find the August 25th posting written by the first of them. Hidden in the title of the post is an item you can cross off.

  15. One member of the Nonbelieving Literati actually thinks the rest of us might want to study her autobiography ... well, maybe. In any case, on August 27, she mentioned an item you can cross off the list.

  16. If you like to laugh, one atheist blog can really give you a shot in the arm; at least it seems to have the elements of mild dead flu. Find the appropriate site and look at the labels, one of which contains, hidden within it, an item you can cross off the list. In addition, if you click on that label, you’ll find the last item you can cross off.
Happy hunting! When you’ve solved this puzzle, email me the two-word phrase, and you’ll earn an honorable mention in a future post. Comments will be greatly appreciated, but please don’t spoil the fun by posting your answer.


the blogger formerly known as yinyang said...

You know, it makes me feel good that I've gotten some of these, even knowing that they're the ridiculously easy ones. And, I'm working on the rest, but that may take a while if I have to resort to trial and error. :)

The Exterminator said...


I'm really glad you're enjoying this puzzle. It's nice to know that some of my regular readers get a kick out of these offbeat posts. Just to make you feel good: Only two people have solved this so far. You could be the third.

But, please ... Don't neglect your homework. The scavenger hunt isn't going anywhere. (Don't you love it when perfect strangers lecture you?)