Cincinnatians: Solve Puzzles This Valentine's Day Weekend to Win Some Cash

Local company Puzzle Crawl says to skip the night out and instead solve puzzles for a chance to share $2,000.

Photo: Viktoria Slowikowska

Puzzle Crawl, a Cincinnati-based small business, will be hosting a Valentine’s Day weekend puzzle contest this year, with more than $2,000 in cash prizes up for grabs.

John Bromels, co-founder of Puzzle Crawl, created the event in hopes that singles, couples and groups will “stay in and solve puzzles” instead of going out.

Bromels wanted to offer a fun and safe alternative to traditional Valentine’s Day activities, like going to a restaurant, movie and/or performance, which could increase the chances of being exposed to COVID-19.

To encourage participation, Puzzle Crawl will be offering $2,000 in cash prizes to be split among the top six finishers. The winner will receive $1,000, second place nabs $500, and the remaining $500 will be split among the third- through sixth-place finishers.

“We wanted to make sure that there were plenty of prizes,” Bromels explains. “That way people feel like they have a chance to win even if they don’t expect to come in first.”

“We’re just hoping to help avoid the surges in COVID cases we saw after Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we can beat the virus faster,” Bromels adds. Puzzle Crawl has deemed the event “Happy Quarantine’s Day Puzzle Adventure.”

Before the pandemic, Puzzle Crawl hosted monthly bar crawls with pencil puzzles. Their January and February 2020 events sold out, but everything had to stop because of COVID-19.

It has now been a year since Puzzle Crawl last hosted a live event. “I’m calling it our ‘coronaversary,’” says Jeremy Dubin, Puzzle Crawl, co-founder. 

The idea for a virtual event was the logical next step.

At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, contestants in the Quarantine’s Day Puzzle Adventure will receive the first group of puzzles by email, along with the first chapter of a story. After solving those puzzles, contestants will unlock additional puzzles and chapters. The game will last all weekend long.

Bromels and Dubin designed the puzzles for beginners and experts alike. “Nothing’s more infuriating than signing up for a puzzle event and not being able to solve anything,” Dubin says. “So we included familiar styles alongside some new and unique content. Our goal is fun and not frustration.”

Registration for the Happy Quarantine’s Day Puzzle Adventure is now open on Eventbrite through 5 p.m. on Feb. 12, for $19.99 per team. Teams can have any number of players.

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