Greetings to the Clue Community!

Dr. Clue sent this email to you because your sign-up information indicated that you wish to receive special offers. If you do not want to receive further mailings from Dr. Clue, unsubscribe now by scrolling to the bottom of this email and clicking on the unsubscribe link.



…and the U.S. presidential election campaign is in mid-swing.   This time around, the big topic seems to be the economy.  One side asks “Why isn’t it fixed by now?” while the other side argues, “Well, it could’ve been a lot worse.”   What everyone agrees on, though, is that the economy is still less-than-stellar, which is what this newsletter is all about:  giving you the resources you need to do your own team building/training, at no-to-low cost.   Dr. Clue’s pledge: to keep on sending out these activities, icebreakers, puzzles, team tools, and inspiration until the economy finally turns around — at which point we can all return to outsourcing our team building to the experts (like Dr. Clue, of course).  🙂


Dave Blum

Editor, Dr. Clue Newsletter


Dr. Clue News: 


Dr. Clue continues to be the world’s largest treasure hunt company. To explore all of our 120+ treasure hunt locations, in the U.S. and world-wide, click here.


“Community Service” Teambuilding:  A Great Idea for the Holidays (with a 10% discount).

It’s not too soon to start thinking about your holiday events!  And what better way to honor the “season of giving” than to schedule an on-site Community Service Activity as a key feature of your holiday celebrations.  Dr. Clue’s offers two fun and exciting, puzzle-based Community Service programs, to be held indoors at your office or chosen meeting venue, including:


A: Our engaging Puzzling Bike-Build Game (for disadvantaged children).  Our signature puzzles and professional facilitation, with the output being bikes for kids!  Click on the link above for more details.


B: Our innovative S.O.S “Support Our Students” Workshop:  Our signature puzzles and professional facilitation, with the output being school supplies for teachers and students in need!   Click on the link above for more details.

students with supplies

For more information, drop us a line at, or call us at 510-528-0428.

How about giving back to the community this December (and having a ton of fun in the process?)!   Book by the end of September to receive
a 10% discount!


In today’s issue, we’ve got 2 more tricky puzzles to solve, an icebreaker that’s a winner (hypothetically speaking), and an article that will “back” you into a more trusting work environment.  Enjoy!

Dave Blum
Editor, Dr. Clue Icebreaker Newsletter

Interested in joining Dr. Clue’s affiliate program and making some passive income from your website?  Click here!


Frame Games

Last issue, we gave you these two puzzles to solve:


The correct answers were:1. Back to Square One
2. Pain Free (or Pain Less) operationOur puzzle solvers this week were (in order):

  • Stacie Whiting (F2S:  first-to-solve)
  • Travis Burr

Congrats everyone!


This Week’s Puzzles:

Let’s see who will be the “F2S” (first to solve) these two tricky frame puzzles:

rebus 1

rebus 2

Email us your answers at:

Good luck!

And don’t forget to check out our DIY Treasure Hunt Store: the low-cost way to transform ANY area into a team-building adventure


This Week’s Icebreaker:

What If…

This icebreaker encourages participants to flex their imaginations. You’ll be surprised how funny the answers can be!

Number of people: Probably best if kept to less than 12 or 15. Any more than that and people will start to lose interest.  For larger groups, split into smaller groups and then wrap up with a “Best Of” presentation by each of the groups using the best “what ifs” heard in that subgroup.

Time: Allow 1 to 2 minutes per person

Purpose: Getting people to talk, open up, relax and laugh

Materials: a pen/pencil and a piece of paper for each person


Ask each person to write “What if” on a piece of paper and then finish that sentence with something funny or silly, or perhaps something they may have seriously wondered about. Give a couple of examples to get the ball rolling, such as:


– What if…people lived in space?
– What if…dogs were able to talk?
– What if…I had eyes in the back of my head?


Once each person’s initial query is completed (without answering the question!), have them pass their paper to the person to their left. That person then writes a personal response to the query in front of them. Example answers for the “what ifs” above might be:


– With no gravity my shoes would last longer!
– HE could ask ME if I wanted a treat!
– I could see what people really thought of my jokes!


Once all the answers are completed, have someone start by reading the question on their piece of paper.  However, instead of also reading the answer to that query, people will turn to the person to their right and have them read the non-sensical answer to the query on their piece of paper! So the question/answer might go like this:


Q: What if dogs were able to talk?
A: I could see what people really thought of my jokes!

(okay maybe THAT one isn’t terrifically funny. But trust me you’ll get some pretty humorous combinations!)

Proceed in the same manner, with one person reading the query on their sheet and the person to the right responding with their answer, and so on, until all the answers are given.


Debrief:  What came up for you as you were doing this exercise?  What did you learn about the people in your group?  What did you learn about yourself?  What was surprising about the answers?


The Point:  So often in quick icebreakers like this, recognition goes to the “best writers” or the “wittiest” minds, etc., leaving the less-experienced writers to feel self conscious or insecure.  In this exercise, however, participants discover that sometimes the most enjoyable surprises arise when you pair two minds together in a slightly skewed way, with unexpected and delightful results.   Serendipity is one of the greatest joys in teamwork!


(Special thanks to


Featured Article
“I’ve Got Your Back”
By Dave Blum

I watch a lot of action and sci-fi movies, and inevitably there’s a scene where the hero, preparing to rush into a gun fight, turns to his right-hand man (or woman, or Droid) and says, “You cover me”.


On the silver screen, this is a great “trust moment” for the protagonist — yes, they’re the one playing the hero and rushing selflessly into the line of fire, BUT they also realize that they can’t do it all alone; they acknowledge that, to succeed, they’ll needed a trusted teammate to “have their back”.


As true as this is for sci-fi/action movies, so, too, is it true in the workplace. Say, for example, you’re preparing a Powerpoint presentation and when you stand up to begin, you realize that your laptop is on the fritz. Then, as panic arises in your throat, your assistant steps up and assures you, “Don’t worry boss, I’ve got a spare laptop right here, and it’s already loaded with your presentation.”  Now that’s having your back!


This “having your back” phenomenon can include emotional as well as practical coverage.   A few years back, for example, I found myself standing in front of 80 people at the memorial for my father, Walter. Talk about a position of emotional risk!.  Although I had practiced my eulogy numerous times at home, I knew that keeping my composure was going to be a BIG challenge — especially towards the end when the speech had me saying goodbye to my Dad.  Without me asking her, my wife (at the time) spontaneously came up to the podium and stood there next to me throughout the entire speech, resting her hand supportively on the small of my back.  When I arrived — finally — at the end of the eulogy, my wife was right there, reminding me to relax and breathe.  I got through the speech without  a breakdown – thanks to the support of someone I trusted, anticipating my needs.   Although, in fact, my wife and are no longer together (just as teams often separate over time), I will always remember with gratitude that moment when she literally had my back.


Trust is about being trustworthy–about coming through in the clutch–about doing what you say you’re going to do. But it’s also about anticipating your teammates’ needs and backing them up, whether they ask for it or not.


Who in your life do you trust to have your back in times of risk?  And when is the last time you thanked those people for covering you when you were “under fire”?

As always, thank you for being a part of the Dr. Clue Community!Dave Blum, Editor, The Dr. Clue Team building Newsletter & the Friday Icebreaker

Feel free to contact us 510-528-0428
or email Dave personally at