Greetings to the Clue Community!

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Budgets are tough and your time is limited.  As always, this free newsletter is about keeping you in touch with the best team-building solutions, activities and exercises out there: both facilitated and do-it-yourself.   Our promise:  to keep sending out this newsletter until the economy flips back to the positive.  (The sooner the better!)Best wishes!
Dave Blum

Editor, Dr. Clue Newsletter


Dr. Clue News: 

This Week’s Featured Program

Do-itYourself Philanthropic Holiday Parties


Recently I received the followed email from a prospective client:


     “I have a group of 75 that wants to do Holiday Dinner Kits for needy families.

      Can you help?”


My response:


“We definitely have the puzzles to turn any kind of kit construction into a fun,

      fast-paced game.” 



Hoping to give back to your community this holiday season? You can start by asking yourself: What disadvantaged populations in my area could I possibly serve?  What kind of kits or care packages could I distribute?


How about:

  • Winter survival kits for homeless vets
  • Wheelchairs for the disabled
  • Camp packs, rocking horses, wagons, teddy bears or bicycles for needy kids
  • Care packages for food banks, hospices, and nursing homes
  • Gift packs for soldiers and military personnel overseas

The possibilities are endless–and here’s the great thing:  you can run these Charitable-Giving Activities YOURSELF (without high-priced facilitation)!  


Dr. Clue provides the puzzles and the instructions; you provide the assembly materials. And voila — a superb DIY Corporate Social Responsibility activity that brings alive your holiday party At a Highly Affordable Price.


For more information, pricing or a brainstorm, call us at 510-528-0428, or email




Still Trending:  Segway Treasure Hunts

Did you know that many of our 120+ Dr. Clue treasure hunt locations are now available by Segway — the fun, easy way to zip around a hunt area, solving clues & making discoveries without breaking a sweat! segway treasure hunt


Our professional and experienced Segway partners will set you up with lessons, guides and instructions.


For more information, call 510-528-0428, or email



In today’s issue of the Dr. Clue newsletter, we’ve got 2 more tricky puzzles to solve, an icebreaker that is definitely not “phoning it in”, and an article of Giant consequences.  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 tricky puzzles to solve:

first rebus101612

second rebus 101612

Thanks to everyone who sent in a solution.  The correct answers were:1. left overs
2. a long letter from homeWe had NO correct puzzle solvers!   Cmon guys — let’s pick it up!


This Week’s Puzzles:

Let’s see who will be this week’s “F2S” (first to solve).

frame puzzle1_103012


frame puzzle2_103012

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:

Mobile PhonesThis is a simple and funny activity/warm-up/icebreaker for large groups.

phone ringtone 2

The exercise especially demonstrates the influential power of mobile phones (and by inference other communications methods such as emails) to disrupt effective working, time management and organizational efficiency.


Normally, groups at conferences and training sessions are asked to switch off their mobile phones/cellphones.  Try a different twist:


1) Ask all delegates to switch on their phones (or blackberries).


2) Say that this is a demonstration of the disruptive

and negative effects of technology controlling

people, rather than vice versa.


3) Ask delegates to select the loudest,

most-annoying message alert tone they can find.


4) Ask everyone to text a friend (or two, or several

friends each) whom they know to be keen on

responding to text messages. Then continue with the

training or conference session and wait for the

chaotic interruptions to begin.


The ensuing chaos is a very audible demonstration of what typically happens in organizations where people are not managing their incoming communications (which, according to most research, is the vast majority of folk).


Important note: when your point is made, you’ll need to ask everyone to switch off their phones again!


Debrief:   How did it feel being allowed to leave your phone on during a meeting?  What came up for you when the phones all began ringing?  How did your body react to the cacophony?  What ringtones effected you the most, if any?  When has a cell phone disrupted one of your recent meetings, and how was it dealt with?  What creative solutions can you come up with for combatting this situation in the future?


The Point:

  • Compulsive checking of emails and being continuously available to incoming text messages, etc., is considered by some experts to be driven by the same impulses that are experienced by gamblers, i.e., following the principle of unpredictable occasional reward and similar descriptions of such behavior.
  • Surveys regularly find vast amounts of wasted time spent by workers dealing with emails and email interruptions. A 2008 report in the Guardian newspaper staggeringly calculated that a worker who checks/responds to email interruptions every five minutes wastes 8.5 hours a week, given the recovery time required after each interruption.
  • Inappropriate use of emails prevents people communicating and resolving issues by phone.
  • Inappropriate use of phones/texting prevents people communicating and resolving issues face to face.

You’ll undoubtedly think of many more points arising from this subject.
(With thanks from

Dr. Clue offers 120+ treasure hunt locations. Check them all out at our
guided hunt locations page.


Featured Article

The 2012 Giants:
World Champion Team- Building

By Dave BlumTwo days after my local baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, won the World Series (in a 4-game sweep over the Detroit Tigers), I’m still sitting at my desk, asking myself:  How did they do it?

I mean, we’re not talking about the 1927 New York Yankees here.  As a team competing for a championship, this year’s Giants team came into the playoffs with some serious flaws, namely:sf_giants1

  • They had only three players hit over .300, and one of them was suspended 60 games for use of performance enhancing drugs
  • They had only one batter swat over 20 home runs (Buster Posey)
  • They had only player knock in 100+ RBIs (again, Posey)
  • Their all-star closing pitcher, Brian Wilson, was out for the season with Tommy John surgery
  • Three of their best pitchers (Vogelsong, Bumgarner, Lincecum) were going through horrendous slumps at the end of the season

For all the world, this looked like an over-reaching team that would go down humbly in the first round of the playoffs — and they almost did.  With their back to the walls, behind 2 games to the Cincinnati Reds on the road, the Giants rallied back from the brink with three straight wins to take the series.  Then, down three games to one in the NLCS to last year’s world champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants again rallied back to win the series with three straight, improbable wins.  And of course, they won the World Series in a 4-game sweep, ending their playoff run with a 7-game win streak.


How did the Giants do it?  Was it one or two superstars stepping up and carrying the load?


Interestingly, even the players and the coaches can’t seem to explain it in quantifiable terms.


Says role player Ryan Theriot: “I’ve never been around a team that had chemistry like this… I mean, this is special. You can go down the line on this team, one guy after another, and call him our most valuable player.”


Or Giants manager Bruce Bochy:  “It’s all about the players.. I’m numb, really. I’m kind of speechless. I keep going back to how unselfish these guys are. It was somebody different every game, every series. They played as a team, and that’s the only way this gets done.”




I believe the Giants are World Champions of baseball this year because:


1) Under-performing stars stepped up when the team needed it most

2) Egos were kept in check for the good of the team

3) Bit-players rose to the occasion (on the biggest of stages)

4) Playfulness and celebration were part of the team culture



Although slumping during much of the late season, pitchers Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner suddenly re-discovered their major league mojo.  A big-budget bust for most of the last few years, Barry Zito suddenly found his Cy Young form.   A starter for all of his career, all-star Tim Lincecum went obligingly to the bullpen and pitched absolutely lights-out throughout the playoffs.  And then there were bit players, the cast offs, shining brightly under the big lights:  journeymen like Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, and Ryan Theriot. The list goes on.


In the end, though, the key ingredient for the Giants seems to have been something ephemeral:  call it magic.  And haven’t we all felt this at one time or another in our work lives?   We find ourselves on a team that just seems to get along well.  Everyone is having fun together.  Everyone is selfless.  Everyone knows their role and performs it perfectly, without ego.  And teammates take turns shining under the spotlight.


The Giants weren’t the strongest or bst team in the league this year. They certainly weren’t the highest paid.  But they won baseball’s biggest prize anyway.  They did it with Chemistry.  They did it with Selflessness. And they did it with Magic.

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