Greetings to the Clue Community!

Hello again, everyone.

Dr. Clue News:  The funny thing about running a treasure hunt company is that you never know which area will get “hot” in any given month.   At one time, seemingly every client request in my email box was for hunts in the French Quarter, New Orleans.    Later, hunts in Chicago (Navy Pier, Field Museum and the Loop) were flying off the shelf.   And this month, well, it’s been all North Carolina.

Since our last edition of the Dr. Clue Icebreaker Newsletter, Dr. Clue performed three big treasure hunt programs in the Tar Heel State, for:

January is shaping up to be the month of Puerto Rico, with two hunts already booked in historic Old San Juan.   What will be the next hot hunt area?  Will it be an old favorite, or a brand new location, created on YOUR request?  We can’t wait to find out.

Dr. Clue Holiday Events

With the holiday season coming up fast, what are you doing for your team this December to build camaraderie, fellowship and trust while giving back to the needy?   Along with our signature treasure hunts, Dr. Clue also offers a variety of fun, impactful Philanthropic/Charity Teambuilding Events that build relationships while connecting you with the community.     Check out our all our programs below, and note;  all three offerings can be performed, indoors, in a large meeting/ballroom OR  they can bust out into the neighborhood (or around a resort) as a hybrid treasure hunt/charity event.  The possibilities are endless.

Dr. Clue’s Community Service: The Puzzling Bike-Build Workshop

Dr. Clue’s Community Service: S.O.S. — Support Our Students

Dr. Clue’s Community Service: Dinner Kits for Needy Families / Backpacks for Vets


For more information, call us at 707-566-7824 or email

In today’s issue of the Dr. Clue newsletter, we’ve got 3 more puzzles for you to solve, an icebreaker that was created with great intention, and an article that promises to be a winner.  Enjoy!

Dave Blum
Editor, Dr. Clue Icebreaker Newsletter

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Frame Games

Last issue, we gave you these 3 puzzles:


the letters t, a, i, l, and r arranged differently 4 times

o u t on top of a big L E G

GIVE x 4; GET x 4

Thanks to everyone who sent in a solution.  The correct answers were:

1) trail mix
2) out on a limb
3) forgive and forget

Our First-to-Solve was the inimitable Bernie Newman.  Congratulations Bernie!

This Week’s Puzzles:

Here are 3 more frame puzzles.  As always, let’s see who can get them all the fastest and be named the “F2S” (first to solve).

the word iceberg slanted from bottom to top

dumps, dumps, goosefeathers, dumps, dumps

a red E followed by the words more, more, more, more

Email your answers ASAP at:
Good luck!


This Week’s Icebreaker



Materials:  One index card and a writing utensil for each participant.

Process:   Explain to participants — “In life, we often feel like everything is a ‘have to’, ie.  ‘I have to pick up the kids.  I have to rake the leaves.  I have to attend this training session’.   But is this really true?    More likely, each of those ‘have to’s’  is, in fact, a choice, albeit a choice with consequences.  If you don’t pick up the kids, they’ll be angry with you–or your spouse will.  If you neglect to rake the leaves, they’ll pile up and make more work for you later.  If you don’t attend this training, you’ll miss out on important information, or you’ll be scolded by your supervisor.  In the East, they call this karma.   But what if you flip those ‘have to’s’ into ‘want to’s’.  Suddenly you’ve transformed your tasks from chores into intentions, from odious responsibilities into exciting opportunities.

On your index card, write down three things you “HAVE TO DO” during this training.  On the back side, jot down three things you “WANT TO” learn, practice or accomplish during this training.  (Give 2-5 minutes).   Now everyone, come with me to the back of the room and join the cocktail party (metaphorically speaking).   For the next few minutes, in groups of 4, say your name, your 3 positive intentions and — for fun — one unusual fact about yourself (either true or fabricated).   The other three group members will hear your intentions and provide feedback, if appropriate, then vote on whether they think your fact is a truth or a lie.”  When I ring the bell (after 5-7) minutes, please find three new group mates and repeat the process; feel free to change your personal factoid in each round.”

Debrief:  How did it feel to focus entirely on “want to’s” rather than “have to’s”?    What was the difference in energy?    At work, what percentage of your work is a “have to” instead of a “want to”?    What is blocking you from operating entirely in “want to”?   What is the value of manifesting that kind of work environment and overall mentality?  How will it be different when you step into that work life?  What is the cost of continuing on, in a world of “have to’s”?    What might be your first step in moving in a “want to” direction?

The Point:  This exercise accomplishes several things. 1) It allows participants to become aware of their overall attitude and energy toward work.  2) It lets them “try on” a more empowered, positive approach.   3) It gives them a chance to share something about themselves with others, breaking down personal barriers and building trust.   Won’t it be great when all of us WANT TO get up and go to work in the morning?!!   The key is discovering what fantastic opportunities await you there.


Featured Article

Because I Said I Would…
By Dave Blum

While on my way to North Carolina this past week, I discovered a fascinating article in Southwest Airlines’ Spirit Magazine, entitled “The Everyday Action Hero”.  It tells the story of 28-year-old Alex Sheen, founder of Because I Said it Would, a nonprofit dedicated to “bettering humanity through the power of a promise.”   Inspired by his recently passed father, a habitual promise keeper, Sheen came up with a brilliant idea; during his dad’s funeral, Alex distributed a set of black-and-white business cards to all attendees, printed with the words “Because I said I would” in the lower, right-hand corner.  For those who chose to play, the task was simple:  write a promise on a card,Examples of promises people have written give it to another person, then get the card back after the promise is fulfilled.   These promises could be anything, from “I will clean the garage” to “I will donate blood” to “I will not hit the snooze button this week.”   To his surprise, Sheen’s idea has really taken off.  He has now sent promise cards to 82 different countries and to all 50 states in the U.S.     Users on their Facebook Page have vowed to mail a long overdue letter, stand by a relative in a time of crisis, and even to stop cutting themselves.

What a brilliant idea, on so many levels!    In essence, Sheen’s promise cards are built-in accountability and anti-procrastination devices.  When you fill out a card, you’re basically saying, “I will no longer put off this nefarious task.   And to boot, I’m going to empower someone else to be my ally in making sure I do what I say I’m going to do.  Tangentially, the promise cards accomplish one more important thing; they build trust.   Think about it.   When you give one of these cards to someone in your social circle, you’re asking them to help you step into your best, most energetic, most uncluttered, socially responsible life.  You’re trusting them to hold this space for you.   And the trust works both ways.  When you at last finish your task and get yet your card back, you’ve sent a message to your ally that you’re a promise keeper.  You’re trustworthy.   You do what you say you’re going to do.

Trust is such a slippery entity; it’s so hard to build and so easy to lose.    When it comes to teams, leaders must absolutely demonstrate trustworthiness – as often as possible.  They must walk the talk.   Some other trust qualities of great team leaders include being:    great listeners, self-aware, transparent with their feelings, confident and humble, empathetic, and true to who they are.

What promises can you make to yourself this week and then share with your team?   Each promise, made and kept, is like a deposit into the Bank of Goodwill.     As time goes by, the account grows and grows, so that when, at last, you need your teammates  to mobilize and serve, they’re ready and willing to join in.  You don’t even need a “Because I said I would” card.   Just start making some promises to your team – and dedicate yourself to keeping them.   It’s that simple, and that powerful.

As always, thank you for being a part of the Dr. Clue Community!