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Cryptic Clue Fest I

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This article is about the 2009 Cryptic Clue Fest. For the others, see Cryptic Clue Fest.

The Cryptic Clue Fest was a special clue-seeker event held around the weekend of the 2009 Thanksgiving event[1] on both the RuneScape Forums and in-game.

Solving the clues will prove a tough challenge as you pit your wits against a mysterious clue-setter and his secret network of contacts. Regardless, if you can stay the course and solve the clues over the next four days, you’ll certainly have proven your detective skills.
Mod Howes and Mod Mark H RuneScape Community Management

This event was released on 26 November and removed on 8 December. Five clues were released.

  • An NPC clue pointed to the NPC players need to talk to.
    • These were revealed by the NPCs that take part in the event.
  • An item clue were the items needed to bring to the NPC.
    • These clues were released on the official RuneScape Forums by Jagex Moderators.
    • Noted items could not be used.
    • Exact number of items had to be in the inventory. Any more or less would not work.
    • Players may also have had other items in their inventory alongside with the required ones.

Players could proceed one stage of the event once a day, as soon as the new clues were released. They could choose to do all the clues on the final day. Players wishing to complete this task, however, must have had visited each of the NPCs in this mini-quest in the order that the clues were given. Attempting to skip ahead and talk to the NPCs out of order would simply give the player the normal dialogue that would be given if there was no event.



Spoiler warning!

For those players interested in a compiled list of items and locations to complete this event without having to solve the riddles, this list is provided below:

Click for items you need and NPC's you need to talk to

Talk to Items needed
Clue 1 Lachtopher in Lumbridge 3 ropes, 2 buckets, 5 bananas
Clue 2 Bartender at Jolly Boar Inn 227gp, 2 buckets of milk, 4 hammers, 7 fishing baits
Clue 3 Herquin in Falador 200gp, 6 red spiders' eggs, 3 jugs of water
Clue 4, part 1 Faruq in Al Kharid 3 small fishing nets, 10 air runes, 7 cabbages
Clue 4, part 2 Roddeck in Lumbridge 234gp, 3 eggs, 8 chisels

Clue 1: 26 NovemberEdit

To solve Clue 1,[2] players will need to solve a simple puzzle to identify what items they will need to bring to continue this clue quest.

The items you will need to bring is based upon this following matrix:

CA Rope Shrimps Bronze helm Raw lobster
BA Iron dagger Empty pot Tin ore Bucket
RA Raw potato Logs Banana Cowhide

There are three riddles that must be solved using this matrix that will help to identify what items are needed to obtain the next clue:

  • "Hardly nutritious, but it can be frosted even during summer!"
  • "Oh my, sounds like a naked grizzly!"
  • "A judgement of quality you pass on things and people. Sometimes you do it highly, sometimes rather poorly."

For example, if the above statement means "RAKE", chop the word into "RA" and "KE". Refer these two coordinates to the above table to check the item needed. The number of items required is based on the following riddle:

You’ll want to carry three of the first, two of the second and five of the third, so he knows you’re not just a lucky guesser!

Finally, the NPC that you need to deliver these items to is based upon the following riddle:

To a sponger of Lumbridge is to whom you must speak, He asks folks for money, week after week
Click for the identity of this NPC
He is Lachtopher, found in Lumbridge usually near the General Store and the intersection of the road to Al-Kharid and the road heading north to the farm owned by Fred the Farmer.
Items needed
Players must bring the following items:

All of these items could be bought from the Grand Exchange, or obtained through any other means. Once players talk to the NPC with these items in their inventory, he will reveal the following information for the next clue:

Clue #2 NPC revealed
Your next contact is a server of drinks near the border of the lawless lands. They're all a bit rough up there, but he's a real smiling swine. Got that? Good.

"Lawless lands" refer to the Wilderness, and "server of drinks" refers to a bartender.

This clue points to the bartender in the Jolly Boar Inn, which is located north-east of Varrock next to the Sawmill and near the Wilderness.

Clue 2: 27 NovemberEdit

Next, players will need to visit the NPC revealed in the previous day's clue. The items required for Clue 2 can be found by looking between each of the lines of the clue[2]. Using Ctrl+A on the keyboard (or by highlight the article using the mouse), look at the highlighted words that will become visible.

The highlighted text reads:

  • Item 1: When baking a cake, there’s a bucket of one ingredient you’ll need. Carry two of these.
  • Item 2: You’d never catch Herring with empty line, so carry seven of this item to catch your contact.
  • Item 3: Ever heard of Roman numerals? You’ll need to carry CCXXVII gold coins!
  • Item 4: The final item is a tool used in creating your dwellings and protecting your body from attack. Hit the nail on the head with four of these.

For those needing help, the items needed can be revealed by clicking "show":

Items needed
Day 2 clue fest items

Items for Clue 2

The items are:

All of these items may also be purchased from the Grand Exchange, or obtained through any other means. Once players talk to the correct NPC with these items in their inventory, that NPC will reveal a riddle to identify the next NPC for clue #3:

Are you listening, lugnut? The fella you need retails pricey rocks in the west of the white city. Have a chat with him tomorrow while you're carrying the right items and he'll oblige you further.

For those needing help, the NPC can be revealed by clicking "show":

Clue #3 NPC revealed
"Pricey rocks" refer to

gems, and the "white city" refers to the city of Falador, or the White Knights' Castle. This clue points to Herquin in Herquin's Gems in Falador.

Clue 3: 28 NovemberEdit

The fest now brings players to the next NPC, where some additional items need to be found based on the following "brain teasers" or mathematical word problems:

Puzzle #1 Edit

A tailor is making a new coat. He needs half the amount of threads that are in the hem for the collar. The sleeves need four times as many threads as the collar. The trim, which is the same as the hem, requires ten threads. The sides need five times less than the sleeves. If the tailor buys 55 threads, how many does he have left over once he’s made his coat?

The number of threads he has left is the same number of Red Spiders’ Eggs you’ll need.

Puzzle #2 Edit

Fred the Farmer and his brother, Geoff the Gardener, have acquired a ten-acre plot of land between them. They split the rights to the land evenly and go to work at planting seeds and crops on their half of the farmland.

Farmer Fred starts from the west, while Geoff the Gardener starts from the east. Fred plants seeds at twice the rate Geoff does, but Geoff ploughs an acre every ten minutes while Fred takes twenty-five minutes.

Selling all of their produce results in 400 gold coins between them.

How much of that wage is Fred entitled to? You will need to be carrying that same amount of gold coins.

Puzzle #3 Edit

My first is in jungle but not in rectangular,
My second is in blunder but not blender,
My third is in gallant but not in talent.

To this you will need to add the following:
My first is in dwarf but not in farced,
My second is in battle but not in mettle,
My third is in monster but not in ransomed,
My fourth is in mention but not in notion,
My fifth is in thread but not in death.

What am I? You’ll need to carry three!

Puzzle revealed Edit

The items based on the puzzles[2] can be revealed below:

Items needed
Clue items for day 3

Items for day 3

Trim = 10 threads
Hem = 10 threads
Collar = 5 threads
Sleeves = 20 threads
Sides = 4 threads
6 threads are left : (55-10-10-5-20-4=6)

  • Puzzle 2: 200 coins - obtained through trade

The answer is 200 because they split the land evenly, the time does not mean the number of crops.

"J-u-g" and "W-a-t-e-r" are the two keywords.

Clue #4 NPC revealed
Head on to where the ground is granular and the solar spectacular, then quiz the fellow who likes to peddle pasttimes to parched passers-by. He's a good sort and should provide you with what you are looking for.

"Ground is granular" may refer to sand, that is Al Kharid, "Solar spectacular" may refer to the desert sun, and the "fellow who likes to peddle pasttimes" might refer to Faruq, a merchant in Al Kharid who runs a store called Faruq's Tools for Games selling tools for games with a clan.

Another hint mentioned by Herquin that while the player is over there, they should buy some of his little contraptions, which are great for organising laughs with friends.

Clue 4: 29 November Edit

Finally, players must visit last and final NPC on this journey.

The item clue posted on the forums is as follows; it's a riddle Sir Tiffy Cashien came up with according to the newspost.

On one of my many journeys about Gielinor, I encountered the strange beast known as the Chaos Elemental. When I came across this swirling vortex of randomness it was holding a rather mundane looking chest.

“What items do you have in that chest?” I asked it.

The creature responded: “Its no Mirasol all Gentle cats can tilt red Romulans rear crease bulbs salt gate”

Thoroughly confused, I told him I didn’t understand. Again, the bizarre monster responded: “43 – 35 – 27 – 19 – 11… Use what follows to skip over the answer.”

Confused? By Jove, that’s an understatement! I was dumbstruck for a while, but I remembered my lessons in deciphering secret messages and eventually I cracked it! An odd assortment of items, but then the Chaos Elemental is a strange being!

Anyway, you’ll need three of the first item, ten of the second and the number you get if you take the first from the second for the third. Haha!

Click here to show the solution:
43 – 35 – 27 – 19 – 11 -

In this sequence 8 is taken each time. The next number would be three. If players take every 3rd letter from the message, they will get the items they need.

itS no MirAsoL alL geNtlE caTs cAn tIlt Red RomUlaNs rEar CreAse BulBs sAlt GatE
The capitalised letters forms "SMALL NET", "AIR RUNE" and "CABBAGE".

Taking 3 away from 10 is 7.

The NPC gives the following response when these items are brought to him:

Click "Show" to clue given by the NPC for day four
Well, there's just one more thing left for you to do so you can get your answers and claim your prize: you'll need to find our illustrious leader! I hope you're feeling at the top of your clue-solving prowess - here come the final two clues...

Our leader is south of a furnace and east of a store, seek him out and you'll search no more.

He's north of a bard and west of a river, find him now for he calls you hither.

As for what you'll need, it's a bit muddled, but I know a place you can read up on this kind of thing. As I gaze into my crystal ball, I spy something about "Active game player rescues our cliff imp?"

That's most odd, but it should lead you to a place where you can find the items that you'll need. Now go, our leader is waiting for you.


The clue to discover what items you need to bring is derived from this phrase:

Active game player rescues our cliff imp

Click on show to view a hint to help you figure the previous clue out
The phrase "Active game player rescues our cliff imp" is an anagram, and you need to unscramble the letters to find a phrase that will tell you where to look for the next clue. This clue is found somewhere on the Runescape Official Forums found on the official Jagex website.
Click on show to view an explanation of the clue given by the Day 4 NPC
This is a perfect anagram of "Creative gameplay - forum specific rules". Going to that section of the official forum gives you the final puzzles[3].

Final forum clues Edit

Well done Adventurer! Here lies the final hurdle in the way of the items you’ll need to claim your reward! Here I have written a selection of my toughest challenges. I’m afraid you’ll need to solve all of them in order to figure out which items you'll need to get me to talk!

Good Luck!

Puzzle 1 Edit
Let me introduce Mod Mark H, Mod Kathy and Mod Crow. Each of them is going to tell you *one* of the items you will need. The only problem is – only one of them is telling the truth.

Mod Mark H: “You need a Cabbage”
Mod Kathy: “You need an Egg”
Mod Crow: “You need a Potato”

But who is lying?

Mod Mark H: “Don’t believe Mod Kathy; she always lies! She stole my princess crown!”

Mod Kathy: “Don’t listen to Mod Crow; he lies! He isn’t even a real bird!”

Mod Crow: “Don’t listen to either of them; they are both lying. They are both lesser beings, after all!”

Figure out who is telling the truth – you’ll need three of their item!

Solution: Kathy is telling the truth.

The reasoning:

  1. If Crow is telling the truth, both Mark and Kathy must be lying. If Mark is lying, Kathy must be telling the truth. (This suggests that both Kathy and Crow are telling the truth - but only one is telling the truth)
  2. If Mark is telling the truth, Kathy is lying, meaning Crow is telling the truth. (This suggests that both Mark and Crow are telling the truth - but only one is telling the truth)
  3. If Kathy is telling the truth, that means Crow is lying. According to Crow's second statement, Mark and Kathy are not lying. (but only one is telling the truth)

But from 1.) and 2.), only Kathy can tell the truth and Mark was lying. This proves that Crow's second statement is a lie, but the first statement is a truth.

Puzzle 2 Edit
Below are five objects. One is the ‘Odd One Out’. The ‘Odd One Out’ is the kind of object you will need for this task. You’ll need eight of this object.
Ruby necklace Leather cowl Chisel Empty pot Basket

No hints for this one!

Solution: Chisel
The reasoning: All of the items, except the chisel, are able to be created from other materials. (Chisel has to be bought from the general store.)

Puzzle 3 Edit
Ah, here’s one of my favourite little rhymes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

“As I was travelling to Falador, one bright and sunny day, I came across a group of knights, heading towards the other way.

There were thirteen knights in total, each noble in their attire. Each knight then had three attendants – officials known as squires.

Each peasant lad was charged with caring for three mules, or t’would be their hides. Each mule had then two packs apiece, in each pack a coin to pay glad tithes.

The number of coins the party possessed – this you must unravel! For the same amount of golden coins will surely complete your travel!”

Solution: 234 coins
The reasoning: 13 knights * 3 = 39 attendants
39 attendants * 3 = 117 mules
117 mules * 2 packs = 234 coins

Right, now you should have all the items you need in the correct quantities. Come and speak to me with those items in your inventory for your reward!

To see the leader and the items you need to complete this fest, click on "Show"
All clues point out to Roddeck, the Advisor in Lumbridge.
Clue items for day 4

The clue items for day 4.

You need:




  • One of the clues refers to a "naked grizzly". However, the word naked is censored both in-game and on the forums.
  • As of 29 November 2009 at 16:31 UTC, Cryptic Clue Fest Day 4 was the top searched phrase on Google. Active game player rescues our cliff imp was one of most searched phrases.
  • Despite the fact that Jagex repeatedly said in every event-related thread that players were not to post spoilers, hundreds of players have attempted to post the answers to these riddles in the official Cryptic Clue Fest thread. This has resulted in an extremely high number of hidden posts in that thread. The rapidity with which these spoilers are hidden suggests an unusually high number of Forum Moderators and Jagex Moderators watching the thread continuously.
  • The original reward for the event was to be Roddeck's pipe, however it was changed to the Magnifying Glass before release. In addition, if players type in 'Roddeck's Pipe' in the quick chat they will find it even though it was never released:
"No pipe. It was going to be the original reward but was changed near the end, probably just a mistake in the QC. ~ MMH ~"
Mod Mark H[2]
  • The Romulans in the Chaos Elemental clue are also a species in the science-fiction series Star Trek.


  1. ^ Update:Thanksgiving Turkeys and Community Event
  2. ^ a b Mod Mark H. "Cryptic Clue Fest Clue Thread!." 29-Nov-2009 17:38:29. RuneScape Forums.
  3. ^ Creative Gameplay Rules. RuneScape Forums. Jagex Games Studio. 11:00, July 3, 2011 (UTC). (Archived from the original on 2009-11-29.)*

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