Whiskey Creek resident Maureen Bruinsma and her son Nicholas have turned their love of solving riddles into a creative small business. (Submitted photo)

Whiskey Creek resident Maureen Bruinsma and her son Nicholas have turned their love of solving riddles into a creative small business. (Submitted photo)

Whiskey Creek woman creates online riddle-based treasure hunt business

Maureen Bruinsma and son Nicholas turn love of words into small business

Whiskey Creek resident Maureen Bruinsma and her son Nicholas have turned their love of solving riddles into a creative small business.

The two came up with the idea for Dragon’s Hoard Entertainment, an online riddle-based treasure hunt business, during the pandemic when they were both living in Calgary.

They took part in an online treasure hunt, but found they had overthought the clues, which were in the form of rhyming riddles.

“When the hunt was solved and the solutions were released, we were a bit disappointed,” Bruinsma said. “We had overthought the depth of the puzzle, they weren’t as clever as we had expected them to be.”

A few months later, Bruinsma wrote a riddle during a slow day at work and emailed it to Nick.

“We both had a lot of fun with it, so we decided we wanted to create our own hunts and got started,” she said.

She and Nicholas are co-owners of the business and work together on it remotely, as Nicholas is now based in Halifax, where he works as a web designer. Bruinsma recently retired.

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There are several hunts on the go right now, including “Carries a Certain Ring”, which is free to register and “Double Check” — an ongoing hunt with an entry fee of $10. Double Check carries a prize of $500 and has proven tricky to solve so far, with entrants working on it since April 2021.

The name of the biggest hunt, known as ‘Snowball’s Chance’, refers to both its level of difficulty and the way its momentum increases as more people enter and the prize pool grows — its currently at $10,790. Would-be riddle-solvers must crack eight clues, each clue is a riddle verse, to win.

Bruinsma estimated between 20 and 30 people are currently working on it. The entry fee for Snowball’s Chance is $50, with $30 going into the prize pool, according to Bruinsma.

Dragon’s Hoard Entertainment operates across Canada, except for Quebec, Bruinsma said.

“It’s a great hobby for anyone who spends a lot of time at home. Anybody who enjoys words, wordplay, that kind of thing.”

She and Nicholas are big fans of words and puzzle-solving.

“Basically we did this as kind of a hobby,” Bruinsma said. “Whatever time we choose to pushing it or plugging it is great, but if we don’t, we don’t.”

She and her husband have been in Whiskey Creek full-time since June and are enjoying life in the area. They had visited the Island a number of time over the years and decided they wanted to relocate after retirement.

Learn more about the hunts, view a list of past winners and the riddle they solved, or try out a riddle at SilverDragonsHoard.com.

@kevinf_1988_
kevin.forsyth@pqbnews.com

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