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Title: Conundrum - The Cadbury's Creme Egg Mystery

Author: Don Shaw, Illustrated by Nick Price

Year: 1984

Prize: 12 Golden Eggs, burried around the UK, each estimated value £10000

To claim: Dig them up

Closing Date: end of that year

Type of book: A4 portrait colour picture and story book

Description: Twelve separate one page stories, each with a full page illustration. Each story representing a different location of a hidden golden egg. This was comissioned by Cadbury's to get people to buy their chocolate creme eggs - buying something like 2 dozen meant you could send away for a free copy of the book. This was written by Don Shaw (see The Golden Key) after the release of that book, but before that book's controversy.

Example official solution: A GIANT'S PLACE: This story is based on the old legend concerning the origin of the Wrekin. But the giant lived in the "Welsh mountains". He used all his "might and main... local mountain". To the north of the A59 road between the village of Meifod and the village of Godor is a mountain called "Allt-y-Main", a similar sounding name. Moreover the giant lived "in a tall house with twin caves beneath". Immediately under the mountain at the side of the A59 is a tall house with twin caves beneath. The clue to this is reinforced in the illustration that accompanies the story, exaggerated perhaps but essentially similar to the house in reality The casket cannot be buried in these caves as they are private property. The nearest, most obvious place is opposite the dividing wall which separates the caves. The casket ties on the grass verge on the other side of the road, dead opposite the dividing wall.

Personal opinions: Having bought the 2 dozen eggs and sent away for the book, and before it arrived, they published it in the shops so I had to buy one of them to get started before the other one turned up!
This hunt caused a few problems, obviously the combination of chocolate and hence children, and digging up the countryside didn't go down well. Before they were all solved, Cadbury's had to dig up the last few and ask for people to calim them by post, to stop the mad digging. Also it was reported that at least one egg was found by accident by kids playing on a path before the book was published, such was the poor choice of burrial location. Another was burried in a road verge that was due for widenning and would have been bulldozed away soon afterwards.
A set of answer sheets was made available afterwards, and I must say the puzzles vary widely in compexity and quality (which no doubt was the requirement to keep interest), but most only relied on similarities in words or associations and things in the pictures that would only become apparent when you visited the site, to give the exact locations. They were not what I would call systematic or methodical, which is what I was looking for! I think each would only have been solved by people who already knew the locations, and recognised them with similarities in the book.

Other information: Don Shaw had previously published The Golden Key

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