The Watch on the Fencepost Puzzle Contest began in November, 2018. One clue was sent each week to subscribers of Kay’s newsletter. Each subscriber was allowed one guess per week.

The correct solution was sent in on December 31, 2018, by Mel Hughes. Although there were sixteen clues in all, Mel solved the puzzle after clue #9. Here’s a list of the clues:

Clue # 1: Generally speaking, the solution to this puzzle is within everyone’s grasp.
Clue # 2: Even if you didn’t solve the puzzle with the first clue, hang on and keep trying.
Clue # 3: Only the most discerning sleuths will uncover the secrets planted here.
Clue # 4: Real clear and honest hint: the solution to this puzzle is a noun (a person, place or thing.)

Clue # 5: Grammatical rules are important, like dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.
Clue # 6: Every clue is essential, but this one may lead you to the hundred dollar prize: the solution to the puzzle consists of two words.
Clue # 7: Winning the contest isn’t that hard. Maybe you should look at the clues from a different perspective.
Clue # 8: A clue aptly written is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Clue # 9: Some of you have told me that the clues are confusing, so this week I’m giving you the father of all clues: the answer to the puzzle is a person’s name.


The correct solution to the puzzle was “GEORGE WASHINGTON.” This was an acrostic puzzle, with the first letter of each clue spelling out the solution. If additional clues were needed, they would start with the appropriate letters. In addition, there is an “inside” hint in each clue that refers to something in Washington’s life.

Why George Washington? The contest description on my website indicated that the official release date of my book would be February 22, 2019. Every school child knows Feb 22 is George Washington’s birthday. Since my book’s birthday is the same as his, I made him the solution to the puzzle! I indicated that there were sixteen clues in all (the number of letters in GEORGE WASHINGTON), and that the contest would run until Feb 22.

Congratulations to Mel. Looking forward to the next TWOTF puzzle contest!