diner, foam eggs in hand.
Soon, dozens of players swarmed the restaurant. Some of the gamers outside knelt next to a pile of trash bags, poring over clues. Later, players would take naps there “like homeless people”.
At 10.30 pm, a synthesised voice began barking from each team’s white box, telling players to go to Pier 25, where a boat was floating in the Hudson River.
The boat sounded a note at one-minute intervals. Players discovered that when they plugged their white boxes into one another, each played a unique note.
Using a tuner on his phone, Trevor Cohen of the Citi Kats team labelled the boxes to form a 16-key piano that glowed violet.
When they played a note, the boat played it back.
In the next puzzle, designated letters in the names spelled out “Mayor Clarke,” who was buried in 1861 in the New York Marble Cemetery in the East Village.
At 3.51 am, the Alphanauts, a team from Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund, were the first inside the stone-walled cemetery, finding three new tombstones with inscriptions that were clues to Queen songs. Knock out the right song’s beat and a video screen would flash a phrase.
The Alphanauts had planted a fake clue, directing gamers to a phone number. When teams called the number, a rhyming robotic voice suggested they quit. Some teams complained; Game Control was amused.
At 6.57 am, the city began to wake up. Park employees removed clues. The game had five hours to go. The Burninators had already arrived at the final puzzle, located on the steps of the Elevated Acre, a rooftop park in lower Manhattan. Still, they had no idea they were ahead because of the ambiguous structure of the game.
They saw boxes with five locks arranged in rows.
When their keys opened the right box, they found a piece of paper that read, “7 WTC, 11th floor.”Finally, at 12.21 pm Sunday, the Burninators crossed the “Finish” bridge in an 11th-floor room overlooking the World Trade Center memorial. Three minutes later, another team arrived. They high-fived when they learned they were the first Goldman team.
Ariel Amdur, who flew in from Goldman’s