Finders Seekers is a monthly puzzle subscription box for anyone who loves puzzles, escape rooms, Sherlock Holmes, mysteries, or anything requiring a little brainpower. Finders Seekers features a new destination each month, so in addition to the puzzle/escape room experience, you get a mini travel experience, too, exploring a new city and its culture every month.
FYI – there are SPOILERS in this post!
As a subscriber (limited numbers can join each month), you are invited to join the Society of Seekers, a group of like-minded puzzle fiends who use their heads and a little bit of internet-search know-how to explore a city and solve a mystery each month. We’re off to PARIS this month!
NOTE: This is an updated version of the Finders Seekers January 2019 Paris box.
Everything is packed in a string-tie envelope.
There’s also a sticky note that contains instructions on how to get started with this case.
Everything in the box!
Included in this month’s box is a welcome letter and checklist of every item that should be inside the package, plus all the clues you’ll need to solve the mystery.
The website took us to Paris!
Hello Seekers! Today’s adventure takes us to the City of Lights, the center of the art and fashion world. We’ve been called here by the Museum director of the Louvre to help track down the priceless Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, La Jaconde or The Mona Lisa.
This isn’t the first time the famous portrait has been stolen. In 1911, a museum employee took the painting in an attempt to return it to the thief’s perceived rightful home: Italy. Since its return to the Louvre, the painting has been closely guarded using the latest technology and bullet-proof glass. The latest heist has gone unnoticed by the public because a replica was quickly installed to avoid embarrassment.
The museum’s staff discovered a hand-written itinerary on hotel stationery at the scene of the crime as well as a canvas with shapes and numbers that appear to be a paint by number. Authorities concluded that these two items contain clues to discover the location of the thief and stolen painting.
TO CATCH THE CULPRIT:
Use the map and itinerary to identify the 10 Métro stops visited by the thief.
Go to each of these 10 stops by selecting their link below.
At each stop, you will visit a nearby attraction where one of the thief’s accomplices will test you with a puzzle. If you complete the puzzle, you’ll earn a set of paint coordinates.
After you have earned all of the paint coordinates, head to the airport, via CDG Charles de Gaulle Airport Metro stop below.
There are lots of Metro Stops in this mystery, and we will definitely need a map to find out what stops the thief visited.
The bottom of the page shows us the beautiful Arc de Triomphe at night! The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris.
Metro Map. We used this map to identify the stops that the thief visited.
Itinerary. To accompany us in determining the stops, we also used this itinerary written in a hotel notepad.
The first stop, Cite, brought us to the Notre-Dame de Paris, or simply Notre Dame, which is an iconic landmark in Paris.
This medieval masterpiece is one of the finest examples of French Gothic Architecture, and one of the first buildings in history to use flying buttresses.
The bottom of the page also shows the Notre Dame under construction/restoration. The building was damaged by fire on April 25, 2019. Fortunately, the celebrated Rose window was saved as well as the priceless relics housed in the rooster weathervane.
Notre Dame Puzzle with 5 Stained Glass Window Panels. For this puzzle, we reassembled a section of stained glass windows. There are 3 empty panels, but 5 panels to choose from. We had to figure out what 3 panels to use and in what order.
After solving the puzzle, we earned painting coordinates that we can use on the paint set included, which is essential to determine the answer to the final puzzle/challenge.
Paint Set. The painting set included a paint-by-number sheet, a paintbrush, and a set of 6 watercolors.
La Défense Puzzle with 7 Letter Strips. The next stop brought us to La Défense, which is the modern business center of Paris and home to the Grande Arche, an iconic building and the third arch on the Historical Axis of Paris.
For this puzzle, we placed the plywood in the structure so that it forms a notable phrase by French philosopher Pierre Corneille.
Magazine Ad. The metro stop George V brought us to Ladurée where we can find delicious macarons! Queen Catherine de’ Medici brought the macaron to France from Italy in the 16th century, and the recipe remained unchanged until 1930, when Ladurée chef Pierre Desfontaines had the idea to sandwich a creamy ganache feeling in between 2 macaron shells, creating the macaron we know today.
For this puzzle, the magazine ad served as a clue for a passcode that earned us our next paint coordinates.
Louvre Puzzle. The next stop brought us to Palais Royal Musée du Louvre, the world’s largest art museum that houses its collection of 380,000 objects. It’s the most visited museum in the world, averaging 7.3 million visitors a year.
There are six of the museum’s masterpieces are on special exhibit. The guard started to rattle off the names of the artists on display, and it will be the next test. To earn our next coordinates, we had to provide a password.
Cafe Menu. The next stop brought us to The Café des Deux Moulins, just ahead on the corner of Rues Lepic and Cauchois. It is the perfect place to do the people’s favorite past-time: sitting at a café, people watching!
The menu is a big help for the next challenge. It’s the clue to the next password that will earn us the next painting coordinates.
Apron. To fully experience the amazing French cuisine, they also included this cool black apron! Bon Appetit!
Paris Catacombs Maze. Another iconic place in the City of Lights can be found underground, and it’s the Catacombs of Paris. It holds the remains of some six million people and the tunnels were originally excavated to mine stone for construction projects in the city.
For this puzzle, we had to find our way out of this extreme maze. We needed to enter the solution to escape and earn our next coordinates.
2 Sets of Music Sheet. For the next stop, we are brought into an extravagant Opera.
In 1858, Emperor Napoleon III was almost the victim of an assassination attempt while visiting the opera, located in a seedy part of town. Because of this, he decided a new, extravagant opera house would be built in a safer part of the city, that included a well-guarded private entrance for him and his family. Over 170 people submitted proposals of their ideas, but it was 35-year-old Charles Garnier who won the competition in 1860. His vision of luxury took 15 years to complete, and no expense was spared in the construction.
Going to the opera in late 19th century Paris was not so much about marveling over music and dance, but rather showing off your wealth and power. The winding staircases and balconies allowed people to see and be seen, and they wanted to be seen at their very best. Attendees would deck themselves out with jewels and gold which they kept locked away in bank vaults. As a result, many banks opened nearby and would stay open late so the valuables could be returned once the opera was over.
For this puzzle, we inspected the music sheet and spotted the peculiarities, then deciphered the password contained in the music.
You can also listen to a recording of Carmen’s Habanera on the website.
Pompidou Centre Puzzle. The Centre George Pompidou is the largest modern art museum in Europe, and it houses curious structures like color-coded intriguing pipes, and they also showcase masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso, and Dalí.
For this puzzle, discovered the passcode by looking at the wall with an installation of Pop Art, also shown in the picture.
There are other 2 stops on the website that will help us earn our next coordinates to complete the paint-by-number picture. The Varenne stop brought us to Musee Rodin:
Auguste Rodin is largely regarded as the progenitor of modern sculpture. His unique interpretation and ability to capture emotion and expression led to success and recognition during his lifetime. Today, his most well-known and revered works are showcased in the Biron estate gardens.
For this puzzle, we need to solve this riddle:
I come in darkness,
though not always at night
to some I bring joy
to others I bring fright.
The last stop, Solferino, brought us to Musée d’Orsay:
The Musée d’Orsay is located in a beautiful building that was originally a railway station. In 1970, it was was approved for demolition, but the Minister for Cultural Affairs denied plans to build a hotel in its place and it was designated as a historic monument.
For this puzzle, we entered the 3-digit code, and they even gave us a series of clues. We can solve it by using the logic clues provided (see photo).
Once we completed the painting, we must head to the CDG Airport, and provide the location where the thief has stashed the original painting of Mona Lisa!
We’ve done it! The Mona Lisa is stashed at the Golden Gate Bridge, hidden at the top of the South Tower, accessible only by a hand-operated elevator. There’s one more thing to do, and that is to get the prize! By clicking “Enter To Win Prizes,” we can get our price by providing information on the form.
It was fun and thrilling doing the Paris box all over again! Compared to the first Paris box we’ve tried, this version has added puzzles and they were more challenging. We definitely enjoyed ourselves as we dove into each of them! We were also happy to refresh our memory about the Paris’ most popular places. It’s a great mystery puzzle overall! if you also like solving mysteries, this is the perfect box to try with your family or group of friends!
Did you solve the mystery? How long did it take you? Let us know in the comments below!