The Unbearable Secrecy of Blowdryers

The Unbearable Secrecy of Blowdryers

The Scavenger Hunt in Good Hotels

On a business trip a few years ago, I checked into a very nice hotel in Manhattan. Having experienced the myriad ways that hotels typically hide the loathsome blowdryer from our sensitive eyes, I searched the room up and down in the usual places. The dreaded object was not to be found. I surrendered to their deviousness, and called Housekeeping. This is what I was told:

“On the upper shelf of the closet, next to the blankets, is a brown wicker box. Inside the box is a quadratic equation. The solution to the equation is a four-digit number. This number opens up a safe underneath the picture above the desk. Inside the safe is a single sheet of paper with two riddles; each riddle has a one-word answer.

Either word will, when spoken aloud, open a secret compartment in the bathroom that contains the blowdryer.” I followed these instructions to the letter. Having failed algebra, I called a friend who solved the equation in five minutes. Anticipating a quick victory, I opened the safe to find the paper with the riddles. 

Both riddles, however, were written in a language I assumed to be Welsh, since the only letters that appeared were “w”, “l”, “y”, “c” and “h”. I DID NOT admit defeat. I spun up the Google “Welsh to English” translator and typed in the first riddle. At this point, Google spun for a while and then told me to go f–k myself.

That night, I air dried my hair. You win this time, Luxury Hotel!

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