What's a Gumshoe?


In the late 1800’s, shoes with gum rubber soles were invented, offering a stealth technology quickly adopted by the bad guys of the era to facilitate skulking about. The bad guys came to be known as “gumshoes.” By 1908, “gumshoes” had switched meaning, referring to the good guys in the silent footwear who chased the bad guys.

Now Gumshoe refers to the annual FUNdraising detective walk held every August in Seattle's Phinney Ridge-Greenwood Neighborhood (PhinneyWood for short).

Intrigued? Click here to see the clues and answers to last year's event, then lace up your sneakers, don your deerstalker and do this year's Gumshoe!

How To Do the Gumshoe

Step 1 (pun intended): Buy a Gumshoe entry form at one of these locations. They go on sale Friday, August 1.

Ken's Market
7231 Greenwood Ave N
Debit or credit card, cash or check payable to "PNA"
Phinney Neighborhood Association
6532 Phinney Ave N
Credit card, cash or check
316 N 67th St
Cash or check only
Couth Buzzard Books-Espresso Buono Cafe
8310 Greenwood Ave N
Cash or check only

A single entry form is $20, but if you cajole kids, friends, neighbors and innocent bystanders into joining you and buy two or more at the same time, forms are just $15 each. And you make doing the Gumshoe a group bonding experience! Can’t you feel the love?

Step 2: Once you and your accomplices have your entry forms, solve the 30 clues that lead you through the 5 kilometer walk. That’s roughly 3.1 miles of neural exercise, bipedal locomotion and discovering fun and interesting things along the way.

Do the Gumshoe in one day or over several – you’ve got 10 days, including two week-ends, to complete the walk. Experienced Gumshoes report that it takes about three and a half hours, but if you're one of those people who can't find your glasses when they're pushed up on your forehead, better pack an overnight bag.

Step 3: Return your entry form to Ken's, Starbucks or Buzzard-Buono by 6 pm Sunday, August 10, and you're entered for the Gumshoe prize drawing and the chance to win one of six (count 'em) grand prizes, awarded in this quite arbitrary south-to-north geographical order:

$150 gift card to Greenwood Hardware

$150 gift card to Ken's Market

$150 gift card to Metropolis

$150 gift card to Phinney Books

$75 gift card to ‎Phinney Market Pub & Eatery
and passes for 2 adults and 2 kids to the Woodland Park Zoo
with a special behind-the-scenes tour

$75 gift card to the Olive and Grape
and 2 tickets to a play at Taproot Theatre


Other Chances to Win

Besides giving you the opportunity to win one of the prizes listed above, the Gumshoe provides six additional chances to win through the Eatsy Street and GumShop games included in each entry form.

Who Benefits?

The Greenwood Senior Center, Greenwood Food Bank and Greenwood Elementary School PTA benefit - each receives a third of all the proceeds from the sales of the Gumshoe entry forms.

And it's pretty obvious that if you win a Gumshoe prize, you benefit, too. Duh.

But even if you do the Gumshoe and don't win a thing, isn't the smug satisfaction that comes from having navigated your way through the 16,404-foot perambulation worth something to you?