What's a Gumshoe?


Gumshoe is slang for detective. It's also the name of a FUNdraising detective walk held every summer in Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods. Since it began in 2006, the Gumshoe has raised over $74,000 for these local non-profits:

Greenwood Senior Center
Greenwood Elementary School PTA
Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church Food Bank

The year 2022, the Gumshoe's 17th, is its last. The organizer, aka the Answer Man, is hanging up his spyglass to work on a new community kindness project, KinderReminder. So to go out with a bang, the 2022 Gumshoe Finale features not one, but two walks—one in July and one in August.

The August walk is new and its proceeds will go to the usual suspects—the senior center, PTA and food bank. The July walk, however, reprises the very first Gumshoe, updated to reflect changes in the neighborhood since it debuted in 2006, and its proceeds will fund KinderReminder.

If you haven't gumshoed before, 2022 is your last chance. To get a flavor for gumshoeing, check out the 2019 Gumshoe clues and answers by clicking here, then lace up your sneakers, don your deerstalker, head to the Phinney Neighborhood Center, Greenwood Hardware, Phinney Books or Couth Buzzard and buy an entry form!

How to Gumshoe

Step 1: Entry forms go on sale Friday, July 8 for the July Gumshoe and Friday, August 5 for the August Gumshoe. Makes sense, doesn't it? Get entry forms at one of these sales outlets:

Phinney Center
6532 Phinney Ave N
9a-10p M-F, 9a-2p Sa, closed Su
Credit card only
Greenwood Hardware
7201 Greenwood Ave N
8a-7p M-F, 9a-6p Sa, 9a-5p Su
Cash or check payable to "PNA" only
Phinney Books
7405 Greenwood Ave N
10a-7p M-Sa, 10a-5p Su
Cash or check payable to "PNA" only
Couth Buzzard Books
8310 Greenwood Ave N
10a-9p daily
Cash or check payable to "PNA" only

A single entry form is $20, but if you drag kids, friends, neighbors or innocent bystanders along and buy two or more at the same time, they're just $15 each.

Step 2: Once you and your accomplices have your entry forms, head to the Gumshoe's start/end point—Phinney Center in July, Couth Buzzard Books in August—and solve the 30 clues that lead you through the 5 kilometer roundtrip. That's roughly 3.1 miles of brain and body exercise.

Step 3: Return your entry form to any of the places that sell them by 4:30p Sunday the last day of the Gumshoe—July 24 or August 21— and you're entered in that Gumshoe's prize drawing with a chance to win one of 10 $100 gift cards to these local businesses (July Gumshoe winners listed below each business):

Red Mill Burgers
Mary Kathleen Trotta
El Chupacabra
Katie Galdabini
Greenwood Hardware
Keenan Beers
Ridge Pizza
Eleanor Seematter
Nutty Squirrel Gelato
Mary Catlin
Phinney Books
Katharine Sjoberg
The Chicken Supply
Tiffany Wince
Gorgeous George's
Frances Merenda
The Olive and Grape
Daniel Francis Conde
Snapdoodle Toys & Games
Juniper Detrano


Should you buy an entry form and find you haven't done the Gumshoe for whatever reason—you were lost at the first clue, your walking partner bugged out on you, the dog ate your entry form—you can salvage your investment by doing the Procrastishoe!

Join other last-minute gumshoes at 2p on the last day of the walk at its start/end point—July 24 at the Phinney Neighborhood Center or August 21 at Couth Buzzard Books— to collectively do the walk with the Answer Man hinting everyone along. You’ll be done in time to turn in your entry form before the event wraps at 4:30p the same day.

What Else You Need to Know

100% of July Gumshoe proceeds go to KinderReminder's new community kindness project and 100% of August proceeds go to the senior center, PTA and food bank. Nobody is paid to help with KinderReminder or the Gumshoe.

Commemorative Mug

If you do both of this year's Gumshoes, you can order a commemorative mug with this wrap-around design through the Phinney Neighborhood Association for $10—that's cost plus a little extra to the PNA for handling. Supplies will be limited and orders filled on a first paid, first served basis. Look for ordering details in the July and August Gumshoe entry forms!

While the Gumshoe has been a FUNdraiser, it's also been about connecting people to the neighborhood and building community. It's amazing what you discover when you walk and pay attention, and the event wouldn't have happened these past 15 years without some pretty amazing support from the businesses and organizations mentioned above and these four individuals:



Want to know more? Email the Gumshoe Answer Man.