December Meeting: CSI meets CSI to Solve a Mystery!

December's meeting was fun and informative! Construction Specifications Institute members became "crime scene investigators" for the evening as we combined socializing and education over beer and a mystery!

Frothy Beard Brewing Company in West Ashley hosted us in one of their meeting spaces. Over beer and pizza, attendees divided up into two teams to solve the mystery of who murdered our intrepid specification writer, Cassandra S. Inman.  Clues were buried in the project manual she had been working on, as well as in various files and reference materials, locked in drawers, product sample cases, and boxes, all designed to lead participants to the solution in an "escape room" like event. 

Cassandra S. Inman (check out her initials!) was working on the specifications for a "super mini-max incarceration facility" (SMIF) to house eight hardened criminals, including Steve Sauron, Ralph Raskolnikov, and Greg Grendel, among others. She had already received threats some of the incarcerated, and in case any one of them were able to act up the threat, she left a trail of clues beforehand so that perhaps, in her dying moments, she could point to the right trail to lead the Crime Scene Investigators to the guilty party.

Mug Shots

Unfortunately, our victim couldn't to point directly to the clue that would lead to the perpetrator – she knew the murderer would obliterate it in her dying moments, anyhow. So she had the presence of mind to mentally map out a circuitous path of a series of clues (and the occasional red herring!) that would ultimately lead the Crime Scene Investigators to the guilty party.

Spec section numbers and referenced standards provided lock combinations to open drawers, which led to more clues. Each clue included information about the Construction Specifications Institute or specifications in general -- plus a little trivia about forensics and crime scene investigation! "Booking cards" for the eight "perps" had information about each one that Cassandra drew on for her clues - referencing a division, or specification section, or an ASTM, NFPA, or ANSI standard....

Some knowledge of specifications and MasterFormat definitely helped in solving the puzzle and leading to the guilty party! (Not to mention, some fun was had using invisible ink and black light to uncovered leads.)

Participants definitely enjoyed themselves! Many suggested that the program could be used as a great team building exercise.