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Monday, August 14, 2006

Philly's Treasure Hunter Nears the Jackpot 

Live blog of last night's show in which Philly's "Genius" Francis Goldshmid almost finds the final treasure ...

Whoa, talk about excitement! Drive 137 miles from Philly to D.C. to look for a book at the Library of Congress! Does TV get any better than this? (Blinking type goes here: Sarcasm alert.)

Three teams of three are left in NBC's Treasure Hunt: Boston's Southie Boys. The Air Force. The Geniuses, including Philly's own Francis Goldshmid. (That's him at left, with glasses and sideburns, clowning around during an outtake posted online, with fellow Genius Sam.) One of these trios is supposed to win the World's Richest TV Show Prize Ever.

One team will find the treasure tonight! Narrator Dude intones.

Something tells me they won't get to open it tonight, though.

The Southie Boys get to the LOCation first, but are clueless how to find a book in a library. Geniuses arrive next, but the Air Force is first to find the right book, and find the artifact they need, and peruse the clues about some mystery of the flag, and figure out they have to find some Old Printing Press.

Next, the Geniuses luck out, stumbling on a book and what's hidden behind it. Then they, too, are checking out clues about flags. Narrator Dude rings 'em: You found the second and final artifact.

Sorry, Southie Boys, I think you're out!

The Air Force starts inking something, and they better be right, because whatever they're blackening could be ruined.

Air Force builds some assemblage of artifacts and follows instructions to operate the Old Printing Press, and, presto, as Narrator Dude calls to announce: "You've successfully printed a treasure map. ... Only a cryptex remains and in it, the final key."

The Geniuses are off to the Old Printing Press.

The Southie Boys sit and share their confusion, then finally figure out the catalog system and find the final clue. (Guess they weren't eliminated.)

Soon all three teams are off to Baltimore's Fort McHenry looking for the crucial cryptex, a cylinder with rotating wheels that when aligned unlock to reveal something inside.

The Geniuses are looking for a boat looking for a ship in the harbor with a mast and sails. Blond Genius Charles knows the Star-Spangled Banner story and how it was written by Francis Scott Key -- the final Key?!

"Is that a mast straight ahead of us, Captain?" "That is a mast," the captain says. Geniuses are on the ship, looking around like crazy.

Blond Genius: "There's a glass pane with an exact replica of the map that we have." Find a map: It says, "The key is not here. The answer is right in front of you."

A call gives them a clue to the next location. Some other key. The "Lazaretto." Except the Lazaretto is now gone.

"What is this right here?" asks a member of the Air Force team. Camera zooms: Well-lighted building says KEY on top.

Oh no, Philly guy! Air Force could be closing in on the final destination first!

Southie Boys, swearing every minute, just make it to harbor. Way behind.

Tubby Genius sees the big building with KEY at the top.

"Guys, this could be the moment that charges our lives!" says Philly Genius Francis.

Narrator Dude calls to tell them they're first! And what they need to do next.

Air Force is cruising right past the spot!

Geniuses are climbing and climbing these fire-escape like stairs, why I have no clue.

Southie Boys find the clue ship.

Geniuses have to find the entrance to a chamber. "Hey! Hey! Hey!" They find a hidden staircase and now they're going down. Into some kind of tunnel. They find a hole just large enough for a token they have. Do they drop the token in, and risk losing it?

Air Force gets to the Key Industries Building next.

Geniuses get the door open! They find the hidden chamber!

There's all kinds of writing on the walls, and hieroglyphics, too. All they have to do is figure out a five-letter word ... and ...

"TUNE IN NEXT WEEK AND FIND OUT WHICH TEAM WINS! ... LIVE FINALE ..." What?! Sigh. Just as I suspected. Big tease.

But Philly Genius is SOCLOSE!

Wait'll next week. So what else is new???

Is this show over tonight or not? Southie Boys arrive ... Air Force keeps looking ...

"We got to think. This is killing me," says Philly's Francis "Genius" Goldshmid.

"TO BE CONTINUED" comes on the screen.

Next week: Live show with a "lockdown." Teams all in the hidden chamber going head to head, whispering their hunches ...

Go to: Early Word = Philadelphia Inquirer = = Lighter Side

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