Find the Fox d’Or!

As my colleague, Roman, rarely resorts to profanities, the loud “Bloody hell!” that emanated from his corner of the THC office one damp day last November, told me something pretty serious had occurred. That something turned out to be the appearance, in Roman’s inbox, of a photograph of fabled defoxing relic, the Fox d’Or.

The trophy awarded to the winners of the first eleven Defoxing World Championships, the Fox d’Or famously went missing during WW2. Some commentators believed it was looted by the Nazis during the invasion of Belgium (the World Champion at the time was Walloon Henri Renard) and subsequently melted down. Others thought that it was probably aboard the SS Culpeo Star when said vessel was torpedoed in the Atlantic in 1941 (Henri was one of the 68 people who perished when the Culpeo went down). There have even been stories linking the solid gold* statuette with the mysterious five foot-deep hole that appeared in the centre of Standard Liège’s pitch one night in 1978.

The photo Roman received showed the Fox d’Or sitting atop a copy of a September 2023 issue of Der Spiegel, hence my Chief Foxer Setter’s uncharacteristic exclamation. Evidently knew the whereabouts of the ‘lost’ trophy, and was keen to communicate this fact to a sympathetic/interested soul.

Why? We got the first inkling of an answer a week later. Zorro’s second message took the form of a fiendishly tricky “Where am I?” foxer. Roman and I grappled with the puzzle for almost a month before solving it. The Street View-able spot that matched all the clues turned out to be on a dirt road leading to a derelict fish canning factory on the Dalmatian Coast. Adorning a dilapidated wall at the location, a freshly spray-painted fox’s head and a downward pointing arrow strongly suggested buried treasure.

Was Zorro a wind-up merchant? There was only one way to find out for certain. Plans for the THC Xmas party were put on ice and plane tickets and accommodation hurriedly booked. Our hearts were thumping like jackhammers when, on the morning of December 23rd, we dismounted from dusty mopeds next to the vulpine visage and set to work with our entrenching tools.

Roman is to hugging what Vladimir Putin is to world peace, but that day my jubilant pal embraced me so hard I almost passed out. Inside the tupperware box interred close to the wall of that weed-invaded Croatian cannery was the closest thing the defoxing community has to a Holy Grail.

Donate it to the Museum of the Foxer? Auction it for charity? Let it rest on Roman’s desk in perpetuity? Since unearthing the fabulous Fox d’Or, me and my Chief Foxer Setter have been debating what we should do with it. Lively, even tempestuous at times, that debate is finally over. Rather than consign our find to some airless ogle space for evermore, we’ve decided it would be much more appropriate to use it as the prize in an elaborate (by Roman’s usual standards) bespoke foxer.

Earlier this week Roman secreted the Fox d’Or ‘somewhere in England’ (Apologies to defoxers based further afield). To have any chance of finding that somewhere you’ll first need to solve a series of Where Am I?-style puzzles. Puzzle #1 will appear on THC on Monday. By the beginning of July, deft defoxers should have sufficient information/confidence to undertake an exciting field trip.

Stuff Worth Bearing in Mind if You Plan to Participate in the Hunt for the Fox d’Or

  • Don’t mistake the weekly ‘Where am I?’ answers for places where the trophy might be. You will need said answers to find the actual resting place of the Fox d’Or, but the statuette is not in one of these locations.
  • While you’re welcome to form ad-hoc defoxing teams, please don’t share solutions via THC comments.
  • None of the images accompanying this article are clues.
  • The Fox d’Or is approximately 21cm long and 10cm high. It weighs roughly 1.5kg.
  • The retriever of the Fox d’Or won’t have to break UK laws or risk life or limb in order to do so.

* Moron’s gold


  1. Well, we are visiting a part of England at the end of July, but I expect it to be found by then, I’ll at least try and work it out :).

    I had a delayed 50th birthday 2 weekends ago and 2 of the quiz rounds were based on regular foxer puzzles, everyone enjoyed it.

    I even got my non foxer friends to identify a tank!

  2. I’m in England! Chances of the location being somewhere I can get to seem slender, but likewise I’ll have a go (and I also had slightly belated 50th birthday celebrations two weekends ago)!

Leave a Reply