Monday, March 07, 2005

The Hunt is On

I'm making games and puzzles now. Must be one of those days.

I'm a huge fan of the MIT Mystery Hunt puzzles. You see, every year, students of the Massachussetts Institute of Technology run a 72-hour, non-stop puzzle marathon where all participants compete for the mere privilege of hosting the next year's contest. Don't take my word for it if I make it sound mundane - the puzzles are some of the most difficult things you'll ever see in your life, and every year tends to be more creative than the last.

Aside from being more difficult than their more conventional counterparts, the MIT Mystery Hunt puzzles operate on a "metapuzzle"-type arrangement. That is to say, puzzles are grouped into categories, and all the solutions for a certain category will collectively make up one last "metapuzzle" that gives the final answer. Get that final answer somehow, and you count yourself among an elite circle of solvers.

If you still don't understand how it works, maybe it's best that I show you by means of example.

I've enclosed a miniature version of the Mystery Hunt below. The solution to each puzzle is a legible word or phrase, and when put together, should be able to clue you in on a final answer. I've purposely laid everything out in a manner similar to the Mystery Hunt puzzles, but I've tried to tone the difficulty down a bit so you don't end up tearing your hair out.

Now, let us begin...


Quincy took a long drag on his cigarette. "So, who dis guy again?"

"I don't know. We might have to find that out ourselves."

"Peh," Quincy spat. "We ain't gonna get nobody if we don't know who he is."

"We'll find out," I told him. "We've got a few leads already."

Geller Building
Apollo Street Theater
Club Bubbles

[Edit: A copy of the Greek alphabet might come in handy. It'll be useful for bringing about some form of order to the Apollo Street Theater puzzle, and that's saying plenty already.]


Sean said...

03-08-2005, 9:47 AM: Posted a corrected version of the Geller Building puzzle. Removed the word "Superman".

eClair said...

Am working on this ;)

Sean said...

03-08-2005, 2:10 PM: Made a minor correction to the Club Bubbles puzzle. Practice Step 12 should read "...Turn Right..." instead of "...Face Right...".

eClair said...

I see :) It's noted. Sacha's working on them too :)

Pat said...

Working on it too. Mind boggling... ><

Your correction on step 12 doesn't really affect the outcome right?

PS Might as well introduce myself.. Hello Sean! I've seen a link of your puzzle post from eClair's page. ^_^ I'm thinking of linking your blog to mine.. Can I? ^_^

Sean said...

The correction to step 12 doesn't really affect anything. I just wanted the steps to have some measure of consistency.

Go ahead and link, Pat. It's just fine. :)

eClair said...

Now people are hooked...

Pat said...

This is weird but..

I've solved the Geller and the Club Bubbles AND I've got a pretty good guess for the meta puzzle based on those two, but I can't solve the overall answer for the Apollo. ^^;;

How do I send my guesses? ^^

Sean said...

If you've got a metapuzzle answer, then that should be fine. I've structured it such that you can take a stab at the metapuzzle even if you manage not to solve some of the three puzzles.

Do send your answer to . I'll confirm whether or not it's correct.

Sean said...

Pat's metapuzzle answer is correct, based on answers to the Geller Building and Club Bubbles puzzles. No correct answers for the Apollo Street Theater puzzle yet.

If you have any answers to any of the three puzzles, you might want to confirm them with me first to see if you're on the right track.

I'll most likely be posting the answers this Friday, now that someone's got a correct solution already.

Sean said...

03-10-2005, 10:43 AM: Posted a hint for the Apollo Street Theater puzzle on the main blog entry.