MIT Puzzle Hunt 2021- Chapter One

Quick update today, since it’s already 12:30 AM in Chicago. But the MIT Puzzle Hunt has begun, and it’s pretty awesome.

I’ve posted before about my team of three clearing Puzzle Boat 2 and Puzzle Boat 3, which prepared us a little for what was ahead. But the MIT Puzzle Hunt has a reputation of being the big, bad granddaddy of the puzzle hunt genre. It’s notorious for having some of the most unfair and difficult puzzles out there, which makes it all the more satisfying to come out on top.

The puzzle launched at around noon on a work day, so I wasn’t able to join most of the early festivities. I should have planned a PTO day around this, though- I missed out on a lot of fun, especially in the early periods when the whole team was working together to get some footing.

The designers this year built out a fully interactive online game in which participants can explore, find more puzzles, and communicate. It’s both neat and impressive. I’ve joined a team of about 70 participants, and so far we’ve got a handful of puzzles done.

I spent some time on a few puzzles today, and they’re tough. I haven’t encountered anything particularly unfair yet (e.g. a reference only an X-ray technician would recognize), but there are many directions each puzzle could go, and these puzzles don’t give you a traditional puzzle to get you started the way Puzzle Boat does.

I’m looking forward to continuing to participate. It’s probably not great timing for me since I’ve got a lot of other endeavors I’m working on right now, but if I can jump on for an hour here and an hour there, it’ll add up. Thankfully, a lot of the work is being done on Discord and Sheets, both of which I can access from my phone, so I’ll be able to stay involved wherever I may be.

Wish me luck!

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