FAQs

What is a puzzlehunt? How do I solve these puzzles?

If you’ve never heard of puzzlehunts before, here’s a very brief summary: in a typical puzzle, you receive some information and have to extract an answer out of it, which is almost always an English word or phrase. Puzzles can come in many different forms; the only real commonality is that you usually receive no direct instructions, so it’s up to you to figure out how to make sense of the information you’re given.

If you are new to puzzles and are interested in seeing some examples, or if you’re looking for some practice, we recommend looking at puzzles from other online hunts such as last year’s Galactic Puzzle Hunt, MUMS, SUMS, or mezzacotta.

I’m stuck on a puzzle. What should I do?

Here are some general puzzle tips that might be useful:

  • Thoroughly check the work that you’ve already done. Fixing a small mistake or incorrect assumption can greatly help with getting unstuck.
  • Get fresh eyes on the puzzle, or conversely, take a break and look at something else.
  • Consider what information you haven’t used yet.
  • Put everything you have into your favorite search engine.

Remember that after Thin Hints are released on Monday, you can also use them to get a nudge in the right direction.

Do I need to have a 10-person team?

You certainly don’t need to, and we believe the hunt will be fun for teams of all sizes. However, there will be a sizeable number of puzzles, so we recommend having closer to 10 people if you want to be more competitive.

How many puzzles will there be?

Around 40.

Why is the format so different this year?

We wanted to try something new, and we were attracted to something more in the style of the MIT Mystery Hunt or Puzzle Boat. We might revisit the “Australian” format in future years.

Why won’t there be individual puzzle statistics?

Since teams will have access to different puzzles during the hunt, we think that individual puzzle statistics might be slight spoilers.

Is there a tip jar?

If you’d like to support the Galactic Puzzle Hunt, you can donate here. However, our operational costs are very low, so please don’t feel like you have to give anything.

I think there’s a mistake in this puzzle!

Please describe the error in an email to [email protected] and we’ll try to correct it.

Can I write code that interacts with the Galactic Puzzle Hunt puzzles / server?

This will not be necessary to complete any aspect of the puzzlehunt. However, if you want to do this, please limit any automated requests to at most 1/second for our server’s sake. We may disqualify teams that egregiously violate this request.

Can my team create more than one account?

Creating additional accounts is not necessary to complete any aspect of the hunt, and is against the spirit of the competition. If you really think you need one, please contact us first.

Who’s running this hunt?

We are ✈✈✈ Galactic Trendsetters ✈✈✈, an MIT Mystery Hunt team loosely affiliated with Floor Pi, a hall in the East Campus dormitory.

Is this hunt affiliated with MIT?

No, we are not officially related to MIT in any capacity.

Are there any prizes?

No.

Is there a physical component to the hunt? Will I ever need to be in a particular location to solve a puzzle?

No.

Is there a registration deadline?

No.

I have a question that’s not on this list!

Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll answer it. We might even add it to this list if enough people have your question!