Rules

Format

  • The bake off (i.e. the puzzlehunt) starts on Friday, March 16th, 2018 at 3:14 PM EDT and ends on Monday, March 26th, 2018 at 3:14 AM EDT.
  • Teams have a maximum size of 10.
  • A few puzzles will be available at the start, and more will be unlocked as you solve puzzles and progress through the hunt. Note that this is very different from last year’s format, where puzzles were unlocked at fixed times.

Scoring/Ranking

  • Teams that complete the hunt will be ranked by the time at which they finish. Teams that do not complete the hunt will be ranked by number of cookies.
  • We will have a scoreboard showing teams’ progress. Unlike last year, we will not release individual puzzle statistics until after the hunt ends.

Solving

  • Each answer is a string of letters A-Z. Lowercase letters will be changed into uppercase, and any other characters will be stripped before checking for correctness.
  • You have 20 total guesses for each puzzle. If you legitimately run out of guesses and need more, feel free to contact us, though we won’t grant your request if we see that you were guessing random thematic answers, brute-forcing all 10-letter words with five vowels, etc.

Hints

  • Starting on Monday, March 19th, teams will receive two Thin Hints per day, at 3:14 PM EDT each day, until the end of the hunt.
  • You can consume one Thin Hint to ask for help on any puzzle. This can be something like a nudge in the right direction (i.e. you give us your progress on the puzzle and we’ll try to get you unstuck) or an answer to a question (e.g. “Which answers to these crossword clues are wrong?”).

Other

  • You may use any external sources for help, including other people, as long as they aren’t helping other teams and aren’t actively participating in the hunt.
  • It won’t be necessary to look at the HTML source/Javascript/CSS on any webpages for any puzzle, but you’re welcome to look anyway. On the static version of the site (which you are viewing now), the source code may contain puzzle spoilers.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify any team for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • We reserve the right to change any of these rules. If there’s a big change, we’ll announce it to all teams.
  • If you have any questions about these rules, or if you want to contact us for any reason, e-mail [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as we can.