Firstly: Thank you to the Manic Sages for running the 2013 Hunt. It is crazy difficult to do, and this was your first year doing it. You made an impressive number of puzzles. You struggled through technical difficulties and the most critical nerds in the world, you survived, and you've passed the torch on. No matter what criticisms I add below, you deserve mad props for doing what you did. I have no clue the effort you put into it, and there's no way my team could replicate what you did.

Second: I speak only for myself, not my team (Grand Unified Theory of Love, or GUTOL).

Third: house rule, no expressions of anger )

And here's the criticisms. )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
In Mediawiki, is there a special page that lists which users have most/least contributions?
One of my team members for the MIT Mystery Hunt this weekend was planning to fly from DC to Boston tomorrow, but, ya know, snow. They've already told her her flight is cancelled. She trying to rebook to Thurs, but if it's not possible, she'll be looking for either advice on how to get to Boston in such weather, and/or a carpool.

Anyone doing DC to Boston for the Hunt, Arisia, or other purposes this weekend? If not, what would be your preferred method to travel up the East coast just after a blizzard?
"Doctor of Thinkology" (MIT Mystery Hunt 2010) had a bunch of questions about bizarre things, often things that didn't -couldn't- even exist. In each one, there was a single misspelling.

In my six years of participating in the MIT Mystery Hunt, this is the first time that I've worked on a puzzle from start (unlocking) to finish (correct solution submission), and I am very proud of my work. It also exhibited excellent layering of the puzzle, which T$ helped me to achieve on "Pining for the Fjords" (GUTLove 2010 practice puzzle) when he rewrote it for me.

Spoilers )

Like I said, this was the first puzzle that I was involved with from start to finish. It's really beautiful and elegant to see the whole thing work like this, how each small part fits neatly together to come to the end. For those of you not familiar with the Hunt, as you read over the summary above, you may have noticed that there were something like 4 major steps, each taking a leap of logic/faith. Usually when I'm involved with a puzzle I do one step only, then I get stuck, put it down, and when it grabs someone else's eye I summarize what I did for them and they move on from there. When they solve that step, they put it down, summarize for the next person, and for the previous person. Repeat until final solution. As a result, I only ever fully understand a small part of any puzzle that I touched. Understanding every last step in full excruciating detail is a new pleasure for me, and I'm quite proud of the work that I (and Foxtrot, BL, and DM) did on this puzzle. :)

The puzzles are not back up yet, I'll link to this one when it does go up. And right after I posted this I saw that the puzzles are in fact back up, so I linked this one above and here.
These days, every MIT Mystery Hunt has a theme, and the kickoff at 12noon on the Friday of Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend always presents the story of the theme. This year, it was a futuristic Sci-Fi convention (Zyzzlcon 3009) with guests of honor the crew of the Brass Rat, that got sucked into the region of space called Zyzzlvaria. The only way to escape is to find all the missing crew members and the Covertly Operational Inversion Node (COIN - traditionally the Hunt ends when one team finds a coin or other representational object at the end of a scavenger hunt). Here's T$'s video of the kickoff.

And a direct link.
I'm going to start chronicling some of what went on at the Hunt. Rather than having a single absurdly long post, or else lose steam and never post it (like happened last year), I've decided to do it in installments. This one is about the spaceship competition, and a bit of team history.

Spaceship Competition )

Team History )

More Spaceship )
I have returned to LJ-land after a fun weekend of puzzle-solving. Please let me know if I missed anything you posted and want me to know, since I doubt I'm going through everyone's posts.


Mar. 31st, 2008 09:58 pm
Today I picked up three $2-bills. I saw them in the lunch lady's cash drawer Friday but didn't have any spare money on me. I'd forgotten them by lunch today but when I saw them again and realized I had the spare cash I traded them in. When I started examining them I saw that they were printed in 2003, immediately prompting me to suspect they were fake (but at only a loss of $6 I figured it was worth it for the entertainment). Upon further examination I saw they had the red and blue little strings in them, and the printing was remarkably good. And two of them the numbers are sequential. When I got home I looked up online and it turns out that there was a printing of two dollar bills in 2003, so it appears these really are legit.

I wonder how someone came across three of them, and why they spent them. And why the US doesn't really circulate $2's - both the EU and UK use two-coins, 2-euro-cent and 2-Euro coins, and 2-British-cent and 2-Pound coins, are all in general circulation.

One of my Mystery Hunt team partners agrees with me that finding a forgery might've been even more interesting than finding a legit bill. I used Where's George? to confirm the years and serial numbers - these are legit numbers on my bills, so I accept that they are real.
asterroc: (*Hyuk!*)
Not a review of it yet, just a head's up that there's a recently revived [ profile] mystery_hunt community. (Thanks [ profile] seekingferret for the head's up.)
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
Do you download the daily sudoku variation from WebSudoku? Are the NY Times Sunday crosswords too easy for you? Did you figure out what the heck this icon means just because you could? When you see a series of dots, do you immediately start interpretting it as Morse, Braille, constellations, or T-stations? If any of these apply to you, then you may be interested in joining our team for the MIT Mystery Hunt.

Over the course of Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend (Fri Jan 12 - Mon Jan 15), starting Friday Noon (EST), our team of around 30-40 in-person and 10-20 remote people work on solving a set of 100 puzzles of any sort you can think of. Puzzle formats in the past have included sudoku, jig saw, crossword, word searches, physical treasure hunts, "paint by number," chess, and many original types; puzzle topics include words, history, programming, trivia, math, science, music, pop culture, MIT-specific, literature, internet searches, and many more. The winning team has to organize the next year's Hunt. (We will not win, we're not close to good enough yet, but we will have lots of fun.) You don't need to be an expert in anything, whatever anybody knows always gets utilized somehow. You only need to participate for as long or short as you want. Sleep is optional.

My team, Lake Effect Snow, will be participating in our third Hunt this January (2007). We are starting to make a name for ourselves as being more highly cooperative than most teams, and for having a large contingent of remote participants. While we are interested in adding more strong puzzlers to our team ([ profile] tacotortoise has been our only powerhouse for the past two years), and more MIT-natives, the biggest criterion for succeeding on the team is good teamwork.

More details )

If you are interested in participating, please let me know - email me at zandperl-AT-gmail-DOT-com if you want privacy, or comment on this entry if you don't. If you're already on my friends list you're in as soon as you say "go." If you're not on my friends list tell me a little bit about yourself either here or via email - we haven't been particularly screening out people, but since we want to make sure we keep the good teamwork I think it'd important that we know a little about people who want to join.

I hope to hear from people!



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