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 Galactic Puzzle Hunt, REDDOThunt, or Puzzle Potluck.

What is a metapuzzle?

A metapuzzle (or ‘meta’ for short) is a puzzle that uses answers from the previous puzzles in the round, but you’ll need to figure out how to use these answers to extract a final answer. You do not need to solve all puzzles in the round in order to solve a metapuzzle, though usually, having more puzzles solved (and thus more answers) will make it easier to solve a meta.

When does the hunt start?

The hunt begins on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 12:00 AM UTC. Equivalently, that is:

  • Friday, December 17, 2021 at 04:00 PM PST,
  • Friday, December 17, 2021 at 07:00 PM EST, or
  • Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 08:00 AM SGT.

The hunt will run for 9 days, ending on Monday, December 27, 2021 at 12:00 AM UTC, at which point solutions will be released and the leaderboards frozen.

How large should my team be?

We designed the hunt for a team size of 6, and we think the hunt is best experienced in teams up to this size, so our registration caps out at this size. However, as mentioned in the rules, you can unofficially invite others onto your team, as long as they are not also participating on another team.

For the first (approximately) one-third of the hunt, expect only 3 puzzles to be unlocked at a time, and so more experienced teams may prefer having a slightly smaller team size.

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.

How long and difficult will the puzzlehunt be?

The hunt will contain around 30 puzzles in total. We expect difficulty to fall around UMD Puzzle Hunt. We expect that experienced teams will be able to complete the puzzlehunt within the weekend.

The second weekend of this hunt does run over Christmas (unfortunately), and we understand if your team is unable to hunt over the weekend. If this is the case for your team and you wish to finish the hunt but need an extra push, do feel free to reach out to us during the later half of the hunt week and we will try to be more generous with our hints.

Who’s running this hunt?

We are a team that mostly formed out of CMU, and have been solving puzzlehunts casually for about 4 years now. We have taken a couple of team names, including EATS NUTS AND BOLTS (mainly for CMU puzzlehunts) and weareyoung (for most other hunts).

Is there a tip jar?

We are a small team and are paying for all the infrastructure (such as the hunt domain and server) out of our own pockets, so if you’d like to support us, you can buy us a Ko-fi here!

Can I write code that interacts with the Puzzle Rojak puzzles or server?

This will never be necessary to complete any aspect of this hunt. For the sake of our server, please do not do this, as it will disrupt the hunt experience for other teams (and will be unpleasant for us to fix). We may disqualify teams that egregiously violate this request.

Are there any prizes?


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


Is there a registration deadline?

No; you can even sign up during the hunt itself. However, once the hunt is closed on Monday, January 10, 2022 at 12:00 AM UTC, teams may no longer be registered.

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.
  • It can be useful to put everything you have into your favorite search engine.
  • Have you tried...

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

I think there’s a mistake in this puzzle!

Please describe the error in an email to puzzlerojak@gmail.com and we’ll try to correct it.

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

Contact us at puzzlerojak@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to answer it.