The puzzlehunt starts on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 12:00 AM UTC and ends on Monday, December 27, 2021 at 12:00 AM UTC, at which point the leaderboards will be frozen and puzzle solutions will be available.
However, we will leave the website running until Monday, January 10, 2022 at 12:00 AM UTC so teams can still submit answers and go through the hunt at their own pace. During this time, we cannot guarantee that hint requests or enquiries will be answered as promptly, although we will continue to strive to do so.
Teams have a maximum size of 6. You may not create multiple accounts or be on multiple teams.
A few puzzles will be available at the start, and the primary way to unlock new puzzles is by solving puzzles and progressing through the hunt, although puzzles may also be unlocked over time.
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 puzzles solved and tie-broken by earliest last solve time.
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 10 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, for example, guessing random thematic answers, or brute-forcing all 10-letter words.
Incorrect guesses and usage of hints do not affect ranking in any way.
If you submit a partial answer, (i.e. a word or phrase you’d find while solving but isn’t the final answer), you may receive a message telling you to “Keep going!” or something similar. However, this does not count towards your team’s ranking.
Starting on Monday, December 20, teams will receive 2 magnifying glasses (hints) per day, at 12:00 AM UTC each day, until the end of the hunt.
You can use a hint to get help on a 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?”).
If you feel that the hint we gave was not helpful for you, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help you further.
After hints are released, if you are out of hints but still completely stuck, please also drop us an email. We want teams to have fun solving puzzles and will try to be more generous with our hints for casual teams!
All puzzles that cannot easily be copied from the hunt site will have a Google Sheets clone of the puzzle. However, if you still encounter issues with copying the contents of a puzzle out, do let us know and we’ll try to find a solution as soon as we can.
We tried our best to include color accessibility in all our puzzles. However, if you are colorblind or have difficulty differentiating between colors and have found an issue with one of our puzzles in this aspect, please email us and we will do our best to accommodate!
Most website elements are mobile-friendly, but the website is designed to be viewed on a desktop.
You may use any external sources for help, including (but not limited to) your favorite textbook, search engine or video streaming service.
You may not request for help from any person that is not on your team. If you wish to have more than 6 people on your team, you may unofficially invite others onto your team, as long as they are not also participating on another team.
You may not publicly stream a solve of the hunt while the hunt is live, or in any other form intentionally make public your solve of the hunt.
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, email email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can.