The MIT Mystery Hunt, started in 1980, is a weekend-long series of puzzles given to large teams. These can cover everything from traditional crosswords to trivia to lateral thinking puzzles with a distinct lack of instructions to scavenger hunts to “runarounds” crossing from one end of the MIT campus to the other. The puzzles culminate into one final metapuzzle “solution” giving the location of a hidden object on campus. The winning team creates the next year’s hunt. It’s gained a lot of popularity since its early days (thanks in part to a Games Magazine article, which inspired a friend - a humanities major! - to go to MIT and become a puzzle editor), though only recently did it move from mostly paper to mostly online (though there are more than enough reasons why a large force physically at MIT is a necessity).
There’s a wide range of puzzles, from traditional stuff you’d find in magazines (though almost always with a twist), to trivia-type puzzles (though some are disguised somewhat), to mysterious ones that require you to think outside the box, to ones that require precision and patience… a LOT of precision and patience!
Since these are mostly amateur efforts, the quality of the puzzles vary (though a professional puzzle-making friend of mine called this the best logic puzzle he’d ever seen), and some say that many require too much Googling/obscure knowledge. But I think it’s a lot of fun, even though I almost never solve them (though I had a few moments last year, as someone watching from the sidelines).
This year, unlike many past ones, the puzzles are being released to the general public much later than usual, due to this year’s structure. But you can still see many of them, since the hunt has progressed quite a ways since its start at noon Friday EST.
So, anyone else like this stuff?