What is a Puzzle Hunt?
A puzzle hunt is a competition to solve a series of puzzles. Each puzzle will have an answer that is a word or short phrase (consisting only of letters), and it will be your job to manipulate the puzzle to discover that answer.
Some of the puzzles will be metapuzzles. Metapuzzles use the answers from previous puzzles to get to an answer (you’ll have to figure out how). Metapuzzles are designed to be solved without having all of the answers used in the puzzle.
- The puzzle hunt will run from November 6th at 5 PM EST to November 9th at 5 PM EST.
- Do not talk about the puzzles with anyone not on your team until the end of the hunt! Violation of this rule may get you disqualified from the competition.
- This includes asking questions about the puzzles on social media or Internet forums.
- Teams may have up to four people who identify as female or non-binary on them.
- There will be around 20 puzzles for the High School and Open divisions, and around 10 for the Middle School Division (with the other 10 optional and not part of the competition). Teams will not need to solve every puzzle to finish the hunt.
- Each puzzle has either one or two hints that should help you make progress on the puzzle. Your team will be given your first hint credit at 9 AM EST Saturday morning, after which will be given every 8 hours.
- If a puzzle has two hints, the first hint will help you with the first step of the puzzle, and the second hint will not make sense until you’ve done the first step.
- For any puzzle, if you chat us [now disabled] (using the little purple button on the bottom right of Infinity) with your progress on the puzzle, we will tell you if the hint will be helpful or not, and which hint to take.
- We may give out more hints if we feel like it — that will be communicated clearly if we do.
Ranking and Divisions
- In a change from the last hunt, teams will be ranked on how quickly they solve the final puzzle. Teams that do not solve the final puzzle will be ranked by solved number of points they have.
- Accuracy does not matter in this puzzle hunt. Guess away!
- As mentioned above, metapuzzles are designed to be solved without having solved all previous puzzles.
- There will be three divisions: middle school (8th grade and below), high school (12th grade and below), and open.
- Teams should play in the division of the oldest person on the team. For example, a team with three middle schoolers and one high schooler should play in the high school division.
Infinity ∞ is the platform designed and used by inteGIRLS to host, run, and maintain the puzzle hunt competition. You are subject to the following rules when participating in the competition (in short, don't do bad things!):
- Each account will be limited to one guess per five seconds to prevent server overload.
- You may not write any code to interact with the verification server of Infinity ∞ to solve the puzzles. Your team may be disqualified if we detect such an attempt during the competition.
- In order to maintain fairness of the competition, all interactions of every user of the platform will be recorded, even when you are logged out. Sensitive information like passwords will be redacted from the recording. Competition admins reserve the right to check any suspicion of cheating against these logs.
If you believe you found a security issue or a design flaw of the platform, please visit the Bug Reporting section of the GitHub repository to find the detailed process to report it. The platform is completely open-source on GitHub.
- We may leave notes [in brackets] in puzzles. Those notes are not part of the puzzle.
- We reserve the right to disqualify any team, at any time, for any reason. So don’t get on our bad side :)
- We reserve the right to change these rules at any time, for any reason. We will try our best to communicate large rules changes to the teams.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the puzzle hunt, feel free to email us at [email protected].
- Puzzle Writing Team: Vishal Kanigcherla, Adam L, Zain Majumder, Joy Shi, Matthew Siff, Julie Steele, Shrikar Vasisht, Laura Yao
- inteGIRLS President and Human Superhero: Joy Shi
- Director of Tech Operations: Mingjie Jiang
- Graphic Designer: Maggie Yao
- Test Solvers: Bryan Lee, Patrick Xia, Jason Cheah, Derek Dong, Rejas Raj, Elliot Lee, Lucas Lee, Thomas Yao, Sky Yuzuki, Oliver Perl, Henry Wachs, Oliver Wolin, Dominic Bloch-Prime, Sophia Weng
Additionally, click here to see our software licenses.