If you enjoy puzzles, science or engineering may be the field for you. Scientific research and engineering is a continuous series of solving puzzles. It is also a continuous process of learning new things, whether you discover them or study the work of others.
— Nancy Roman
Thank you all for participating in our November Puzzle Hunt, and congratulations to our winners: mad🍉, who finished the first half of the hunt before 57 other middle school teams AND is a repeat winner; Ubiquitous Blanket, who finished first out of 123 other high school teams; and grEAT Minds! We’d like to shout out mad🍉 in particular for continuing on into the optional high school section and solving every puzzle we wrote. You can see full standings on our final leaderboards: MS/HS/Open, and you can find the solutions and authors' notes of each puzzle on the top left of their pages.
We had over 580 participants on over 250 teams!
Coming into this hunt, we were worried this hint would be too difficult and that some teams would be unable to solve them and give up. We were overjoyed to see that wasn’t the case. Almost 75% of registered teams solved at least one puzzle, and most teams solved many more than that! We are amazed with your dedication, perseverance, and teamwork in tackling these difficult puzzles.
We're looking for one or two new team members to join our puzzle writing team/family! If you think you have the experience and interest to help write our next puzzle hunt, please consider applying at this link anytime before December 12th.
Each competitor was invited to the inteGIRLS Science Convention, where different scientists came and gave different tasks to the attendees. As it turned out, the convention was really a way for Disney PRINCESSes to make sure the attendees were up to the task of defeating each princess’s Villain! After the competitors took on the villains individually, they cornered the villains in a buffer zone. To defeat them, the princesses took a quick trip to BUZZFEED to find a LIVE REACTION, and Naomi Scott and Liu Yifei mixed two chemicals and trapped the villains forever.
We generated a histogram of all active teams’ (score > 0, meaning that they solved the Welcome puzzle) scores by division, and this is what we got, with the lines being the median score of each division.
After the hunt, we asked people to rate how much they liked the puzzles on a scale of 1-10. Here is the ranking they produced:
We also asked teams to rate the puzzles by difficulty. Here’s that chart, with the number of times each puzzle was solved next to it:
|The Inorganic Chemist||167||3.91|
|The Marine Biologist||151||4.03|
|The Science Convention||129||4.80|
|The Computer Scientist||126||5.10|
|The Aerospace Engineer||121||5.26|
And we wanted to share some of our favorite wrong answers from the hunt:
|The Villains||Ubiquitous Blanket||Maggie drew the art that appeared throughout much of the puzzle hunt and deserves the credit she got on the Buzzfeed images.|
|The Computer Scientist||multiple teams||So close, yet so far away…|
|The Aerospace Engineer||PECH Sisters|
|The Villians||Bean Squad 2.0||Ahere Tlmost...|
|The Computer Scientist||Let’s Get Crackling||We’ll leave it to the reader to figure out why this answer was submitted.|
|The Villains||yuzu||This speaks for itself|
|Jafar||;)||I guess the Jojo references are inescapable|
|Jafar||IR Spectrum||Most people enjoyed our soundtrack :)|
We also calculated the number of times each number is being explicitly spelled out as an incorrect attempt (i.e. excluding all that spelled out a number and correctly solved a puzzle). The highest number that someone has ever guessed was
onethousandandone, with the smallest unguessed number at 31.
We also wanted to know the relationship between the number of incorrect solutions that teams submitted vs. their scores:
And… the number of attempts submitted every 90 minutes…
We’ve got quite a few teams with “Squad” in their display names. But does having “Squad” in your team name actually help you? To find out, we calculated the average score of all “Squad” teams and other active teams. The results are astonishing — according to our data, having the word “Squad” in your team name can likely result in your team scoring two times more points than other teams (20.83 for squad teams vs. 10.63 for other active teams).
After our May hunt, we were so excited to see that some of our competitors were inspired to write their own puzzles. We wanted to shout out the writers of BN Hunt, Mirroux, Co-puzzle Hunt, and Hunt20, who were inspired by our May hunt to write their own puzzles. If people enjoy solving puzzles, we highly recommend writing some — it’s a fun creative exercise, helps teach puzzle-solving skills, and there’s nothing like watching other people solve your puzzles. If you write puzzles and want to share them, send them over to [email protected], and we’d be happy to solve them and give feedback.
If you enjoyed these puzzles and want a similar experience, we recommend checking out DP Hunt or Colby’s Curious Cookoff. Both hunts are designed for people who are new to puzzle solving but are fun regardless of how much experience you have.
If you are looking for slightly more difficult puzzles, we solved Puzzle Potluck 3 in June and really enjoyed it. It informed a lot of the way that we structured this puzzle hunt and we would recommend it if you’re looking for a still-manageable puzzle hunt that has a lot of the really cool types of puzzle mechanics that exist in slightly harder puzzles. We also enjoyed the other two Puzzle Potlucks, although they weren’t as awesome as Puzzle Potluck 3.
Past that, puzzle hunts get quite a bit more difficult. We’d recommend looking at this list of past puzzle hunts or the MIT Mystery Hunt archive (we’d recommend MIT 2019 to start MIT hunts). The list of all previous MIT puzzles is at http://devjoe.appspot.com/huntindex/index/index.html.
Finally, the Puzzle Hunt Calendar has information about upcoming puzzle hunts.
One last thank you to everyone for participating! All the teams did so well! We had so much fun writing this hunt all summer, and we hope you enjoyed it! Happy puzzling and see you next year!
Made by our participants over at the inteGIRLS Forum »