FAQs

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 previous Galactic Puzzle Hunts or puzzles from other online hunts such as REDDOThunt, Puzzle Potluck, or the Caltech Puzzle Hunt.

Do I need to have a 10-person team?

You certainly don’t need to, and we believe the hunt will be fun for teams of all sizes. However, there will be a sizeable number of puzzles, so we recommend having closer to 10 people if you want to be more competitive.

How many puzzles will there be?

Around 40.

What exactly happens when the hunt ends?

When the hunt ends on March 25th, the scoreboard will be frozen and solutions for all the puzzles will be released, and a wrap-up will be available several days later. However, if you have not finished and still want to experience the whole hunt, you’ll still be able to register new teams, submit answers on the website, and progress through the hunt until April 15th. The only difference is that you won’t be able to use advicebergs after the hunt ends.

After April 15th, you can still do the puzzles and check your answers spoiler-free, as in previous years.

Is there a tip jar?

If you’d like to support the Galactic Puzzle Hunt, you can donate here. However, our operational costs are very low, so please don’t feel like you have to give anything.

I think there’s a mistake in this puzzle!

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

Can I write code that interacts with the Galactic Puzzle Hunt puzzles / server?

This will not be necessary to complete any aspect of the puzzlehunt. However, if you want to do this, please limit any automated requests to at most 1/second for our server’s sake. We may disqualify teams that egregiously violate this request.

How can I learn about future Galactic Puzzle Hunts?

Join our mailing list!

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 advicebergs are released on Monday, you can also use them to get a nudge in the right direction.

Who’s running this hunt?

We are ✈✈✈ Galactic Trendsetters ✈✈✈, an MIT Mystery Hunt team loosely affiliated with Floor Pi, a hall in MIT's East Campus dormitory.

Is this hunt affiliated with MIT?

No, we are not officially related to MIT in any capacity.

Are there any prizes?

No.

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

No.

Is there a registration deadline?

No.

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

Contact us at galacticpuzzlesetters@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to answer it. We might even add it to this list if enough people have your question!