Archives / 1996 Mystery Hunt


The 1996 Mystery Hunt was developed by Timothy Chow, Dave and M.K. Lucking Reiley, Phil Lin, Jonathan Walton, Art and Grace Mateos, Julian West, Skaff Elias, and Richard Garfield. The hunt was inspired by (but not based on) the book Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter.


As introduced at the beginning of the hunt, Mr. Crab had lost his priceless I Haven't Tolerance For Pricescoin in an unexpected Subjunc-TV accident. He had sent his friends, Achilles and the Tortoise, to find it, but they had unfortunately disappeared as well. Armed with a scrambled TV repair manual, a strange Subjunc-VCR tape, a piece of string, a copy of the book Godel, Escher, Bach, and your wits, you were supposed to track down and find the missing IHTFP coin!


This hunt was approximately 36 puzzles long, organized into three trails of twelve puzzles each. The puzzles were braided together in the puzzle packet, so that the three trails were not obviously separate entities. In fact, solving information on each trail was important to finishing each other trail. There were on-line puzzles, audio-taped puzzles, three-dimensional crosswords, minesweeper and chess puzzles, and quite a few puzzles which defy categorization! The hunt lasted until about 8PM on Sunday (somewhat by plan, since it would have probably stretched out another five hours or more if the organizers hadn't started bartering hints... a pre-planned strategy to try to end the game before dinner on Sunday).

The Hunt

The 1996 Mystery Hunt (PDF)

The 1996 Hunt also had two online puzzles: