On December 14, 2021, we released the prologue to the MIT Mystery Hunt, Star Rats. Intended as a introductory puzzle set for the Mystery Hunt proper, we were thrilled at the level of participation we saw.
Star Rats was comprised of 13 puzzles and a metapuzzle.
- 186 registered teams solved at least one puzzle.
- Teams solved an average of 9 puzzles before solving the Star Rats metapuzzle.
- Algernon was the most-solved Star Rats puzzle.
MIT Mystery Hunt 2022
The 2022 MIT Mystery Hunt kicked off at 12 noon TIMEMIT on Friday January 14 2022. The first round of puzzles unlocked at 1 PM. The hunt remained open until wrap-up at 12 noon, Monday January 17 2022. All statistics below are confined to this timeframe.
- 393 teams registered.
- 303 teams submitted an answer for at least one puzzle.
- 279 teams solved at least one puzzle.
- 128 teams solved The Investigation metapuzzle.
- 66 teams solved The Ministry metapuzzle.
- 60 teams solved Fruit Around and earned the New Berry pin.
- 48 teams solved at least one Bookspace metapuzzle.
- 9 teams completed the Hunt.
Of the nine teams who completed the Hunt, these 5 completed it without any hints:
- ✈️✈️✈️ Galactic Trendsetters ✈️✈️✈️
- Left Out
- Death and Mayhem
- UNICODE EQUIVALENCE
Below is an animation of the top teams' progress throughout the hunt. We also built an animation of just the meta solves, which is a slightly more accurate representation of rankings.
Hints and emails
We received and responded to 3,409 hints from kickoff to wrapup, with requests roughly following a regular pattern, increasing as teams unlocked more puzzles.
We also observed a spike of requests occurring in the time leading up to ”HQ close“ at 6pm on Sunday.
Emails were in line with overall hint volume throughout the event, with us receiving 1,487 emails and sending 743 (non-automated) emails, with a large number of emails from teams regarding administrative issues in the opening hours of the Hunt. We also sent 3,713 automated emails.
The Investigation generated remarkably few hints, amounting to approximately one hint for every ten teams that unlocked it.
All answer submissions are available for download here, and all team unlocks and solve times are available for download here.
Notes on data files:
- Although the unlock_and_solve_log.csv files shows earlier times for the initial puzzle unlocks, teams did not have access to them until 1pm.
- Teams were able to submit multiple correct answers for a puzzle (provided they did so in close succession), so multiple correct submissions per puzzle may appear for a team in the submission_log.csv files.
By rounds and puzzles
As expected, puzzles in the later rounds of the hunt were seen by, and solved by, fewer teams.
We saw teams redeeming manuscrip as soon as it became possible, after the second event. Again, as with hints and emails, we saw a increase in usage in the time leading up to 6pm Sunday.
Unsurprisingly, manuscrip was used most often on puzzles in the first round, likely because teams who were stuck on those puzzles due to their difficulty would have instead had no difficulty attending an event to earn the manuscrip.
Notable incorrect answer submissions
The Investigation had a large number of incorrect guesses, many them almost, but not quite, fitting into right pattern for the solution. Here are some of them:
- A LARGE
- A LIT
- ALL ABOUT THAT
- GIANT THINK
- PETER RABBIT
Interactions and submissions
Most interactions involved a team being visited by Ministers from the Ministry of Intertextual Transportation. We also had visits from Self Help Vice Ministers, who graded Book Report submissions.
Our Book Reports submissions were incredible! We received 168 book reports from 96 teams, with the most popular being reports on 59 seconds (stacking coins), followed by Digital Minimalism (recreating a piece of art in 1"x1" square) and Flow (throw something biodegradable into a body of water).
Of the New You City submissions, by far the most submitted was the Come up with another item for this year's scavenger hunt list, likely because teams had access to that as soon as they turned in their book reports.
The next most common were Write story of a Gashlycrumb Tiny and Cameo in an MCU movie.