Mystery Hunt Archive

This archive is a work-in-progress: a few hunts are still missing bits and pieces, and we would like to make them as complete as possible. If you have any of the following, please let us know:

We are also missing solutions for the Chess Competitions and the hunts from 1981-1983, 1985, and 1989-1992. Additionally, during the early years of the Mystery Hunt, there were often two simultaneous hunts (one for individuals and one for teams, or one for small teams and one for large teams, etc). Since we have no way of knowing which years had two hunts, the archive may have gaps of which we are unaware.

If there are things in the archive that make solving puzzles after-the-fact particularly bad (either because the puzzle page reveals information that would not have existed during the hunt proper, or because the information needed to solve the puzzle exists only in the solution page), please let us know.

Devjoe, a veteran Mystery Hunt participant and puzzler, has created a massive puzzle index of all puzzles between 1994 to now. The index is currently located here.


Mystery Hunt 2024 first tasked teams with escaping Hades after being banished there by the Greco-Roman pantheon for killing the god Pluto, then asked teams to revive Pluto by finding his "shades" scattered across the US.


Mystery Hunt 2023 started with teams working through a museum-themed round, written by a new AI, MATE, before inadvertently discovering a hidden factory. Within the factory, teams found several more "rejected" AIs, whose rounds they had to complete to build a new and improved factory.


Mystery Hunt 2022 asked teams to save Bookspace, an interdimensional space of all books and their characters, from disappearing.


Mystery Hunt 2021 asked teams to help Yew Labs retrieve their professor from an alternate universe.


Mystery Hunt 2020 asked teams to help generate buzz for the Penny Park theme park and prevent it from closing.


Mystery Hunt 2019 required teams to repair the damage after Setec Astronomy created Molasses Awareness Day to commemorate the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, unleashing chaos on the Holiday Forest.


Mystery Hunt 2018 (Operation: Head Hunters) was themed after Pixar’s Inside Out. Teams had to help the emotions of one Miss Terry Hunter as she helped solve Mystery Hunt in the “real world.”


Mystery Hunt 2017 featured Monsters et Manus, the role-playing game of elves and engineers trying to defeat Mystereo Cantos.


Mystery Hunt 2016, Huntception, let teams travel deeper and deeper into the minds of dreamers, in a story based on the film Inception.


Mystery Hunt 2015 featured 20,000 Puzzles Under the Sea. A steam-era inventor, Dr. Nautilus, needed help harnessing the power of the “magnetonomic force” and exploring the ocean to retrieve “Nautilodestones.”


Mystery Hunt 2014 featured characters from Wonderland that had escaped into MIT and resulted in solvers exploring Wonderland to hunt down a fearsome beast.


Mystery Hunt 2013 led solvers on a heist to steal the coin from a bank.


Mystery Hunt 2012 was themed after The Producers and other Broadway shows.


Mystery Hunt 2011 had solvers assisting Mario as he traveled through several video-game worlds to rescue Princess Peach.


Mystery Hunt 2010 explored alternative history ahead of the Hunt's 30th anniversary.


Mystery Hunt 2009 sent solvers a thousand years into the future as they tried to escape from Zyzzlvaria.


Mystery Hunt 2008 asked solvers to identify Dr. Otto Awkward's murderer.


Mystery Hunt 2007 involved a descent through hell after making a pact with the devil.


Mystery Hunt 2006 required the agents of S.P.I.E.S. to save the world from the evil Professor Moriarty.


Mystery Hunt 2005 set solvers on a quest to save Normalville from a rain of meteorites.


Mystery Hunt 2004 was based on Time Bandits.


Mystery Hunt 2003 was initially a corporate murder mystery hunt, that was soon revealed to be taking place in the Matrix.


Mystery Hunt 2002 was based on the Monopoly board game.


Mystery Hunt 2001 was the Hunt of Horror.


MH2K involved getting Dorothy Gale back to Kansas or Oz--anywhere but MIT.


Mystery Hunt '99 was a race by Mystery Hunt detectives to catch the evil Carmen Sandiego.


Mystery Hunt '98 was about getting a degree in Enigmatology.


Mystery Hunt '97 was a search for Elvis, the King, preceded by a mini-hunt featuring Bill and Ted, Wayne and Garth, and Beavis and Butthead.


Mystery Hunt '96 took inspiration from the book Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter.


Mystery Hunt '95 was based on the game Clue.


Mystery Hunt '94 had a loose cyberpunk theme.


Mystery Hunt '93 (PDF) was a search for The Holy Grail (with the coin inside).


Mystery Hunt '92 (PDF) was a treasure hunt on Captain Red Herring's Mystery Island.


Mystery Hunt '91 (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '90 (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '89 (PDF)


Have info on this hunt? We'd love to hear from you! Email us! Puzzles, solutions, anecdotes, photos, themes, we'll take anything!

Games Magazine has an article written by the author of the 1988 hunt.


Mystery Hunt '87 (PDF)

Mystery Hunt '87 Hints (PDF)

Mystery Hunt '87 Solutions (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '86 (PDF)

Mystery Hunt '86 Solutions (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '85 (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '84 (PDF)

Mystery Hunt '84 Hints (PDF)

Mystery Hunt '84 Solutions (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '83: version for individuals (PDF)

Mystery Hunt '83: version for teams (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '82 (PDF)


Mystery Hunt '81 (PDF)

Chess Competitions

Brad Schaefer ran these chess puzzle competitions a couple years before he started the Mystery Hunt. You could say they're the grandparents of the Hunt. Or second cousins once removed. Or possibly step-uncles.

Chess Puzzle Set 1 (PDF)

Chess Puzzle Set 2 (PDF)

Chess Puzzle Set 3 (PDF)

Special thanks to Dr. Brad Schaefer for (in addition to creating the Mystery Hunt) sending us copies of everything up to 1987.