What is this?

This is a puzzlehunt! 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. 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.

We are teammate, a group of enthusiastic puzzle solvers and crafters who recently ran MIT Mystery Hunt 2023. This puzzlehunt is an extension of Admiral Boötes’ Cosmic Discovery Expedition from that Hunt.

Where did this hunt come from?

During Mystery Hunt 2023, we significantly scoped down the Admiral Boötes’ Cosmic Discovery Expedition round. This hunt contains the round as initially envisioned, including several puzzles you will have seen in Mystery Hunt 2023 and many you have not.

Will I need to spoil myself on MIT Mystery Hunt 2023 to solve this hunt?

To fully progress through the hunt, you will want to use the answers to Admiral Boötes’ Cosmic Discovery Expedition, but do not need to spoil yourself on the solve path to get those answers.

How long and difficult will the puzzlehunt be?

The puzzles in this hunt were originally written for a late round in the 2023 Mystery Hunt. Many are significantly longer and more difficult than previous Teammate Hunt puzzles, but there are fewer puzzles in total.

What is the recommended team size?

Due to the scale of the puzzles, we highly recommend solving in a larger group. To support this, there is no team size limit. We anticipate the hunt will be more fun if solved in groups of at least 10 people. If you participated in Mystery Hunt 2023, and it's logistically possible to do so, you may consider reconvening your Mystery Hunt team.

How many puzzles will there be?

Around 15 new puzzles.

What is the guessing policy?

Upon submitting an incorrect guess, the answer checker will let you know how long your team has until the next available guess for that puzzle. If you guess too many incorrect answers for a puzzle in a given time frame, you will encounter a timeout before you can guess again.

Specifically, for a given puzzle, you can make n+1 guesses in any n2 minute time window. For example, if you guess incorrectly at 2:00, 2:06, 2:07, and 2:08, you will be locked out until 2:10 (4 minutes after the 2:06 guess).

Some guesses may not count towards the rate limit if they are similar enough to a previous guess.

How do hints work?

Hints will be released at the discretion of HQ. To request a hint, look for the “Request a hint” at the top of the puzzle page. The more you tell us about your progress, the more context we will have to better answer your hint. Your team may only have one unanswered hint across all puzzles at a time.

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

No. It will take place entirely online.

What browsers are supported?

The latest versions of Chrome and Firefox are recommended.

Can we try to hack the site?

Please don’t. You may look at the puzzle source code or interact with the site programmatically, but this will not be required to solve any puzzles. Limit your automated requests to 1 per second.

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

If you want to contact us for any reason, email the hunt organizers at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it. We might even add it to this list if enough people have your question!