2013: In which we won the MIT Mystery Hunt

Half a week later and despite the lack of sleep, the memories of the MIT Mystery Hunt are starkly fresh. I am incredibly happy and honored to be a part of the small group of hunters to solve the meta puzzle that ended the 2013 Mystery Hunt.

But the team that was, whose name due I suppose to the lack of character limit in the registration form and too much creativity was the entire text of Atlas Shrugged, was called by the Sages and asked, “Would your team agree to stop if the team that was currently in the lead was given the coin?” Other lead teams were given the same option. This was a huge break of competition format, and a question as impossible to answer as some of these puzzles. [Shrugged] was close to the Indiana Jones metapuzzle answer involving decoding a huge calendar wheel of dates, but had been given a wrong response to a yes/no hint question asking if half of their data was right. When they get a second call from HQ correcting the mistake, they turned down the offer to stop Hunting and pressed on. Five minutes later, John Galt and friends did get the fifth of six round answers and headed off for the last task, the runaround.

via 2013: The Year the Mystery Hunt Broke | Wired Magazine | Wired.com.

Sunday night and beyond, Twitter saturated with good-natured frustration about hunt. My favorites:

Damn it, someone win the mystery hunt. (@dbfclark)

Find the damn coin. #MysteryHunt (@gemini6ice)

dear god how much longer? #mysteryhunt (@roydraging)

Holy shit they just mad[e] it so you can skip an entire round in order to end this thing. This is trouble #MysteryHunt (@jmgold)

This #mysteryhunt is so long that it’s spanning two presidential terms. (@Jeffurry312)

Appropriate that the team with the longest name won the #mysteryhunt with the longest duration. (@mersiamnot)

Winning was awesome and, even better: by the end, many of the other teams thanked us for winning (and thereby ending the hunt).

[Image credit: lroyden]

75 hours and 19 minutes, the longest in Mystery Hunt history. I learned so much, got to know a bunch of cool people, and am so happy to be a part of it all.

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