Mathcamp 2009 Puzzle Hunt
Welcome to the 2009 Mathcamp Puzzle Hunt! It ran on August 2, 2009 at the 2009 session of Canada/USA Mathcamp, held at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA.
A puzzle hunt is a sequence of quite challenging puzzles
unlike what you may be used to. Instead of being given instructions for
how to solve each puzzle, you must discover the rules yourself. There's
a lot of creativity involved, and a lot of opportunities to see
patterns in data that might otherwise seem utterly random. It's a test
of mental agility unlike many others.
You will start with a few puzzles. The answer to every puzzle is a word or phrase in English. When you believe that you have solved a puzzle, check your answer by going to
where you replace the word "answer" with your actual answer (as one word, all lowercase). If the answer is correct you will receive a confirmation and you may have unlocked new puzzles. If you receive an error message, then your answer is wrong.
In the actual hunt, teams could complete various activities (such as a scavenger hunt) to receive a free answer. We will include their descriptions for your amusement (or so that you see what kind of geeks we are). If you would like to get a free answer (we will just assume you completed the corresponding task), or want a hint, or are frustrated, or something is broken, you may email Alfonso at "alfonso (at-sign) uvic (dot) edu" or Dan at "danz (at-sign) alum (dot) mit (dot) edu", or Waffle at "waffle (at-sign) math (dot) harvard (dot) edu".
There were some events during the actual hunt which we have replaced with descriptions. Everything you need to solve the hunt is included in this website. Puzzles may make references to pieces of Mathcamp culture, but no special knowledge is needed to complete the hunt. The one exception is the puzzle "Now playing at ..." (see next page), whose last step may be too hard without a piece of Mathcamp knowledge. Feel free to ask us is you want to know the answer to the puzzle or the required piece of Mathcamp knowledge.
Credits and acknowledgments
The hunt begins with an opening skit.