Mathcamp Puzzle Hunt 2004

The Week 5 schedule was found by Skinner's Duck (Zach Abel, Yuliya Gorlina, Nate Ince, Ondrej Karas, Jay Ni, Jenya Sapir, Dave Savitt, Elizabeth Shope) at 7:10 pm.  Congratulations, Skinner's Duck!

Now found, the conflict-free schedule (pdf) is available for all to see.  Sadly, it was not found in time for the mentors to prepare their classes, and Mathcamp was forced to use the comercially-made conflict-full schedule (also pdf) for week five.

Hunt Introduction

Arey 5 buzzes with conversation. An emergency assembly at 9am Sunday? All field trips cancelled? What could possibly have happened?

A hush falls as Chris, the AC, appears at the side door, looking haggard. He makes his way slowly to the front of the room, stands looking down at the bench in front of him, then at last looks up and speaks.

"Mathcampers, students and staff. I must tell you some terrible news, and call on you to help.

"The week five schedule has been stolen."

The room erupts in conversation. The week five schedule stolen, gone? What will happen in a week's time? How will they go to class, how will they learn mathematics? How will camp function? What can they do?

Quiet falls once more as Chris speaks again. "I thought the week four schedule was hard, but that only went through seven drafts. The week five schedule took me twenty seven. I went without sleep, without food, thinking only of how to fit all the mentors' classes together. Finally" — his voice strengthens — "finally, after many long hours, I at last achieved every Mathcamper's dream. I found the conflict-free schedule!

"Alas, my triumph was shortlived. Exhausted, I slept, and when I rose the schedule was gone. All my drafts, all my backups, stolen, my hard drive wiped clean. The culprit's thoroughness points clearly to a single organisation: the Secret Society of Zec. It must be they that stole the schedule!

"You may have heard of Illinois Jane, the famous action adventuress. She's a close friend of mine, and I've asked her to help us recover the schedule. She's been travelling, investigating, tracking down the Secret Society, sending back her findings. I received the first of her reports this morning."

Chris paused, and hung his head. "They are useless — I cannot understand them.

"Mathcampers, please, help me understand my friend's words, and help recover the schedule. I have copies of her first four reports for you, and I expect a second dispatch at 10am, and a third at 11am; the fourth and final will come at noon. Please, take them, and try to understand them. Keep me informed of your progress, and let me know of all that you find, so that together we may wrest the schedule free from the Secret Society's grasp!"

With that Chris turned and left the room, leaving a pile of papers on the front bench. A hubbub arose once more, and campers surged forward in groups to collect them; then they too streamed out of Arey, collecting in knots all over campus to study the cryptic words of Illinois Jane.

For some useful puzzle resources, look here or here.


Released at 9 am Released at 10 am Released at 11 am Released at 12 am