What is a puzzlehunt? How do I solve these puzzles?

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, which is almost always an English word or phrase. 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.

If you are new to puzzles and are interested in seeing some examples, or if you’re looking for some practice, we recommend looking at previous puzzlehunts, like Galactic Puzzle Hunt, REDDOThunt, or Puzzle Potluck.

When does this start, and how long will this run for?

The hunt started on Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 3:00 PM PDT and ended on Sun, Nov 1, 2020, 6:00 PM PST.

What do you mean by "team size of 6?"

We designed the hunt for a team size of 6, and our registration is capped at 6 names. However, you can unofficially invite others onto your team, as long as they are not also participating on another team. We highly recommend having at least 3 people on your team.

How long and difficult will the puzzlehunt be?

We expect length and difficulty to be between Puzzle Potluck/REDDOThunt and Galactic Puzzle Hunt. Even for experienced teams, we expect the puzzlehunt to take most of a weekend.

How many puzzles will there be?

Around 40.

What exactly happens when the hunt ends?

The hunt has ended, so the scoreboard has been frozen and solutions for all the puzzles have been released. A wrap-up (with spoilers) is available here. However, if you have not finished and still want to experience the whole hunt, you can still register new teams, submit answers on the website, and progress through the hunt. The only difference is that you won’t be able to use party favors (hints). Some time in the future, team registration will close, but the puzzles will still be accessible, with the exception of the games.

Who’s running this hunt? Who are Matt and Emma?

We are teammate, an MIT Mystery Hunt team largely composed of current and former students affiliated with puzzling groups from MIT, CMU, and UC Berkeley. teammate was first inaugurated by a group of MIT students six years ago.

Matt Amee and Emma Tate are personas that have materialized and grown over the years. Celebrate their sixth birthday with us!

Is this hunt affiliated with any university?

No, we are not officially related to any university.

Is there a tip jar?

It is completely free to participate in the hunt, but if you enjoy the hunt and would like to support teammate, you can donate here.

I think something is wrong with a puzzle, or with the website. What should I do?

Please describe the error in an email to help@teammatehunt.com and we’ll try to correct it. We recommend using the latest versions of Chrome/Firefox. While we will look at all reports, we cannot guarantee fixes for all browsers.

Can I write code that interacts with the website?

This will not be necessary to complete any aspect of the puzzlehunt.

What is your guessing policy?

See our rules on number of guesses and rate-limiting.

I’m stuck on a puzzle. What should I do?

Here are some general puzzle tips that might be useful:

  • Thoroughly check the work that you’ve already done. Fixing a small mistake or incorrect assumption can greatly help with getting unstuck.
  • Get fresh eyes on the puzzle, or conversely, take a break and look at something else.
  • Consider what information you haven’t used yet.
  • It can be useful to put everything you have into your favorite search engine.
  • Have you tried…

Remember that after party favors (hints) are released, you can also use them to get a nudge in the right direction.

Are there any prizes?

There are no prizes, besides team pride.

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.

Is there a registration deadline?


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

Contact us at help@teammatehunt.com and we’ll do our best to answer it. We might even add it to this list if enough people have your question!