The MIT Mystery Hunt was this weekend, and as such, I spent my entire weekend on campus, most of it in 56-154. While it was a good clean hunt (no hinting required) and I got to see friends from out of town, this may have been the least amount of fun I have had during the actual hunt itself, due in large part to the fact that we had grossly overestimated our team’s ability. Well over half of our team members were first or second time hunters, an artifact of running the hunt for a year — freshman and most sophomores had never hunted before and the juniors had only hunted once and that was two years ago. A common complaint amongst those of us with lots of experience was that we were being stretched too thin — too many people wanted our help on too many puzzles at once. And as a result, I think we did a poor job of teaching the newer hunters good techniques. Had I realized before the hunt that we would have been so non-competitive, I might have focused more of my energy on being somewhat social and having fun, rather than spending all of Sunday angry about having to start the cross-sum over.
That being said, Setec wrote a good hunt and there were a number of puzzles that I really enjoyed working on.
- Take Me Out – A baseball puzzle that I would have solved faster had I not thought that the 19th letter of the alphabet was R. But the end result was jcbarret, Amittai, and I playing out a baseball game with pieces of paper in order to calculate RBIs. This was quite possibly my favorite moment of the hunt.
- Track 12 – This was mostly cposs, me, and someone I can’t remember. We managed to identify nearly all of the songs without using google and I very quickly noted that they were on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 songs of all time. And any puzzle that uses the song “Imagine” gets my vote.
- Heavenly Hash – Just a nice clean word puzzle. I saw the method quickly and breezed through most of it, although lizd took over the last step, as I failed to notice the alphabetical order of the words.
- Concerto Delle Oche Volanti – Anand, frosh-liz, and I solved this one. I may have liked it primarily because I was the one who broke into it, and that’s always a good feeling.
- The Red Meta – Again, I liked this one because I solved it on my own five minutes after I woke up on Saturday (very early) morning. That doesn’t usually happen with metas.
Despite the stress (note to self: remember to eat during the hunt), I am looking forward to next year with the great hope that Phys Plant doesn’t fall into the same traps that we ran into.