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Mystery Hunt Index now has hunt and author pages [Apr. 23rd, 2016|09:47 pm]
devjoe
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This isn't the update many of you are expecting. I'll be adding the 2016 hunt next. Instead, this is the update that no less than three people have asked me about since last hunt, despite me not really advertising it. The hunt index has been updated to include separate pages for each hunt, listing just the puzzles in that hunt, and for each author, listing the puzzles that author constructed (or is otherwise credited for). There is also a feature, which has been live for several weeks, where there is now a feedback link on every page, allowing you to contribute corrections, suggestions for keywords, or whatever.

And no, I am not, at the present time, making accounts or turning these author pages into personal profiles. If something is wrong, let me know.

Now of course, every time we add more data, this means we have to clean up all the old junk we discover was wrong.Read more...Collapse )
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NPR weekend edition [Feb. 12th, 2016|10:41 pm]
devjoe
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Almost 9 years since my last appearance, I got selected for Willz's puzzle segment on NPR's Weekend Edition again. Listen to me this Sunday.

Update: Here's the direct link to my appearance.
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The Hunt Index, its history and where it is going [Jan. 29th, 2016|12:56 pm]
devjoe
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I said I was done blogging this year's MIT Mystery Hunt (and I might still renege on that and write some more), but except for one detail, this post is not really about this year's hunt.

Long history of the hunt index; skip if you don"t care about the pastCollapse )

The Future (and a little more of the past)

What I am planning to do in 2016 and beyond for the hunt indexCollapse )
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MIT Mystery Hunt 2016, Part 5: Other Notable Puzzles [Jan. 22nd, 2016|09:52 pm]
devjoe
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In this final(?) part of my discussion of the 2016 MIT Mystery Hunt, I will describe other puzzles I test-solved which turned out tough. (The easy ones you guys understand, right?) Feel free to comment on this post with where your team got stuck on any of these.

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MIT Mystery Hunt 2016, Part 4: The Rest of My Puzzles [Jan. 21st, 2016|10:40 pm]
devjoe
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The rest of my puzzles are covered in this post. There sure are a lot of puzzles in this hunt! (Since it ended before 7PM Sunday, I think there weren't too many, or only a little bit too many.) Among other goodness, in this post you will learn how France broke one of our puzzles 2 weeks before Hunt. Spoilers ho!

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MIT Mystery Hunt 2016, Part 3: My Puzzles [Jan. 20th, 2016|10:19 pm]
devjoe
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I wrote 13 puzzles in this hunt and assisted on some others, so I probably can't get through all those in one night. Let's see what I can do. Instead of writing these up in round order, I am going to write them up in Puzzletron ID number, which means chronological order of the times they were first proposed. (Puzzletron is software that has been passed down through the last few hunt teams for keeping track of puzzles and solutions during construction. The numbers are sequentially assigned to all submitted puzzle ideas.) Starting in this part of my writing there are rampant spoilers.

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MIT Mystery Hunt 2016, Part 2 [Jan. 19th, 2016|11:50 pm]
devjoe
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Apologies to Derek Kisman, whose role in spreadsheet hacking for the scoring part of our answer tracking system was omitted in yesterday's writeup because I didn't realize he was involved. I have updated yesterday's article. This part picks up where the last one left off. And this one spoils some puzzle details.

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How the Grinch Almost Stole Mystery Hunt, but I Stopped It, with a Little Help from My Friends [Jan. 18th, 2016|10:57 pm]
devjoe
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My long-time readers are used to these posts, multi-part wrapups of Mystery Hunt over the week or so following. In this week's posts, the links will go to our muttsteryhunt.com site which currently has the puzzles and most of the solutions. In this part, I will describe some of the activities I was involved with immediately before and during the first day of Mystery Hunt. Since some of this involves test-solving puzzles, there will be spoilers (but in this part, not much for the kind of puzzles people are likely to want to do after Hunt).

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MIT Mystery Hunt 2015, part 4 [Jan. 22nd, 2015|11:23 pm]
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So here we are, about 30 total puzzles and 4 metas and a meta-meta to go, before 11 AM on Saturday. Today's excerpt is in the order we solved the puzzles.

The last set of these spoilersCollapse )
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MIT Mystery Hunt 2015, part 3 [Jan. 21st, 2015|11:50 pm]
devjoe
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When we left off, I had come back from solving Ropes at about 2 AM Saturday...

spoilers ho!Collapse )
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