Contestants should register themselves in a team of up to 5 members. Additional members can be added, provided that at most 5 people are registered to a team. Registration will close on 11:59pm, Saturday 28/01/17.
There will be prizes for best team and best lone wolf (i.e. a one person team). For a team to be eligible for prizes, at least one team member must have a UK home address or a UK academic address (i.e. at a UK university). You should indicate this status during registration.
Each day, 4 new puzzles will be released at noon GMT. For every puzzle, a hint will be released every subsequent day up to a maximum of three hints. The number of points awarded for each puzzle solution depends on how many hints are available when a team submits the correct solution, decreasing from 5 (no hints released) to 2 (3 hints released). The full schedule is as follows:
Wed 25/01/17: Puzzle Hunt begins. Day 1 puzzles released.
Thu 26/01/17: Day 2 puzzles released. Day 1 hints released.
Fri 27/01/17: Day 3 puzzles released. Day 1 and 2 hints released.
Sat 28/01/17: Day 4 puzzles released. Day 1, 2 and 3 hints released.
Sun 29/01/17: Day 2, 3 and 4 hints released.
Mon 30/01/17: Day 3 and 4 hints released.
Tue 31/01/17: Day 4 hint released.
Wed 01/02/17: Puzzle Hunt ends; no more solutions can be submitted after 12pm.
Each puzzle will have a solution as a lower case string of letters; they will usually be English words, phrases or names, but not necessarily. There will be no punctuation or spaces in the solution phrases; the checker will remove this automatically, so if the answer was ‘cambridge’, then the following would all be accepted: ‘CAMBRIDGE’, ‘CaMbrIdge’, ‘camb r idge’
Teams can upload answers and check their solve status at the team page. Submissions will be accepted for any puzzle (regardless of how many hints have been released) up to 12pm, 1st of February 2017.
There will be 20 allowed guesses per puzzle. After 20 guesses have been exhausted, no more will be permitted, and the puzzle will be locked to the offending team. Remaining guesses do not carry over to other puzzles.
Until January, we will be releasing taster puzzles on this website. You can try these to get a flavour of what the real puzzles will be like. We will give out boxes of chocolates to the first person who solves these tasters. See the Puzzles section of the website for these and submission information.
The team prizes will be awarded to the teams with the three highest points; the exact amounts will be announced in due course. The lone-wolf prize will be awarded to the single-person team with the most points: they will also receive a prize. Teams of equal score will be ranked by number of puzzles solved, and then by the earliest team to reach their final score.
There is to be strictly no collusion between different teams; however, contestants are free to use their computers, the internet, friends not actively participating in the hunt, and any other means available to solve the puzzles.
Any queries on the Puzzle Hunt should be sent to CambridgePuzzleHelp@gmail.com. You should regularly check your emails during the puzzle week for any late updates/corrections we may release.
It is strictly forbidden to question a member of the Puzzle Hunt Committee to gain any unfair advantage in the Puzzle Hunt.
The Puzzle Hunt Committee reserves the right to disqualify any team they feel has infringed upon these rules. All decisions are final.