Eric's Puzzle Party

Eric's Puzzle Party
Running TeamEric Harshbarger
First hunt2004
Most recent hunt2017
Number of hunts17
LocationAuburn, AL

Eric's Puzzle Party, or EPP for short, was a roughly yearly puzzle gathering organized by Eric Harshbarger and run in the locale of Auburn, Alabama. It was first run in 2004 and was last run in 2017. Eric states that he does not plan on hosting additional parties in the future.[1] The gatherings took on several different forms, ranging from a standard puzzle hunt to a puzzle creation challenge to a packet of optimization puzzles. These events have also inspired other puzzle parties in the area, such as Puzzle Potluck[2] and the Auburn Puzzle Party.[3]

Format[edit | edit source]

Rather unusually, there is no explicit team size limit. However, each person has a certain point value, depending on past participations and victories. Additionally, remote and out-of-town players get discounted point values as well. Teams have a point limit instead, which serves as a way to balance out the skill levels of the teams.

Usually, teams receive a packet of puzzles to start, although there may be additional puzzles that can be unlocked later. Different parties have different means of scoring points - sometimes, there is a point bonus for solving puzzles quickly, and in other parties puzzles are more open-ended optimization challenges where the goal is to maximize a score according to some function.

List of past parties[edit | edit source]

Party Date Winner
EPP 17: The Joke's On You April 1, 2017 EMBU
EPP 16: DeCAThlon III March 26, 2016 Bill the Cat
EPP 15: Eric's Circle of Friends March 14, 2015 Team Moon Pie
EPP 14: Hatching a Devious Plan April 12, 2014 Team Ecru
EPP 13: Your Lucky Day? April 13, 2013 Ivory Team
EPP 12: Back to Basics March 24, 2012 Green Team
EPP 11: Puzzle Potluck I October 8, 2011 Charles Pilman and Erin McMullin
EPP 10: The Abecedary March 26-27, 2011 Green Team
EPP 9: Puzzle Marathon II April 10-11, 2010 Red Team
EPP 8: Puzzle Marathon I April 4-5, 2009 White Team
EPP 7: A Most Egg-cellent Puzzlehunt April 5, 2008 Red Team
EPP 6: DECATHLON II April 7 & 8, 2007 Bob Gillis and Danny Belu
EPP 5: Auburn PuzzleHunt September 30, 2006 Blue Team
EPP 4: DECATHLON April 15, 2006 Mike and Kelly Hollingsworth
EPP 3: PUZZLES FROM WONDERLAND October 15, 2005 Green Team
EPP 2 April 16, 2005 Yellow Team
EPP 1 October 2, 2004 Red Team

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Eric C. Harshbarger
  2. Note: this is distinct from the online puzzle hunt Puzzle Potluck.
  3. [1]