Jack Lance

Jack Lance (real name Zachary Polansky, June 1, 1997 – May 1, 2023)[1] was a prolific puzzle designer and the sole author of P.I.HUNT.

Hunt puzzles[edit | edit source]

Jack Lance was the sole author of P.I.HUNT, a hunt released on Pi Day and well known for its innovative explorations of various hunt structures. Past P.I.HUNTs have included a hunt formatted like a book, a hunt that took place entirely on a jigsaw, and a hunt that only used the words "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". For the MIT Mystery Hunt, he hunted with the team Test Solution, Please Ignore in the past (which later merged to form Test Solution Bees Ignore). He was also on the team that won the meta prize for Mezzacotta Puzzle Competition 2016, Unclean Axis. Jack also completed the 2022 Galactic Puzzle Hunt solo, a hunt originally designed for teams of 10 people.[2]

Logic puzzles[edit | edit source]

Jack Lance was an accomplished logic puzzle writer and solver, with about 150 logic puzzles posted on his Wordpress blog between 2013 and 2017. He won the U.S. division of the 2022 U.S. Puzzle Championship.[3] He also scored top 5 finishes in the first and third rounds of the 2023 World Puzzle Federation Puzzle Grand Prix, beating out all other U.S. competitors.[4]

Puzzle games[edit | edit source]

Jack Lance published many puzzle games, many of which were written in Puzzlescript. He also entered in the Ludum Dare game jam, with several highly rated and innovative games such as INF, Torus Tours, and Ludophile. He also joined the game development company Thekla, Inc., best known for the 2016 puzzle game The Witness.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Zachary was born to parents Hari and Susan in Lexington, MA.[1] In middle school, he represented Massachusetts in Mathcounts in 7th and 8th grade, and got an Honorable Mention in the 2011 USA Junior Mathematics Olympiad (USAJMO).[5][6] In high school, he got a 2015 USA Mathematics Olympiad (USAMO) Honorable Mention, scoring in the top 24 students of the year.[7] He also qualified for the Math Olympiad Program (MOP) multiple times. He went to the University of Rochester and graduated in 2019. While there, he got a Honorable Mention in the 2016 Putnam Competition.[8] Additionally, he was part of his school's ACM-ICPC team, where they placed 31st in the 2017 ACM-ICPC World Finals.[9][10] He also participated in his school's hackathons, DandyHacks, and placed highly three times.[11] After graduating from the University of Rochester, he worked at Google for about a year before joining Thekla, Inc. He continued to be active in competitive programming, winning the ICPC Game AI challenge in 2021[12] and placing third in the ICPC Quantum Computing Challenge.[13] He also reached a Codeforces rating of 2889, reaching the rank of international grandmaster.[14]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]