MIT Mystery Hunt

MIT Mystery Hunt
Logo of MIT
Running TeamVarious (winner of previous)
First hunt1981
Most recent hunt2022
Number of hunts42
LocationMIT in Cambridge, MA (Online only for 2021, 2022)

The MIT Mystery Hunt is an annual puzzle hunt taking place either on-campus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or online during cases in which an on-campus presence is not possible. The hunt traditionally takes place in January, over the course of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day long weekend.

History[edit | edit source]

The MIT Mystery Hunt has been a mainstay of the puzzle community since its inception in 1981 by then-graduate student Brad Schaefer. Before 1981, Schafer hosted a series of chess puzzles, with a prize for the fastest finishers.[1] Schafer would continue to run hunts until 1983, when he graduated from MIT. This eventually led to a tradition of succession, where the winner of the previous hunt would run the next one.

Early MIT Mystery Hunts involved answering various clues and filling out a sentence or equation, which would lead to the location of the coin. Clues would become increasingly intricate and eventually become standalone hunt puzzles, and meta structures and the coin as a final object would become more abstract as well.

In 2021 and 2022, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated campus restrictions, the MIT Mystery Hunt would be held entirely remotely with no campus presence necessary to participate.

Previous Hunts[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]