Channel Surfing (MIT Mystery Hunt 2020)

Channel Surfing
MIT Mystery Hunt 2020
Author(s)Yar Woo and Jan Chong
AnswerClick to revealVACUUM TUBE
No. solves24
No. total guesses79

Channel Surfing is a media puzzle from the Yesterdayland round of the 2020 MIT Mystery Hunt.

Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]

Image Heavy - The puzzle consists of a number of images on TV screens, grouped into ten "channels".


Identification (TV Shows) - The images are all still frames from specific episodes of TV shows; the episode title is required.

Indexing - Above each TV is a number of asterisks, with one highlighted in green; the number of asterisks always matches the number of words in the episode title. Extract that word.

Clue-Centric - The words extracted from each set of images now constitute a crossword clue with a given enumeration.

Knowledge Required (TV Shows) - While none of the answer phrases exist as actual episodes of the TV shows in question, each one is a reference to a particular TV show's episode naming convention.

Indexing - This time, index into the show's name using the channel number. This produces the answer.