The Ringmaster (MIT Mystery Hunt 2020)
|MIT Mystery Hunt 2020
|Big Top Carnival
|Click to revealSILVER PLATE
|No. total guesses
Since the start of the new millennium, the ringmaster has been the face of the circus.
Solve Path[edit | edit source]
Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]
Text-Heavy Presentation - The puzzle primarily consists of several sentences, akin to what a ringmaster would say before a circus act. Below this is a string of letters.
Identification (MIT Culture) - Each sentence describes a feature on the bezel of one of MIT's class rings (the Brass Rat); for example, a "ZZZ" can be found within the waves in the bottom right of the 2005 Brass Rat. The year can be identified.
Alphanumeric Substitution Cipher - The last two digits of the ring's year can be converted to a letter.
Beaufort Cipher - Decrypting the string of letters as a Beaufort Cipher with key LOGJAMS provides another long string starting "Look in" followed by another list of objects on Brass Rats. Many of these features are common motifs on Brass Rats...
Identification (MIT Culture) - ...but looking closely at the designs, exactly one such ring hides the letters IHTFP within the given object. The 2001 Brass Rat, for example, forms the letters within the blades of grass under the beaver.
Intermediate Clue Phrase - Performing the same alphanumeric substitution cipher provides the phrase CHARS AFTER G.
Instructional Extraction - The text contains several Gs; taking the letters directly after them provides the answer.