Tug of War (MIT Mystery Hunt 2020)

Tug of War
MIT Mystery Hunt 2020
Big Top Carnival
Author(s)Asher Walkover
AnswerClick to revealGEORGE ELIOT
No. solves25
No. total guesses46

Outside the Big Top tent is a parade of happy clowns, doing their best to cheer you up. The grumpy strong man challenges them to a game of Tug of War.

Tug of War is a TEAMWORK TIME puzzle from the Big Top Carnival round of the 2020 MIT Mystery Hunt.

Solve Path[edit | edit source]

Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]

Interactive - The puzzle is presented as an applet. In each round, two buttons are presented, each with a word on it; one will advance the applet to the next round, but the other will reset the applet.

TEAMWORK TIME - As presented live, team members working on the puzzle would vote on which button would be pressed.


Hint in Flavortext - The applet asks the solver to "think happy thoughts". Likewise, the flavortext contrasts "happy" clowns with the "grumpy" strongman.

Transadditions - Each round actually presents two transadditions...

Antonyms - ...of a pair of antonyms. Selecting the more positively-connotated word of the pair advances the applet.

Extraneous Letters - The extra letters of those words spell...

Final Clue Phrase - THE CLOWNS MARCH ON BUT WHO WROTE MIDDLEMARCH. The latter part of this phrase is a clue for the final answer.