Microsoft Puzzle Hunt

Microsoft Puzzlehunt
Running TeamVarious
First hunt1999
Most recent hunt2021
Number of hunts20
LocationMicrosoft campus in Redmond, WA

The Microsoft Puzzlehunt is a roughly annual puzzle hunt usually held on the Microsoft campus at Redmond, WA, and typically spanning over two days. Currently, teams are composed of up to 12 members, of which at least some number must be Microsoft employees. This number varies from hunt to hunt, and is usually between two and three. Unlike most hunts, the Microsoft Puzzlehunt is written by a collaboration of several different teams, since Puzzlehunt 15. Each round is authored by a different team without any coordination or constraints on the answers or structure. Due to this, finishing the hunt involves solving a final puzzle instead of a typical metameta, and is constructed such that solving puzzles in any round gradually gives more information to solve it. The modular structure allows puzzle authors to also participate in the hunt.

History[edit | edit source]

The first Microsoft Puzzlehunt was held in 1999 by team TLA. Thereafter, a tradition where the winner of the previous hunt would host the next hunt. Exceptions were made if that team had hosted too recently, and instead another high-placing team would host instead. In 2009, the writing teams for Puzzlehunt 12 and Puzzlehunt 13 merged to form Puzzlehunt 123. This hunt, as well as Puzzlehunt 14, was simulcast in a location in the San Francisco Bay Area as well. Starting in Puzzlehunt 15, the responsibility of writing hunt was broken down into smaller pieces, and multiple groups were tasked with separate modules of the hunt. This modular puzzlehunt form would become the new standard format for Microsoft Puzzlehunt, although a single team wrote Puzzlehunt 18.

Puzzlehunt 21, originally scheduled to run in 2020, was delayed to 2021 and was hosted virtually off the Microsoft campus, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Puzzlehunt 22 was also held online, and for the first time in Microsoft Puzzlehunt history, the employee requirement was entirely removed (although teams wanting to hunt on campus still needed to have employees).

List of Hunts[edit | edit source]

Hunt Theme Date Hosting Team Winner
Puzzlehunt I The Microsoft Games August 13-15, 1999 TLA Killer Bees
Puzzlehunt II Age of Puzzles April 1-2, 2000 Killer Bees Cracking Good Toast
Puzzlehunt III You Don't Know Puzzles November 4-5, 2000 Cracking Good Toast Killer Bees
Puzzlehunt IV Clue November 3-4, 2001 The Usual Suspects SCRuBBers
Puzzlehunt V Mission: Impuzzible September 21-22, 2002 SCRuBBers Cracking Good Toast
Puzzlehunt VI TimeCorps May 17-18, 2003 Cracking Good Toast TLA Lovers Anonymous
Puzzlehunt 7 Alice in Puzzlehunt March 20-21, 2004 TLA Loves Alice Staggering Geniuses
Puzzlehunt 8 The Hard Way February 19-20, 2005 Staggering Geniuses Cracking Good Toast
Puzzlehunt 9 Doomsday November 5-6, 2005 Everyday Heroes Cracking Good Toast
Puzzlehunt A Atlantis February 10-11, 2007 Buzz Lime Pi Death of Dr. Zero
Puzzlehunt 11.0 Caught in the Net October 6-7, 2007 SCRuBBers The Usual Suspects
Puzzlehunt 123 Jeopardy!/Puzzlehaunt! February 28-March 1, 2009 The Usual Suspects, Cracking Good Toast SCRuBBers (Redmond), Demonic Robot Tyrannosaurs (Bay Area)
Puzzlehunt 14 Travel the Number 14 September 10-11, 2011 Liboncatipu Death of Dr. Zero (Redmond), Friday the 13th Part VI (Bay Area)
Puzzlehunt 15 The Motion Picture Post-Apocalyptic June 21-22, 2014 Modular Will It Blend?
Puzzlehunt 16 Library Island April 18-19, 2015 Modular Will It Blend?
Puzzlehunt 17 KPUZ Music Festival May 21-22, 2016 Modular Will It Blend?
Puzzlehunt 18 The Puzzling Zone September 16-17, 2017 SCRuBBers Will It Blend?
Puzzlehunt 19 Channel 19 May 5-6, 2018 Modular There's Always Puzzles in the Banana Stand
Puzzlehunt 20 Theater May 4-5, 2019 Modular The Usual Suspects
Puzzlehunt 21 Video Games May 1-2, 2021 Modular Imposters so Meta Even This Acronym
Puzzlehunt 22 Pu22lehunt Parallax September 17-18, 2022 Modular Will It Blend?

References[edit | edit source]