Octothorpean, also Order of the Octothorpe or Octothorpean Order, is a persistent puzzle hunt created and hosted by Larry Hosken. It is aimed at hunt newbies and beginners, and the puzzle series assume no prior knowledge of common codes and techniques such as indexing. Instead, these concepts are introduced in earlier puzzles and then reapplied in more hidden or indirect contexts in later puzzles. As the name suggests, the hunt is themed after the octothorpe symbol (#).
History[edit | edit source]
A prototype version of the website was released in December 2012 by Larry Hosken, with some placeholder puzzles. Hunting teams would access the website using a username and password, leading to a hyperlinked network of puzzles. Solving puzzles would unlock further puzzles in the website. Additionally, Hosken had a document requesting for additional puzzles.
The website first hosted a smaller standalone puzzle hunt, Lumber Party, on July 21, 2013. This later became an arc in the second part of the hunt. The website opened in full on November 16, 2013 with about a hundred puzzles.
The website went down around mid-2020 with the backend being deprecated and was rebooted on July 19, 2021. The site was rewritten so that instead of having team accounts, progress was tracked locally using cookies.
Structure[edit | edit source]
At the beginning, there is a short tutorial introducing players to the user interface, answer submission, and hint system. It also introduces the octothorpe theme as well as the fact that almost every page on the website has an answer that can be called in.
After the tutorial, the first main section of the hunt involves eight different arcs that each culminate into a single answer. These answers then feed into another puzzle. Each arc has a certain theme that introduces different concepts.
Upon finishing the final puzzle, the second part is unlocked. Here, the aforementioned Lumber Party can be played. Additionally there are small hunts involving real-world locations in various cities, as well as other assorted puzzles not belonging to a full round.