Star Maps (MIT Mystery Hunt 2020)

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Star Maps
MIT Mystery Hunt 2020
Creative Pictures Studios
Author(s)Benjamin L de Bivort
AnswerClick to reveal📦
No. solves21
No. total guesses63

Star Maps is a physical puzzle from the Creative Pictures Studios round of the 2020 MIT Mystery Hunt, provided to teams as a jigsaw puzzle with a piece of cardstock.

Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]

Physical Puzzle - Teams received a jigsaw puzzle and a piece of cardstock containing several "nodes".

Jigsaw Puzzle - The puzzle is provided as a 19x15 jigsaw.


Knowledge Required (Mathematics, Graph Theory) - Assembling the jigsaw reveals its true nature: a bunch of circles, interspersed with a number of graphs. The cardstock reveals that the circles compose a graph themselves; assembling it requires knowing various types of graphs. Each node is a type of graph (helpfully enumerated with blanks), and each edge passes through the center of a graph that satisfies its two nodes.

Marked Spaces - One blank on each node has a number on it. Arranging the letters on those blanks reveals...

Instructional Extraction - ...the final clue phrase ANSWER IS THE SUBGRAPH OF VERTICES WITH DEGREE TWO K PLUS ONE. There are a few vertices with an odd number of edges; taking only those and the edges connecting them reveals a drawing of the answer.