Story (MIT Mystery Hunt 2020)
|MIT Mystery Hunt 2020|
|Answer||Click to revealPENTHOUSE|
|No. total guesses||54|
Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]
Text-Heavy Presentation - The puzzle is one nine-paragraph-long story.
Printer's Devilry - However, some sentences don't make sense—in particular, at exactly one spot in each paragraph, a word is deleted in the style of printer's devilry. The story makes no attempt to obscure this removal by modifying spacing.
Intermediate Clue Phrase - The words say VIEW PAGE SOURCE CONVERT TO BASE TWO AND OVERLAY...
Sourcery - ...making this one of the rare puzzles where viewing the source code for the puzzle is necessary to the solve. In this case, the .html file hides some very large numbers on the order of hundreds of digits.
Marked Elements - The resulting bitstring matches the length of the corresponding paragraph, counting punctuation and reinserting the missing word. The bitstring is also almost entirely 1s. Taking the characters in the same positions as the 0s yields...
Intermediate Clue Phrase - ...WHICH SMALL MAMMAL’S NAME SOUNDS LIKE A TYPESETTING MEASUREMENT? ONCE YOU KNOW, FIND THE ROOMS AND TRACE THEM.
Knowledge Required (MIT Buildings) - Answering the question with PIKA (pronounced [ˈpɑɪkə], like the typesetting measurement PICA), the solver now needs to find a PIKA with rooms. As it turns out, pika is one of MIT's Independent Living Groups, and its website has a floorplan of the building, with uniquely-named rooms. Solvers now note that these room names are scattered throughout the story.
Connect-The-Dots - Drawing lines between rooms as they are mentioned in the story, breaking off between paragraphs and keeping in mind the 3D structure of the house, traces out letters that spell the final answer.