When the MIT Mystery Hunt was about to end, I asked my son Sergei, who was competing with the team “Death from Above,” what his favorite puzzle was. I asked the same question to a random guy from team “Palindrome” whom I ran into in the corridor. Surprisingly, out of 150 puzzles they chose the same one as their favorite. They even used similar words to describe it. Calling it a very difficult and awesome puzzle, they both wondered how it was possible to construct such a puzzle.
TWELEVELTWONSHELMUMUOERAIYRANL QAPIUNPIQAYDPEPIRPRPKVOYESOYOR ELRATFDTELDTTFDTBWNLMUTFONYDWJ PIOYJMHAPIHAJMHAAOORRPJMYDANFC MUOZCGTFBWIRYDHIRAIRTFNCUENCUE RPVQUHJMAOHKANJUOYHKJMZKBNZKBN IRONSHOZGOTFUEELTFOEELUEYDOETF HKYDPEVQDNJMBNPIJMKVPIBNANKVJM BWIYNLTFSHHIELTWGOYDONDTYDHIOE AOESORJMPEJUPIQADNANYDHAANJUKV SHDTYDRPBWUEBWIYTWTWTFYDMUELMU PEHAANAJAOBNAOESQAQAJMANRPPIRP ONTWELBWLMSHELTFUEBWBWLMOZEVHI YDQAPIAOGIPEPIJMBNAOAOGIVQUNJU DTCGUEYDRPEVNCIREVIRTWUEUETWON HAUHBNANAJUNZKHKUNHKQABNBNQAYD IRUERAMUTFELTWONTFOEOEEYDTNLYD HKBNOYRPJMPIQAYDJMKVKVHWHAORAN ELGORPNCTFDTYDSHYDELPKTFOZRACG PIDNAJZKJMHAANPEANPIDFJMVQOYUH DTMUWJOETFYDELMUMUGORAONIRDTCG HARPFCKVJMANPIRPRPDNOYYDHKHAUH
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The puzzle looks like a word search, but I can tell you up-front: you can’t find all the words in the grid. You can only find six words there. So there is something else to this puzzle. I will discuss the solution later. Meanwhile I will ask you very pointed questions:
- Where are the other words?
- What is the meaning of LEVEL TWO staring at us from the first row?
- Where is LEVEL ONE?
- What do these very non-random words have in common?