Mathy Problems from the 2014 MIT Mystery Hunt
The last MIT Mystery Hunt was well-organized. It went smoothly—unlike the hunt that my team designed the year before. Sigh. As I do every year, here is the list of 2014 puzzles related to math.
- Build Your Own Sudoku. As it says: Sudoku.
- Oyster Card. Nikoli puzzles related to the London tube.
- A Rose by Any Other. Paint by numbers. I enjoyed this puzzle during the hunt.
- Please Remain Seated. A roller-coaster puzzle, where the extraction needs some math.
- Marking Territory. A Shikaku variation.
- SAT III. Several optimization problems.
- Growth and Fixed Costs. Some financial mathematics.
- Magic Mushrooms. A very cool puzzle with variations of Skyscrapers, Nurikabe, Hashi, Heyawake, Corral, Filomino, Hitori, and Slitherink. I discovered it after the hunt, and enjoyed solving individual puzzles. The extraction is difficult, though.
- Glazing Over. A broken Sudoku puzzle.
There were also several puzzles requiring decoding or having a CS flavor.
- The Spy Who Read Me. Several cipher texts.
- A Puzzle with the Answer CLEMENS. Some encrypted words.
- A Puzzle with the Answer CRONIN. A stream of data.
- A Puzzle with the Answer RICE. Unraveling a huge list of instructions.
- Callooh Callay, World! Programs in a fictional programming language.
- Some Nutty Lines. My favorite decoding puzzle.
- WAT? Some crazy looking cryptograms.
- SKI Trees. Computer sciencey ski slopes.
I want to mention one non-mathematical puzzle.
- Operator Test. It is based on puzzles from the previous years and one of them was Wordplay, co-written by me.
Not to promote my own puzzles, but in case you overlooked them and would be interested in solving them, A Puzzle with the Answer YOUKILIS is a projective geometry puzzle, and Time Flies is a linguistics-flavored combinatorics puzzle. And perhaps Assemble Me should also be included in the CS list. I’m glad you enjoyed our hunt!4 May 2014, 12:05 pm