Puzzle University University Policies


  • The puzzlehunt starts on and ends on , at which point puzzle solutions will be available and a wrapup Discord will open.
  • There is an opening ceremony at , and puzzles will be released afterwards.
  • Teams have a maximum size of 12. You may not create multiple accounts or be on multiple teams.
  • Teams that complete the hunt will be ranked by the time at which they finish. Teams that do not complete the hunt will be ranked by number of puzzles solved and tie-broken by earliest last solve time.


  • Each answer is a string of letters A–Z. Lowercase letters will be changed into uppercase, and any other characters will be stripped before checking for correctness.
  • You start with 5 total guesses for each puzzle. These will refresh at a rate of 1 guess every 15 minutes, back up to the maximum of 5.
  • If you extract an instruction or clue phrase, you can enter it into the answer system to confirm that it is correct. If a puzzle consists of multiple different minipuzzles, the answers to these minipuzzles can also be confirmed with the answer checker. Any guess that results in a response does not count against the 5 guess limit.
  • Some introductory puzzles include a built-in tool you can use to confirm finer data, like solutions to individual clues. The answer checker will never be used for this.


  • After your team has had a puzzle unlocked for a certain amount of time, office hours will become available for that puzzle, which allows your team to request hints.
  • The time at which office hours open is dependent on many factors, including the number of teams who have solved the puzzle, how long those teams took, and the discretion of the hunt organizers.
  • You can use office hours to get help on a puzzle. This can be something like a nudge in the right direction (i.e. you give us your progress on the puzzle and we’ll try to get you unstuck) or an answer to a question (e.g. “Which answers to these crossword clues are wrong?”).
  • There is no limit to how many times you utilize office hours, but your team can only have one open hint request (across all puzzles) at a time.


  • A set of introductory puzzles will be available at the start. The primary way to unlock new puzzles is by solving puzzles and progressing through the hunt.
  • If you like, you may also click Enable Time Unlocks on your team page, which will cause puzzles to unlock automatically over time. You may enable or disable this at any point during the hunt.
  • Some puzzles will not unlock unless specific plot-relevant puzzles are solved first, even if time unlocks are enabled. Office hours for these gatekeeping puzzles always unlock relatively quickly. If you’re stuck and want access to more puzzles, we strongly encourage you to use hints.


  • You may use any external sources for help, including other people, as long as they aren’t helping other teams and aren’t actively participating in the hunt.
  • While the hunt is live, you may not stream or post spoilers for the hunt in a place where other teams might see them.
  • You may not create multiple accounts or be on multiple teams.
  • It won’t be necessary to look at the HTML source/JavaScript/CSS on any webpages for any puzzle, but you’re welcome to look anyway.
  • You may not write code that interacts with the hunt site, e.g. by dictionary-attacking a submission box.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify any team for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • We reserve the right to change any of these rules. If there’s a big change, we’ll announce it to all teams.
  • If you have any questions about these rules, or if you want to contact us for any reason, email msph2023@gmail.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can.