Thanks for participating in the Mystery Hunt! We hope that you enjoy the puzzles we've put together for you.


Normalville's Centennial Celebration has been marred by an unexpected meteor shower. As loyal citizens, you've volunteered to venture around the city and help collect the meteorite shards, saving the Centennial and allowing things to get back to... well, you know. The way things usually are.

How To Play

The meteorite shards, each represented by a puzzle, are scattered over the map of Normalville. At the beginning of the Hunt, you will only have access to shards adjacent to the Town Square (conveniently located at the edge of town.)

Once you've solved a puzzle, call us up to verify the answer.  We may ask you to spell the answer, to explain how you found it, or ask you what you thought of the puzzle.  We may ask these questions even if we know your answer is way off, so don't make any assumptions based on how we respond. If your answer is correct, we will grant you access to the neighboring puzzles on the city map.  Solve those puzzles and gain access to their neighbors, gradually revealing more and more of the map.

There will also be six Centennial events as noted on this schedule; teams should send some representatives to each event.  Each event has a puzzle and a corresponding map location.  At the time of the event, all teams will be given access to this map location, hopefully giving you a new area to explore if you've gotten stuck.  If you reach this location before the event, you probably will not be able to solve the puzzle, but you can solve around it.  If you miss an event, call headquarters and we'll try to sort something out. Many of the puzzles for these scheduled events, will be put on the web in some format for remote teams.

The answers corresponding to all the meteorite shards of one color comprise a "metapuzzle"; that is, you can put together those answers to get a final answer. Just like when you solve a puzzle, when you solve a metapuzzle you should call in the answer. Solving metapuzzles is required to complete the hunt, so don't overlook this!

Contacting Us

Here are a few more notes about calling us:

How Not To Play

The number one goal of the Mystery Hunt is for all participants to have fun. Please keep this in mind: respect your teammates and the other participating teams. You should not do anything that would harm another team's enjoyment of the hunt. In particular, don't alter puzzles so they become unsolvable or mislead other teams. Spying on other teams is also bad form, whether in real life or online.

While there are many ways to approach solving a puzzle, some methods just aren't kosher. These include but are not limited to:

If you are ever unsure as to the legality of a technique, please ask us.

Typically, combining teams mid-way through the hunt is not allowed; however, if you have special circumstances, please give us a call. If you're going to drop out, please let us know so we can keep track of who's still in the game (and hopefully persuade you to stick with it).

Much of the hunt is web-based. Although not strictly against the rules to use, Internet Explorer is not supported. If a puzzle seems to be broken in formatting or behavior, and you are using IE, check it in another browser before asking us about it. (In case of technical difficulties of an urgent nature, you can call Normalville Technical Support at 617-669-3752, but please be aware that this resource is limited, and may not be available at all times.)

Some Tips

For those who aren't used to puzzle competitions like this one, we have a few more tips:

Solving References

These pages describe how to solve certain common types of puzzles; you may find them helpful: A fairly large wordlist can help, too. If you don't already have a favorite, you may want to pick from one of the many at http://www.puzzlers.org/secure/wordlists/grepdict.html.


Remember, the most important aspect of the Hunt is to enjoy yourself. In fact, it's really our job to make sure you (both individually and as a full team) are having a fantastic time. If you're completely stumped or not having fun, please call us, and we'll do what we can to help.