Solvers open to 14 “fish” images, each with an associated depth spanning down the page, followed by an ellipsis. But these fish are very bizarre (and some are blatantly not fish). Clicking the images jumps to sub-puzzles specific to each fish further down the page.
Veteran solvers of the MIT Mystery Hunt will recognize the allusion to 2015’s 20,000 Puzzles Under The Sea which was known for having many mini puzzles called “Fish Puzzles.” Similarly, each puzzle was presented as an image of a “fish” (some less literal than others). As solvers look through the sub-puzzles, they’ll notice that each puzzle’s name is shared with a 2015 Fish Puzzle and that the puzzle works in the same way. Solvers are encouraged to use the solution pages from 2015’s puzzles to quickly identify the puzzle mechanisms and solve each sub-puzzle, but knowledge of the reference puzzles is not necessary for progressing through this puzzle.
For each sub-puzzle, solvers must submit their answer using the solution box associated with that puzzle. Correctly submitting the answer updates the UI so that the answer appears next to the appropriate fish. Solutions to each sub-puzzle can be found below.
|Back and Forth||ORE|
|Ready Set Go||UNEXPANDED|
|Go At It!||HORRIDLY|
|Watch Me Blow This||TWO|
|Twelve Grids of Pictures||NINTH|
|The Wheels Go Round and Round||ANTED|
When all (or most) of the sub-puzzle answers are submitted, solvers will notice that the acrostic formed by the first letters spells the phrase “NO SUCH THING AS A” with the ellipsis extending below the acrostic. Solvers should connect this phrase (and ellipsis) to the title of this puzzle, which contains some odd formatting choices including an ellipsis and the capitalization of “FISH.” Taken together, solvers should read the acrostic as “NO SUCH THING AS A FISH” which points them to a weekly UK podcast with the same name.
In this podcast, the four hosts each present an interesting fact that they found during the week whilst researching for the panel show QI (go watch it!). Looking at the episode titles, which have names like “No Such Thing As The Worm Revolution,” solvers will realize that each fish image actually references a particular episode title. Now that solvers know they are looking at podcast episodes this is when the listed depths come into play.
While labeling suggests the depths are in meters, they actually are in minutes, and serve as a timestamp index into that episode. The timestamps are based on the files on the official website (which are the same as the Audioboom files, clued by “hear” and “boom” in the flavor text). At the time of construction, the web browser Safari demonstrated inconsistent timestamps with these streaming sources, which were made worse when solvers would manually scrub through the files. Therefore, we advised solvers to use supported browsers to ensure proper puzzle functionality. Within a second of each episode’s listed timestamp, solvers will hear a word that is quite similar to the feeder answer from the paired puzzle, but with two letters changed.
|Episode||Episode Title||Timestamp||Podcast Word||Answer||Letters|
|194||NSTAA Orange Crocodile||3:34m||NASTY||NAFTA||FA|
|174||NSTAA Manta Ray||4:39m||OWN||ORE||RE|
|154||NSTAA Submarine Shepherd||5:37m||SAFE||SURE||UR|
|139||NSTAA Lobster Nappy||8:39m||UNEXPLODED||UNEXPANDED||AN|
|1||NSTAA Pilot Fish||10:50m||CANT||CASE||SE|
|146||NSTAA Queen Orca||17:19m||HORRIBLE||HORRIDLY||DY|
|109||NSTAA Speared Shrimp||21:27m||TOP||TWO||WO|
|181||NSTAA Shark Vending Machine||24:38m||HIGH||HINT||NT|
|150||NSTAA Helium Filled Pufferfish||26:12m||INVENTION||INSECTION||SC|
|136||NSTAA Wolf Diving For Clams||27:04m||NORTH||NINTH||IN|
|112||NSTAA Lego Aircraft Carrier||28:53m||GOING||GRIND||RD|
|216||NSTAA Lobster War||29:42m||ADDRESS||ACTRESS||CT|
|106||NSTAA Six-Tier Japanese Human Pyramid||30:13m||SNORTING||SCOOTING||CO|
|107||NSTAA Gorillas On The Beach||32:19m||AFTER||ANTED||ND|
While some of the podcast words are less obvious, there are many that stand out and confirm this direction for solvers. Taking the two replaced letters from each sub-puzzle answer and ordering by episode number will spell the instruction “SECOND WORD IN ANDY’S CURRENT FACT.” This suggests looking at the most recent episode (which was published Friday, January 18th at 1pm EST—the same time Hunt began) and listening to Andy’s headline fact. Andy was gracious enough to word his fact such that the second word would be the answer FREQUENT.
Each funny shape is actually the intersection of two countries (or, in one case, Antarctica). Additionally, the two-letter country abbreviations for these countries have an intersecting letter (the last letter of one is the first letter of the other). By identifying the two countries from the distinctive features of each intersection, solvers should read the intersecting letters in given order to spell the relevant answer, NAFTA.
|India / Norway
IN / NO
|Canada / Australia
CA / AU
|Afghanistan / France
AF / FR
|Ethiopia / Turkey
ET / TR
|Panama / Antarctica
PA / AQ
These are the answers to the provided clues.
|Neighbor of Ac and Pa (2)||TH|
|Astronomical unit of length (5-4)||LIGHT-YEAR|
|Songs expressing triumph, from ancient Greece (6)||PAEANS|
|Winter sidewalk-cleaning machine (4, 6)||SNOW BLOWER|
|Use a keyboard (9)||TYPEWRITE|
|Very skilled musician or artist (8)||VIRTUOSO|
|Word with double or indecent (8)||EXPOSURE|
|Hospital’s trauma center, for short (2)||ER|
TH LIGHT-YEAR PAEANS SNOW BLOWER TYPEWRITE VIRTUOSO EXPOSURE ER TH HT EA AE NS SN WE EWRI IR SO OS RE ER
The first and last clues are bigrams, but the rest are longer. Each answer contains a bigram from the previous answer, but reversed, and introduces a new bigram that appears reversed in the following answer. This creates a chain of forward and reverse bigrams. Taking the forward bigrams in order spells “THE ANSWER IS ORE.”
|The four hashtags are clues.|
|These form a hashtag:|
U A ISSUE U G GREEN Y R
|The four intersections spell the answer, SURE.|
Solvers are given several strings followed by enumerated spaces. Each string is actually an interleaved set of three related items. While the order of the three items is random in the interleaved string, the relative position of letters from each item is conserved. As solvers parse the strings into their set of three, they will realize the provided enumerations refer to the name of the group. Reading the highlighted letters top to bottom spells the answer UNEXPANDED.
|Interleaved Text||Separated Text||Categories|
|TASHIELVOMDIOONRNE||ALVIN SIMON THEODORE||CHIPMUNKS||U|
|MBECALALCTHSHAPZIARAROR||CASPAR MELCHIOR BALTHAZAR||WISE MEN||N|
|SVEPSENTNKAGMLNEATRNZ||VENKMAN STANTZ SPENGLER||GHOSTBUSTERS||E|
|GCHRHAOIRUCCPHOOO||GROUCHO CHICO HARPO||MARX BROTHERS||X|
|JJACCHARNIKSSEYT||JACK JANET CHRISSY||THREE'S COMPANY||P|
|VCSATHRNAOIWCLLBOEARRLAYTE||CHOCOLATE VANILLA STRAWBERRY||NEAPOLITAN||A|
|EIQSUSIOCLSAACLTEEENRLEAESL||EQUILATERAL ISOSCELES SCALENE||TRIANGLES||N|
|KQJAUCIEKNEGN||JACK QUEEN KING||FACE CARDS||D|
|MBAAURRRROIYBCIEN||BARRY ROBIN MAURICE||BEE GEES||E|
|VBISRSHAHHINMVUAA||BRAHMA VISHNU SHIVA||HINDU TRINITY||D|
Solvers are shown a tournament bracket with 16 starter words. For each pairing there is a word that fits “in between” the others to create a “Before and After” phrase. Iterating this process through the tournament brackets eventually has the solver looking for a word that completes “Court ____” and “____ Study.” The word that completes both of these phrases is CASE.
Each clue solves to a 2-letter word.
|Saudi Arabia’s country code||SA|
|A, T, C, or G||NT|
|64.79891 mg = 1 ___||GR|
|“___+” or replay in JRPGs||NG|
|NYSE symbol for the maker of Charleston Chew||TR|
|2001 Spielberg movie, for short||AI|
|47th state, to the USPS||NM|
|18, under Ne||AR|
|き or キ||KI|
|Velar nasal digraph (ŋ)||NG|
|Common shorthand for California region home to Disneyland||OC|
|Croatia Airlines, to IATA||OU|
|Microsoft OS until 2000||NT|
|90s medical drama||ER|
|Action on twitter||RT|
|“___ Day;” May 8||VE|
|Filename extension for programs written in Matz’s language||RB|
|Unix command used to become root||SU|
|255 in hexadecimal||FF|
Combining these bigrams by section will make four new clues:
The answer is HORRIDLY.
Unlike other chess puzzles, the goal here isn’t just for White to win. In fact, it’s Black’s move and has a unique move that will allow White to mate in one move (called “helpmate in one”). For each puzzle, both Black’s and White’s moves are unique. Below are the solutions to each helpmate board:
Plotting the moves on the board with letters will spell a 10-letter phrase. Since helpmates start with Black’s move, the start and end of each of Black’s moves spell N-U, M-T, O-T, A-N, G-O or “NUM TO TANGO.” According to the popular phrase, it takes TWO to tango (and play chess). Additionally, just in case the solver defaults to plotting White’s moves, the squares spell B-L, A-C, K-M, O-V, E-S or “Black moves” which directs them to investigate Black’s moves for the answer.
Solvers see four fishy sentences that seem a little weird. While they may seem like they are cryptic clues, they actually are mnemonic devices to remember common lists. This means that the acrostic of first letters in each sentence will provide the order of items in a list.
|Mnemonic (with incorrect word in bold)||Group||Item Ordering|
|Cod Quickly Navigate Elevation Collection Around Precinct||Seven Hills of Rome||CQVECAP|
|Eels Intonate Deals Going Beyond Expectation||Guitar Strings||EADGBE|
|Habitual Albacores Always Deliver Elegant Presents Representing Precious Stones Of Token Times||Birthstones||GAADEPRPSOTT|
|Ice Peaks Make Thriving Turtles Copulate||Cell Cycle Phases||IPMATC|
The incorrect words are each in a unique position within each mnemonic. When reordered by position, the words are HABITUAL, INTONATE, NAVIGATE, and THRIVING. Reading the acrostic formed by the first letters of each incorrect word spells the answer HINT.
This is a sudoku puzzle but uses colors instead of numbers. Using the given information, solvers can color the entire grid while adherring to normal sudoku rules. Reading the letters from each color left to right spells 9 plant-related color words, but each word has one letter inserted. The insertion is in a unique position for each word. Ordering by placement of the inserted letter and reading the inserted letters reveals the answer INSECTION.
|Solvers see 12 sets of 6 pictures arranged into 2x3 grids. Each set refers to a gifted object in the song “12 Days of Christmas.” However, only certain pictures within each set are accurate depictions of the object while others are wrong. Once solvers identify the correct pictures they will notice that they make valid Braille patterns within each 2x3 grid. Reading the Braille in the given order will translate to “LADIES ON X DAY” which gives the answer NINTH.|
Each circuit provides a starting voltage, several resistors, and a voltmeter displaying the voltage drop across a particular resistor. Resistors do not list their value, but instead are labeled using country codes. Each country’s flag contains three horizontal bands which can be interpreted as the three bands color-coding a resistor. By substituting in the values for each labeled resistor the solver can calculate the total current and determine the missing resistance for the unlabeled resistors. Using this value, solvers can determine the band colors for the unlabeled resistor and map it to a country’s flag. With the name of the country identified, solvers extract the answer by indexing into the country name according to the value displayed on the voltmeter. Doing so generates the answer GRIND, which fits for a puzzle about resistances.Sample resistor calculator
Each row of rectangles represents cartoon characters in a minimalist style. One character within each set is starred. The identification for each set is as follows:
Yang Xiao Long
Looking at the starred characters and reading the first letters in given order spells the answer, ACTRESS.
The key (pun intended) to this puzzle is looking at keyboard layouts. Each presented string is a word typed on a keyboard but shifted one key in a direction. Solvers should first decrypt the words and note the direction of the shift.
The translated words provide the instruction for solvers to use the shift directions to move the fish through the presented grid. Doing so provides the string “SVLLF;JG.”
Following the original instruction, solvers should decrypt the path string by converting it to the Workman keyboard layout. Doing so will reveal the fitting answer SCOOTING.
Solvers see two sets of clues, seven in the top group and six in the bottom group. Each answer in the top group solves to a word of unique length; these are provided in alphabetical order by answer. Clues in the bottom group also solve to answers of unique lengths, though notably the answer which is five characters long is missing. Each answer in the bottom group is the same as an answer in the top group when the last letter is moved to the front of the word. Following this pattern, solvers can move the D in DANTE to the end of the word to create the missing answer ANTED.
|Clue (Top)||Answer||Clue (Bottom)||Answer|
|The Price Is Right prize for Lucky Seven game||CAR||Multi-episode story||ARC|
|He described 9 circles||DANTE||?????|
|Vertical distance||HEIGHT||Penultimate inning in baseball||EIGHTH|
|Come out from||EMANATE||Sea cow||MANATEE|
|Conduct to incite rebellion||SEDITION||Versions of texts||EDITIONS|
|Variety or chosen assortment||SELECTION||Organized voting of candidates to political office||ELECTIONS|