My Spacelab in Space

MIT Mystery Hunt Wrap-Up Part 3

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6.

(SPOILER ALERT: THESE POSTS CONTAIN DETAILS OF PUZZLES FROM THE HUNT INCLUDING HOOKS AND ANSWERS).

Following the preliminary “MIT” round, we went to “Wonderland” where there were six rounds. The MIT round was designed to be fun for smaller teams, so the puzzles, while challenging, were not quite as hard as those in the rest of the rounds.

The Tea Party Round was one of the first we opened up, but took us the longest to finish. The meta puzzle ended up flummoxing us for quite a while. The first one I remember looking at was Disemvoweled. This had a bunch of words with the vowels removed that fit into one of seven categories. Each of them had an extra consonant, and for each group, the missing consonants formed another word in that category and the seven at the end were from the answer. One of the last ones we got was brcklhm, which was a music festival, Rocklahoma. Having the errant ‘b’ at the beginning made it tricky. My teammate Arun kept saying “bricklehome” over and over trying to find the right word. (It was Rocklahoma).

One really cool one that I devoted a lot of time to was Now Let’s Create Some Melodies. If you watch the videos, you’ll notice they are singing familiar melodies, but the lyrics have been replaced with synonyms. Eventually it was discovered that these were songs sung on the Muppet Show! (Hence the title, being synonyms for “It’s Time to Start the Music”). Most of the names were filled in, so it was a matter of putting them into the correct blanks below. This was harder than it should’ve been. We filled in a lot of them (still missing a few of the answers) and got the message SANG DISCO *. Since the Muppets Show was on in the 70s, I assumed it was a song with “Disco” in the title, so I Googled it. I found this, which has been stuck in my head ever since:

It turned out to be “SANG DISCOURAGED”. I wasn’t a big fan of this clue because, first off the answer is “Buddy Rich” who sang, “You Mustn’t Feel Discouraged”, but second, I expected it to be cluing someone who sang a song with a title that MEANS discouraged, and “Blue” was sung by Helen Reddy.

There were a few other cool puzzles here, including The Most Dangerous Night, which was about those terrible SyFy Original Movies (like Sharknado). Also, one called Operator Test where it referenced a bunch of puzzles from previous hunts. You had to apply the hook to each of the answers from the parts of that round. In the end you got QUAGMIRE, which everyone tried to call in. It turns out there was a puzzle called QUAGMIRE where the answer was QUAGMIRE, so you were supposed to call in OPERATOR TEST. We also must’ve set a record for calling in wrong answers on One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor, a puzzle based on the YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen. It was the very last puzzle we had to solve in the hunt and we phoned it in during the wrap-up.

The meta-puzzle here was quite tricky and we didn’t get it until late Saturday night. Rather than explain it here, you can read the solution.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6.

One Response

  1. FYI, the original clue phrase was DON’T BE DISMAYED, but unfortunately, since You Mustn’t Feel Discouraged is so far on the alphabetical list of Muppet songs, people would get the phrase and be stuck on the actual answer. Thus, the editors thought it was best to change to the less elegant, more direct phrase SANG DISCOURAGED. However, that let me record 4 more paraphrased parodies, so that made up for it. :) I’m glad you found the puzzle cool, overall, and thank you for the write up! You have no idea how impossible it was not to tell anyone anything about anything for a year.

    January 26, 2014 at 10:48 pm

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