MIT MYSTery Hunt puzzle stats

2021 January 23

Last weekend I participated in the 2021 MIT MYSTery hunt on the team I’m not a planet either. During the hunt, I recorded the time each puzzle was unlocked by the team and then later solved, so I’ve decided to assemble some statistics on the team’s puzzle solving. Click on the graphs to make them full screen.

Number of unlocked but not yet solved puzzles at each point of time.

In these graphs I’ve specially separated out the puzzles that were in the Infinite Corridor round (except the Infinite Corridor meta itself). This round contained hundreds of thousands of randomly generated puzzles; solving the meta required only solving specifically chosen puzzles from the round, and there was no need to unlock or solve the others once you have figured out how the meta works. In darker colors the graphs show only the ordinary puzzles, while in lighter colors are shown all puzzles including the puzzles from the infinite corridor.

Distribution of when puzzles were unlocked and solved. Smoothed with a standard deviation of one hour.

Red shows when puzzles were unlocked, and green shows when puzzles were solved. The large burst of puzzles from the infinite corridor were when the meta was being worked on. Surprisingly I don’t see a clear daily cycle in when puzzles were solved.

Distribution of times to solve each puzzle. Smoothed with a standard deviation of 20 minutes.

In total, the team unlocked 330 puzzles and solved 144; among finite puzzles, we unlocked 191 and solved 103. Below is every puzzle solved by the team, and how long they took to solve, with a resolution of about 1 minute.

Rule of Three was the fastest solved puzzle, as it was automatically solved at the same time as it was unlocked. I believe Puzzle 23 was solved immediately after unlocking it by redeeming a token earned in a different Cafe Five. While we never figured out how to solve Library of Images puzzles, we were able to backsolve several of them from information in the Infinite Corridor meta (which then allowed us to solve other Library of Images puzzles, whose answers were then used to solve the meta). As the pair working on Infinite Corridor Simulator puzzles got experienced with the necessary steps, they were ultimately able to solve them in less than three minutes each. While I’m not familiar with how ‘A Cheat Code’ was solved, it was presumably the puzzle solved from scratch in the fastest time.

Puzzle Round Solve time
Rule of Three ⊥IW.giga 0s
Puzzle 23: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 0s
Puzzle 57: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 57s
Puzzle 359: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 59s
Puzzle 427: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 1m 3s
Puzzle 53: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 2m 3s
Puzzle 486: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 2m 6s
A Cheat Code Athletics 4m 13s
At A Loss For Words Students 9m 24s
Puzzle 254: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 11m 19s
Things Students 11m 37s
Puzzle 73858: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 14m 57s
Puzzle 73848: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 16m 55s
⊥IWPE: Applied Sailing ⛵ Charles River 18m 43s
Crossed Out Students 20m 27s
Puzzle 73838: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 21m 2s
Puzzle 73718: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 23m 12s
Namesake Students 23m 53s
Triangles Students 24m 46s
Form Students 28m 3s
Doctor’s Orders Students 31m 7s
Look at What We Drew Students 32m 32s
Don’t Let Me Down Yew Labs 39m 40s
That Sinking Feeling Students 39m 44s
Common Knowledge Yew Labs 42m 6s
Enter the Perpendicular Universe Yew Labs 42m 58s
MIT Confessions Yew Labs 43m 5s
Puzzle 83: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 44m 43s
Thank You to Our Sponsors Students 45m 26s
Not Again! Yew Labs 45m 54s
Relitasti Students 46m 31s
Stud Finder Athletics 47m 29s
Can You Deliver 60 Eggs Athletics 47m 32s
Yes or No Yew Labs 50m 31s
For Better or For Worse Yew Labs 55m 4s
Debate Quotes Students 55m 14s
Let’s Get the Ball Rolling Students 55m 40s
Better Bridges Yew Labs 55m 42s
Escape! Hayden Library Green Building 56m 8s
Unraveling the Mystery Students 58m 56s
Lime Sand Season Students 59m 7s
Who’s That Pokémon Students 1h 0m
Magic Words Students 1h 0m
Puzzle 75: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 1h 1m
The Lobster Network Charles River 1h 4m
Just Index Yew Labs 1h 5m
Plus or Minus Students 1h 7m
Attack of the Lobsters Charles River 1h 12m
Puzzle 167: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 18m
Puzzle 10: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 1h 19m
Puzzle 172: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 22m
Puzzle 28: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 1h 23m
Untitled Goose Goals Athletics 1h 26m
Got Milk Students 1h 27m
The Game Students 1h 31m
Puzzle 176: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 32m
Puzzle 182: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 36m
Unmasked Yew Labs 1h 37m
✏️✉️➡️3️⃣5️⃣1️⃣➖6️⃣6️⃣6️⃣➖6️⃣6️⃣5️⃣5️⃣ Yew Labs 1h 40m
Puzzle 186: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 40m
Beverage Blunders Students 1h 42m
Questionable Answers ⊥IW.giga 1h 42m
Puzzle 191: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 43m
Stay Hydrated Students 1h 46m
Puzzle 255: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 1h 49m
Puzzle 196: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 49m
Film Students 1h 50m
Puzzle 202: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 52m
So You Think You Can Count Athletics 1h 55m
Puzzle 208: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 55m
An American in Paris Green Building 1h 55m
Puzzle 213: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 1h 58m
Boggle Battle Athletics 2h 6m
Puzzle 275: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 2h 15m
Express Yourself Students 2h 27m
Back School To Yew Labs 2h 28m
Zip it Mr. Resetti! Athletics 2h 35m
Building Hacks Athletics 2h 36m
Hey Can You Give Me A Hand With This Puzzle Yew Labs 2h 53m
Bad Air Day Green Building 3h 23m
Puzzle 46: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 3h 27m
Violet Coins In Space Athletics 3h 38m
Title of the Puzzle Tunnels 3h 40m
Green Tee Green Building 3h 52m
Successively More Abundant in Verbiage Green Building 4h 2m
The Lexicographer Looks After His Own Students 4h 8m
Puzzle 78: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 4h 15m
Puzzle 88: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 4h 17m
Bake Off Athletics 4h 23m
X Marks the Spot Athletics 4h 30m
Cooperation Students 4h 38m
Musical Theatre Guild Students 4h 45m
Whodunit Students 5h 9m
⊥IWPE: Sailing (Event 1) Charles River 5h 36m
People Wear Clothes Students 5h 36m
Yonder Athletics 5h 44m
Puzzle 6: Make Your Own Word Search Infinite Corridor 5h 57m
Puzzle 19: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 6h 7m
Help I’m Trapped in a Computer Athletics 6h 31m
Squee Squee Athletics 6h 46m
Fish Hybridization Students 7h 2m
For Your Eyes Only Tunnels 7h 46m
Puzzle 1: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 7h 50m
Cryptic Transmission Students 7h 55m
Football Athletics 8h 16m
Puzzle 12: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 8h 40m
When All is Lost ⊥IW.giga 9h 13m
Circular Reasoning ⊥IW.giga 9h 48m
Exactly Students 10h 11m
Tic Tac Toe Students 10h 26m
Puzzle 37: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 10h 41m
Students 10h 54m
You Will Explode If You Stop Talking Athletics 11h 27m
MIT/⊥IW Experimental Evidence Athletics 11h 48m
Hockfield Court Yew Labs 12h 10m
Puzzle 32: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 12h 10m
15×15 Students 12h 39m
Puzzle 42: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 14h 17m
Heart of the Cards Students 14h 40m
Illiterate Programming Students 15h 47m
Catch and Release Athletics 15h 52m
World Fisherman Athletics 16h 27m
⊥IWPE: Archery (Event 2) 🏹 Charles River 17h 35m
Bombs Students 18h 14m
Love at 150 km/h Green Building 19h 38m
Recursion Students 20h 20m
The Emperor’s New Kitchen Stata Center 20h 58m
Paint Students 21h 38m
Water Bottle ⊥IW.giga 21h 50m
Puzzle 5: Infinite Corridor Simulator Infinite Corridor 22h 34m
Infinite Corridor Infinite Corridor 23h 29m
⊥IWPE: Fencing (Event 3) ⚔️ Charles River 27h 21m
Sketchy Site Students 29h 16m
MacGregor House Students 29h 19m
Divided is Us Athletics 30h 5m
EAsT camPUS Students 31h 3m
⊥IWPE: Pistol (Event 4) 🔫 Charles River 32h 33m
Numbers Students 33h 20m
Puzzle 2: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 36h 41m
Puzzle 4: Library of Images Infinite Corridor 37h 48m
Button Press Athletics 38h 0m
Nutrition Facts Students 38h 35m
Voltage-Controlled Green Building 43h 55m
Puzzle 65547: Cafe Five Infinite Corridor 44h 46m

At the long end, there are several events and metas which are naturally unlocked much before they can be worked on. ‘Voltage-Controlled’ was a greatly intimidating puzzle which a few people worked on occasionally for most of the hunt. ‘Water Bottle’ was a much anticipated puzzle in which we inadvertently broke the automated system, leaving the puzzle unsolvable without the organizers’ help.

As always, I greatly enjoyed mystery hunt this year (and needed a few days to get enough sleep to fully recover) and hope those who also participated found something to recollect from the weekend in the above!

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