Rules

Format

  • The puzzlehunt starts on Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:00 PM PDT and ends on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 11:59 PM PDT, at which point puzzle solutions will be available.
  • Teams have a maximum size of 8. You may not create multiple accounts or be on multiple teams.
  • A few puzzles will be available at the start, and the primary way to unlock new puzzles is by solving puzzles and progressing through the hunt, although puzzles may also be unlocked over time.
  • 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.

Solving

  • 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 have 20 total guesses for each puzzle. If you legitimately run out of guesses and need more, feel free to contact us, though we won’t grant your request if we see that you were, for example, guessing random thematic answers, or brute-forcing all 10-letter words.

Hints

  • Starting on Monday, September 13, teams will receive 2 hints per day, at 12:00 PM PDT each day, until the end of the hunt.
  • You can use a hint 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?”).

Other

  • Pages with puzzle content all contain caution tape with "PUZZLE STARTS BELOW THIS LINE" printed on it. Above the tape is a block of story which does not contain any hints while below the tape is the beginning of the puzzle proper. The tape itself is not a puzzle, and no page without the tape on it contains a puzzle.
  • 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.
  • You may not attempt to mine data from the website or write code designed to interact with and manipulate the website.
  • You may not publicly stream a solve of our hunt when the hunt is live.
  • 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.
  • 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 puzzlehq@ona.quest. We will get back to you as soon as we can.